What I Love vs. What I Eat, vol. 3: Banana & Coconut

(For more on this once-and-future series, see this post.)

You’ve been to Nicky’s, right? You’ve tasted the absolute best tom kha soup in the city, of course. Oh, good. We can still be friends.

My always-meal at Nicky’s starts out with That Soup, followed by the grilled beef mint salad and accompanied by a pot of astounding ginger tea.

But there’s something else on their menu, something that I covet, something that surprises me. It’s something that I’ve shared with several of you after a lunch or dinner at dear Nicky’s, the perfect conclusion to our meal. On the menu, simply “banana with coconut roll”. You probably never even noticed it.

The dessert itself is not perfect. The ratio of banana to coconut is never exactly right, and the wonton wrapper is messy. But the combination of flavors is what gets me every time. Banana plus coconut. Of course.

I didn’t want to make an alternative banana with coconut roll. It’s not practical for everyday consumption. But I could take those flavors and use them to make whole wheat mini muffins, oh yes I could.

Banana Coconut Mini Muffins

2 cups whole wheat flour
5 ripe bananas
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon (or so) of vanilla extract
1 cup flaked coconut, sweetened
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
Nutmeg to taste

Mash bananas and mix thoroughly with sugar, egg and vanilla. Mix dry ingredients (except coconut) and add to bananas. Stir completely, then add coconut and stir again. Spoon into lined mini muffin tins. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees. Makes 36 muffins.

Now, get this: original dessert is fried, and definitely not diet-friendly. But these little guys clock in at about 50 calories a piece, and they’re perfect with an egg for breakfast. Next time I might really let my hair down and add coconut extract, too.

Nutritional information for one mini-muffin (1/36 of recipe): 51 calories, .9 grams fat, 6 mg cholesterol, 94.3 mg sodium, 10.4 grams carbs, 1.1 gram fiber, 5.7 grams sugar, .9 grams protein.

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