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Turning Old into New: Banana Mango Muffins

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Tips on Preventing Food Waste – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle — and Rethink! 


Banana Mango Muffins on www.virginiawillis.com

I have a near daily ritual in that I scope out the fridge and repurpose what needs to be eaten, compost what needs to go, and freeze what needs to chill out until a later date. I make stock of some sort from those bits and pieces that make sense. And, of course, there’s a small amount that’s past its prime. It’s a smart habit, one that I heartily encourage.

Cooking from scratch can be expensive. I know I’m guilty of being seduced by produce at the farmer’s market or a sale at our local co-op. I know I wind up with more than we can eat every now and then. Other than a goal of not creating scary science experiments, I strongly feel it’s a crime to waste food, and an expensive one, too.

Recently, we had a lot of friends and family in town and after the dust cleared I spent a day puttering about the kitchen and turning old into new. Nearly limp vegetables were grilled for salad and slightly bruised berries and stone fruits were made into smoothies

Banana Mango Muffins on virginiawillis.com

Planning Tips for Preventing Food Waste

Planning, prepping, and storing food can help your household waste less food. Below are some tips to help you do just that:

By simply making a list with weekly meals in mind, you can save money and time and eat healthier food. If you buy no more than what you expect to use, you will be more likely to keep it fresh and use it all.

  • Keep a running list of meals and their ingredients that your household already enjoys. That way, you can easily choose, shop for and prepare meals.
  • Make your shopping list based on how many meals you’ll eat at home. Will you eat out this week? How often?
  • Plan your meals for the week before you go shopping and buy only the things needed for those meals.
  • Include quantities on your shopping list noting how many meals you’ll make with each item to avoid overbuying. For example: salad greens – enough for two lunches.
  • Look in your refrigerator and cupboards first to avoid buying food you already have, make a list each week of what needs to be used up and plan upcoming meals around it.
  • Buy only what you need and will use. Buying in bulk only saves money if you are able to use the food before it spoils.

preventing food waste on www.virginiawillis.com

Banana Mango Muffins

Overly ripe fruit can be tricky. I am pretty persnickety about bananas. I only eat bright yellow and firm bananas. I had to take a medicine when I was a little girl that was banana flavored. The result? For most of my life, I have despised bananas. I saw the light and changed my ways a few years ago. Now, I always keep bananas in the kitchen and when I have bananas past their prime, I make banana bread.

It’s also an easy and automatic way to transform brown, spotty, mushy fruit into a delicious quick bread or muffins. We also had a mango left over so I chopped it up and added it to the batter, as well. Since I added the mango and knew it would contribute moisture, I also knew I needed to back off on the butter.

Fruit flies be gone! With just a little effort I had breakfast muffins for the family. Reuse, reduce, recycle — and rethink. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did.

Bon Appétit Y’all! 

Virginia

For more food waste tips check out my blog post with the James Beard Foundation.

Preventing Food Waste on www.virginiawillis.com

Banana Mango Muffins

The recipe calls for 1 cup of flour. To amp up the nutrition, I sometimes will substitute half with whole wheat pastry flour. It needs to be pastry flour, however, not regular whole wheat flour. Regular whole wheat flour will produce a heavy dense pucket-muffin.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Servings: 12
Author: Virginia Willis

Ingredients

  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 3 ripe bananas mashed
  • 1 mango chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. In a bowl, whisk together the sugar, pastry flour, all purpose flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
  • Add the eggs, melted butter, then the mashed bananas and diced mango. Add the reserved dry ingredients and pecans and stir to combine. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan.
  • Bake until a rich, golden brown and the muffin start to pull away from the sides of the muffin tin, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool slightly, then invert onto the rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Please be nice. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission is prohibited. Feel free to excerpt and link, just give credit where credit is due and send folks to my website, virginiawillis.com. Thanks so much. 

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Virginia Willis

Georgia-born French-trained Chef Virginia Willis’ biography includes making chocolate chip cookies with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, foraging for berries in the Alaskan wilderness, harvesting capers in the shadow of a smoldering volcano in Sicily, and hunting for truffles in France. She is talent and chef-instructor for the digital streaming platform Food Network Kitchen. Her segments feature authentic and innovative Southern cooking. She was the celebrity chef at the Mansion at Churchill Downs for the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby. Virginia has spoken at SXSW, cooked for the James Beard Foundation, and beguiled celebrities such as Bill Clinton, Morgan Freeman, and Jane Fonda with her cooking — but it all started in her grandmother’s country kitchen. Recently, her work has been inspired by her weight loss success story, Virginia has lost 65# and kept it off for over 1 1/2 years! “If a French-trained, Southern chef can do it, you can, too.” She is the author of Fresh Start; Secrets of the Southern Table; Lighten Up, Y’all; Bon Appétit, Y’all; Basic to Brilliant, Y’all; Okra; and Grits. Lighten Up, Y’all won a James Beard Foundation Award of Excellence in the Focus on Health Category. Lighten Up, Y’all as well as her first cookbook, Bon Appétit, Y’all, were finalists in the Best American Cookbook for the International Association of Cookbook Awards and were also named by the Georgia Center of the Book as “Books Georgians Should Read.” She is the former TV kitchen director for Martha Stewart Living, Bobby Flay, and Nathalie Dupree; has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants; and traveled the world producing food stories – from making cheese in California to escargot farming in France. She has appeared on Food Network’s Chopped, CBS This Morning, Fox Family and Friends, Martha Stewart Living, and as a judge on Throwdown with Bobby Flay. She’s been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, People Magazine, Eater, and Food52 and has contributed to Eating Well, GRLSQUASH, Culture, Garden & Gun, and Bon Appétit, and more. The Chicago Tribune praised her as one of “Seven Food Writers You Need to Know.” Her legion of fans loves her down-to-earth attitude, approachable spirit, and traveling exploits. Her culinary consulting company, Virginia Willis Culinary Enterprises, Inc specializes in content creation, recipe development, culinary editorial and production services, cookbook writing, media training, spokesperson and brand representation, and public speaking. Virginia is on the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch Blue Ribbon Task Force, the Atlanta Community Food Bank Advisory Board, as well as the Community Farmers Market Advisory Board. She is a food and hunger advocate for No Kid Hungry and a premier member of the No Kid Hungry Atlanta Society. She a member of The James Beard Foundation, Chef’s Collaborative, Georgia Organics, and Southern Foodways Alliance.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Todd Gray

    Thank you for the recipe! Your ingredients list include all purpose flour with no mention of pastry flour. However, your instructions say to whisk the pastry flour and all purpose flour together. Can you please clarify? Thanks!

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