Food is more than its collection of nutrients or nourishment for our body. We have an emotional connection to our food that is rooted in our memories of past experiences. Food can evoke all of our senses and bring back memories from throughout our lifetime. Food and meals also have the ability to bring forth an amazing sense of security and the soul nourishing comforts of home. Not only do these foods taste scrumptious with every bite, but they dig deep into our emotions and bring up feelings of joy and coziness.
Many foods bring me comfort, but in particular, I enjoy the simple flavours of peanut butter and banana. I clearly remember enjoying a PB&B sandwich as a kid. Sometimes I still enjoy this for breakfast but now it’s on whole grain toast with slathers of melty natural peanut butter and bananas sliced on the angle for a little extra fun. To fill my craving for some comforts of home, I created this tasty combination of moist Banana Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Icing.
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 3-4 ripe bananas)
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare muffin tin by greasing with oil or lining with paper liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture.
In another bowl or large liquid measure, stir together oil, mashed bananas, eggs and vanilla. Pour into the well in the flour mixture and stir just until combined. Divide batter between muffin cups. Muffin cups will be about 3/4 full.
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the centre of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool 5 minutes on a cooling rack and then remove cupcakes from muffin tin and cool completely on a cooling rack. Once cool, spread with Peanut Butter Icing (see below). Decorate with a banana slice, chopped peanuts or for a unique flavour twist: a sprinkle of unsweetened shredded coconut.
Natural Peanut Butter Icing
I make peanut butter icing with natural peanut butter. I think it gives the icing a more pea-nutty flavour and it’s less sweet.
Makes about 2 cups or enough for 12 cupcakes with a little bit extra.
1 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup icing sugar
2 tbsp milk, soy or rice beverage
pinch of salt
In an electric mixer at medium speed, cream peanut butter and butter together until smooth and creamy. Add icing sugar alternately with milk, soy or rice beverage. Season with a pinch of salt.