Easy as pie – Banana and blueberry polenta muffins

Claire Strickett

Who says students have to live on pot noodles and beans on toast? Not us! Each issue our Lifestyle editor shares a recipe that will keep your finances and your body in good shape.

Muffins are one of the best things you can bake in a typically ill-equipped student kitchen. Unlike many cake or biscuit recipes, they don’t require you to cream together the butter and sugar — a technique that requires an electric mixer, or else a lot of elbow grease and perseverance. Good muffins, however, positively depend on a minimum of effort. And, as these are comparatively low in sugar, made using wholemeal flour, and contain plenty of fruit, they’re much better for you than most shop-bought kinds. This recipe is also a great way to use up any neglected bananas that have over-ripened at the bottom of the fruit bowl. The polenta, meanwhile, adds a subtle crunch and a golden colour. Muffins don’t keep particularly well (up to 2 days in an airtight container), but they freeze brilliantly. Defrost overnight for breakfast on the go.

Ingredients (makes 12)
125g wholemeal flour
100g plain flour
50g quick-cook polenta
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
¼ tsp salt
100 ml neutral-flavoured vegetable oil
40g light brown sugar
35g caster sugar
2 eggs
2 bananas, as ripe as you can find, mashed
75g natural yoghurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
120g frozen or fresh blueberries (or, if you can’t find any at a reasonable price, you can substitute the same weight of raisins or other dried fruit)

And how to do it…

Line a muffin tray with 12 paper muffin cases. Pre-heat the oven to 200 C.
Sift together the flours, polenta, salt and bicarbonate of soda.

In a jug, whisk the oil, sugars, eggs, mashed bananas, yoghurt and vanilla extract until thoroughly combined.

Tip the frozen berries into the sifted flour mixture and toss to coat, then pour in the wet ingredients. Mix very gently until the wet and dry ingredients are just combined, but don’t stir too vigorously. It doesn’t matter if the mixture is lumpy — as long as you can’t see any dry patches of flour, it’s done.

Divide evenly between the muffin cases and bake for 20 minutes or until risen and golden.


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