If a lack of sun and winter weather leaves you feeling some winter blues this Banana Struesel Muffin might just be the cure. The smell of the muffins baking, the happy smiles from a grateful family, and the delightful flavor of these banana-infused muffins certainly did the trick for me.
“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?”
“What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?” asked Pooh.
“I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully.
“It’s the same thing,” he said.
I can connect with Pooh. There are lots of things to be excited about in a day and good food is one of them.
I woke up feeling out of sorts this morning. We’re expecting a high of 20 and the possibility of more snow. Normally I would be very excited about this. I love winter. But I just returned from a family holiday in Phoenix with my hubby’s parents. For some reason, snow just doesn’t feel right all of a sudden.
To look with dread at something I normally love, well, it’s gotten me in a bit of a funk today. The dulcet tones of James Taylor wafting lightly in the background confirms it. I must be in a funk to be listening to Sweet Baby James.
I have a few Strategies for Dealing with Down Days like these:
- Write in my journal. That’s always a helpful way to understand better what’s really going on. Like the sudden drop in Vitamin D (from lack of sunshine) or maybe I just miss my honey since he stayed a few extra days with his parents!
- Get moving. I could spend 20 minutes on my elliptical machine and turn my mood right around!
- Lend a helping hand. Usually when I’m in this state, I’m just a little too confined in my own head. When I reach out to someone else in some way, ultimately I’m helping myself. Who would have thought that helping others could be so selfish. (smiles)
- Listen to some Indigo Girls. Amy Ray and Emily Saliers combine to form the group the Indigo Girls and they are by far my most favorite musicians. Any time I listen to them, my mood is instantly lifted. It never fails!
- Get in the Kitchen. I sometimes ask why I like to cook so much. The only answer that really makes sense is that for me cooking is an act of creation. I think I’m a very kinesthetic creature. I need to stand on my feet, feel the sense of movement in the kitchen, hold a spoon in my hand stirring disparate ingredients together that combine, as if by magic, into something entirely different. It’s magnificent!
Today I combined a little bit of all the above. I wrote in my journal, something I try to do every day but haven’t been as consistent about lately. I took the dogs for a walk, something I know they missed after a week away from us. Along the walk there was a woman whose car was stuck in the snow. I was worried about the time, but I stopped anyway and helped give the car a push. Then I bid a fond farewell to JT, put in some mood-lifting Indigo Girls and headed to the kitchen.
I know my daughter loves banana nut muffins and so what could be better than making a little surprise for her first day back to school after our winter retreat in Arizona. The smell of the muffins baking in the oven cinched the deal for me. I’m back to my cheerful self. Ready for a full and vibrant day.
If the lack of sun and winter weather leaves you needing a mood lifter this weekend, this Banana Struesel Muffin can do the trick.
Best Banana Streusel Muffins
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup margarine (softened)
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup soy buttermilk (soy milk combined with 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar)
- 3 ripe bananas, mashed
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)
Heat your oven to 375 degrees F. Spray your muffin pan with vegetable spray or use paper liners.
Streusel Topping: Combine the flour and brown sugar in a bowl and cut in the margarine until the crumbles are pea size.
Muffin: Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate small bowl, add the soy milk and apple cider. Let this sit for a minute so the vinegar can combine with the soy milk. Next add the mashed bananas, vanilla, and vegetable oil. Stir until combined. Add to the flour mixture, and stir until combined. Add chopped pecans. You can also add chocolate chips if you’re in the mood, but those are optional. Be careful not to stir the batter too much. We don’t want to stress it out. Spoon batter into the prepared muffin pan, until about 2/3 full.
Next, sprinkle the streusel over the unbaked muffins.
Bake for approximately 20 minutes and let cool for about 5 minutes before diving in.
This recipe will easily make 12 muffins. I used my mini-muffin pan to extend the batter even further!