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Coconut oil is really good stuff. I’ve been using it a lot recently in baked goods, just for a change of pace, and it was a fantastic choice for these banana muffins with a tropical twist. I am not anti-butter, not by any stretch, but it’s nice to be comfortable using a variety of ingredients and good to know how various fats work in recipes you make often. For a while, I made muffins every Sunday morning, usually pumpkin, blueberry or cranberry, and I became very aware of how much butter and/or oil is called for in some of the recipes I wanted to try. I gravitate toward recipes which replace some fat with Greek yogurt; I like the texture and tang, and figure the boost of protein and lowered fat are not a bad thing. I have a few “fancy” recipes made with melted butter that seem like more of a dessert, and I can’t bring myself to make them for breakfast more than a couple times a year. I won’t bury the lead: my main concern is not staying away from butter or making fat-free muffins, but I do try to be conscious of *all* ingredients and use them in moderation. Knowing how to use butter, canola (or similar) oil, yogurt and coconut oil in different recipes is a handy kitchen skill. Let me tell you more about these banana muffins.

As many baked goods with banana go, I was spurred to make muffins by a particularly brown and fragrant trio in the fruit bowl. I was lucky to have some fresh pineapple in the refrigerator, though canned would work just as well. What goes better with banana and pineapple than coconut? I used a pretty standard base recipe I’ve been adapting for years; in this case, I substituted coconut oil for canola oil. Using coconut oil gives a hint of flavor to the muffins, but the banana is still the star. These tropical banana muffins are actually good the next day, which I love; give them a toast to really accentuate the coconut and pineapple flavors. They are easy to make, and I can’t think of a child who wouldn’t enjoy smashing some ripe bananas– you should treat your family to a tasty breakfast or snack this weekend.

tropical banana muffins with coconut and pineapple

Tropical Banana Muffins (makes 12 standard)

  • 3 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 c. coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 – 3/4 c. diced or crushed pineapple (drained if using canned)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 c. flour
  • unsweetened flaked coconut to garnish (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard 12 cup muffin pan with papers or grease each cup thoroughly with coconut oil or canola oil.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the mashed banana, sugar, egg and liquid coconut oil into a chunky but uniform mixture. Stir in the pineapple. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients; add to the wet ingredients and stir just until you can no longer see dry flour.

Distribute the batter evenly; each well in the muffin till should be about 3/4 full. Garnish with unsweetened flaked coconut if you like. Bake for 20-22 mins., rotating the tin 180 degrees after 10 mins. Cool slightly before serving. Store leftover muffins in a tightly covered container for up to three days.

tropical muffins just out of the oven