Chai Spiced Banana Muffins with Pistachios

I like to buy bananas for snacks, but my husband and I only like them when they’re green. Once they get a few spots of brown, it’s all over. So, I’m often left with two or three overripe bananas left in the fruit bowl at the end of the week. And I always try my hardest to do something with this sickly sweet things. It’s easy to run out of fresh ideas though. I mean, really, there is only so much you can do with bananas.

I can’t even remember how I got the idea to spice up banana muffins with a chai infusion. In any event, I went through several different trial runs before deciding the recipe below was the best one. I could really taste the chai spices, but they didn’t overwhelm the banana, and vice versa. As for the pistachios, they are very mild, but once in a while, you get this jolt of pistachio taste which is wonderful. You can certainly use the traditional walnuts, or pecans or hazelnuts for that matter, if you don’t have pistachios.

The core of this recipe was borrowed from Better Homes and Gardens. I tried Joy’s, too, but the chai spice got lost in that batch.

Ingredients:

1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
2 ½ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. salt
½ tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. cloves
¼ tsp. cardamom
¼ tsp. ginger
1/8 tsp. black pepper
½ cup milk
1 black tea bag
1/3 cup cooking oil
2 large bananas, mashed
1/3 cup pistachios, chopped

Guidelines:

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

In a small saucepan, or in the microwave, heat the milk until warm but not scalding. Add the tea bag and let steep until the milk is a creamy brown color.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, ginger, and black pepper. Make a well in the center of the dry mixture.

In the center of the well, beat the egg. Add the oil and the tea infused milk. Stir all ingredients together until just moistened. Batter should be slightly lumpy.

Gently fold in the mashed bananas and pistachios. I like to leave my bananas on the chunky side, so I don’t mash mine until they look like puree, but however you like them is fine.

Grease muffin cups or line with paper baking cups. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool briefly, then remove muffins from the pan and let cool on a wire rack.

Adjust recipe for high altitude cooking.

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