90% of the time I reserve the bacon for lazy Sunday mornings, when I don’t have to pay attention to the clock and I can putz around in my pyjamas, brew a big pot of tea, and make a leisurely breakfast that almost always involves eggs in some way or another.
It’s not that bacon is time consuming to make – I guess I could whip some up on an early Tuesday morning if I was desperate – it’s just that it generally isn’t something you should eat every day. I hear people say it’s fattening and not-so-healthy.
To those people, I say… SO?
Bacon is bacon. I would eat it every day if I could. The only reason I save it for the weekends is because, honestly, I find it too messy. If I fry it, bacon grease flies everywhere and covers my black stovetop with greasy streaks.
Side note: whoever thought to make black stovetops? WHAT WERE YOU THINKING. Black stovetops highlight every spec of grease and food and dirt and get streaky when wiped down. Can I replace my stove with a white one? Please?
My point here is that bacon is messy. It’s tasty and delicious and fatty and crispy in a pure perfection kinda way, but it’s messy. My solution? Trade the frying pan with a baking sheet and bake the bacon instead. Bake the bacon? It’s almost meant to be.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, place the bacon strips on the foil, and bake at 400°F for 20 minutes until crispy. If you really want to be fancy with it, place a wire rack on the baking sheet, then lay the bacon on the wire rack so that the grease drips down into the pan but the actual bacon gets nice and crispy on all sides.
Also, when you bake the bacon, you can do a whole bunch at once rather than a few strips at a time. I don’t know about you, but I find that pretty dang convenient.
These muffins came about when I found myself with too many frozen bananas sitting in my freezer and a bunch of leftover bacon. Leftover bacon is usually an oxymoron, but in this case, I needed something to do with it (besides eating it straight).
These muffins, despite the bacon, are actually pretty healthy. They’re packed with wheat bran (fiber!), greek yogurt (protein!), bananas (potassium!), and whole-wheat flour (more fiber!), and contain no trace of oil or butter. Even still, they’re incredibly moist and fluffy, even several days after baking.
You don’t even have to add the bacon on top, because they’re just as good by themselves. But when you can add bacon, why wouldn’t you?
Don’t let the bran scare you away. Bran muffins definitely don’t have to be dry and boring.
|Banana Bacon Bran Muffins|| |
- 6 slices low sodium bacon
- 1⅓ cup mashed bananas (about 3 large)*
- ½ cup wheat bran
- ⅓ cup greek yogurt
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- ¾ cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp reserved bacon grease (optional)**
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place bacon strips on top. Cook for 15-20 minutes until bacon is cooked and crispy. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and pat off any excess fat; set aside. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease to add to the batter later (if desired).
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the bananas, wheat bran, and yogurt. Let sit for 5 minutes as you continue on with the recipe (this will soften up the bran).
- In a separate small bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt; set aside.
- Stir in egg, sugar, vanilla, and bacon grease (if using) into the bran mixture until smooth. Add in dry ingredients, stirring until just combined.
- Spoon batter into two lightly greased muffin tins, filling about ¾ of the way full. Crumble bacon on top of the batter, pressing down lightly to make sure the bacon sits inside the batter. Bake for 14-18 minutes until the tops spring back to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
**Adding a bit of the bacon grease to the batter lends a nice bacon-y flavour to the muffin itself, but it's not required. Feel free to omit if you prefer.