Happy Earth Day! I like to think that we’re pretty environmentally conscious around here. We have CFL and LED lighting pretty much everywhere, and I’m the crazy “turn that light off, we don’t own the electric company!” lady. We do our laundry in cold water using our high-efficiency washer, and we wait to run the dishwasher until it is bulging full. This attitude translates to the food we eat as well. Using meal planning, I plan meals with produce that I can obtain locally and in season whenever possible. Reusable shopping bags help me reduce the number of plastic bags we use, and make it possible for me to load myself up like a pack mule and carry the groceries into the house in one trip. I love home canning things like apple sauce when apples are locally abundant and sending it to school for snacks in reusable containers instead of buying it at the store and throwing away those little plastic cups with foil lids. Making our own bread eliminates the packaging and the food waste. I make stale bread into croutons, or French toast, or bread pudding instead of tossing it into the trash now that we have bread that I love in the house). Making things like tortillas and refried beans at home eliminates a lot of packaging waste as well.
So what happens when despite my best meal planning efforts, I have bananas hanging around, forgotten in the fruit bowl? Throwing them out wasn’t an option (even if these were mere hours from that or composting really being my only options) because not only is that wasteful, it’s not necessary. There are plenty of delicious things to make with over-ripe bananas, so I got out my mixing bowl. Banana bread seemed like a great idea, until I also saw the doughnut pan I had to have hanging around also forgotten while I rummaged around for the loaf pan. Peanut butter bananas sounded like way more fun for breakfast than banana bread, although banana bread slathered in butter or turned into French toast tops my list of favorite breakfast foods. After making these banana doughnuts, studded with peanut butter chips and topped with peanut butter frosting, those two items might have to move aside. O ate two of these for breakfast, two days in a row and Lane ate two of them before I told him they’re made with whole wheat flour. He almost didn’t believe me, and if I hadn’t made them myself I wouldn’t have believed it either. These are delicious even without the peanut butter frosting, but I can’t think of many breakfast foods I don’t love when peanut butter is involved. You can make these without a doughnut pan by either piping the batter onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet, or heaping a few tablespoons of batter on a parchment lined baking sheet and using your fingers or a spoon to make the hole in the center. They won’t be as pretty, but they’ll be every bit as tasty.
Peanut Butter Banana Doughnuts
for the doughnuts:
- 2 ripe bananas, mashed
- 2 egg whites
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil (or vegetable oil)
- 3/4 C. packed brown sugar
- 1 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
- 3/4 C. whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp. white sugar
- 1/2 C. peanut butter chips (or chocolate chips, optional)
for the frosting (optional):
- 1/2 C. peanut butter
- 2 Tbsp. milk
- 1/4-1/2 C. confectioner’s sugar (depending on how thick you want the icing)
Heat oven to 425 degrees.
Beat the bananas, egg whites, oil, and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until smooth.
Add the all-purpose flour, wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon, and mix to completely combine.
Stir in the peanut butter chips, if using.
Let the dough stand for 5 minutes.
To use a doughnut pan or to pipe the batter onto parchment lined baking sheets, transfer the batter to a large resealable bag and snip off a medium-sized piece of the bag’s corner. Spray the doughnut pan with non-stick cooking spray if using.
Pipe the batter into the cavities of the doughnut pan, filling each cavity approximately 2/3 full (you will have to complete this in batches if you have a 6 cavity doughnut pan), OR pipe approximately 3 Tbsp. of batter into circles on the prepared baking sheet. You can also pipe 3 Tbsp. of batter onto the baking sheet in piles and then use a buttered knife and your fingers to form doughnut holes in the center of each pile and smooth it into a round doughnut shape.
Sprinkle the sugar evenly over the tops of the doughnuts.
Bake for 7-8 minutes until edges are golden and the tops spring back when lightly pressed.
Remove to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
To make the frosting, whisk the peanut butter, milk, and 1/4 C. of the confectioner’s sugar together until smooth. Add additional confectioner’s sugar to reach your desired consistency.
Makes 12-15 doughnuts.