“Nutty Canadian” Banana Muffins

A decadent muffin with peanut butter, bananas, and maple syrup. Yes. Maple Syrup. Heaven.

Johnny Depp Freaking outSo it’s that time of year folks – midterms are in full swing, and students everywhere are entering panic mode. As a fourth year, with a bad case of senioritus even my panic is a little half-assed and indifferent, but it’s showing up in the same stereotypical form as always.Not sure if I'm calm because Baked goods. I bought bananas about two weeks ago, with the intent of waiting for them to go brown so I could bake with them. This kind of procrastination takes a lot of planning folks. So I patiently waited every day for them to get just brown enough. Then I patiently waited to have five minutes to do something with them. Midterms are finally done, and while I had at least 10 other things awaiting my attention last night when I got home, these bananas were my first priority.

I needed to break the breakfast rut I’ve been in as of late, so muffins were top of my list of what to do with these very ugly looking but very delicious bananas. I  published a muffin recipe back in the fall, but I wanted something more decadent this time. Sneakily decadent. So sneaky that they ended up being healthy again. So I thought back to late summer, when to say thank you to my grandparents for coming down and helping with the taming of my backyard, I made them the most delicious peanut butter banana loaf. Now we’re getting really good. But there was still a certain, je ne sais quoi, missing. Standing with the fridge door open, it dawned on me – I AM CANADIAN! And out came the maple syrup. Perfect.

nutty canadian muffin two plateThe resulting muffin is sweet and rich, thanks to the peanut butter and maple syrup,  and still very healthy thanks to the oats, bananas, and yogurt. The peanut butter gives a hefty dose of protein, the milk and yogurt give a nice dose of calcium, the bananas are chock full of potassium, and oats have been shown to lower “bad” cholesterol. So yeah, I found a way to have my cake and eat it too.

As an added bonus, I took this chance to break out my beautiful new Ninja Mega Kitchen System. Using a food processor instead of a hand mixer made this easier than normal and ensured that there would be no batter flung into strange corners of my kitchen. Score one for me. You do need to make sure you don’t over mix once you’ve added the wet ingredients as you will end up with a tough, dense muffin, but it definitely saves time and effort.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 cups oats (quick cooking, not instant)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425F and grease 12 muffin tins.
  2. Mix egg, vanilla, and brown sugar in a medium bowl.
  3. Add peanut butter, milk, and bananas and combine until smooth.

    You'll get something like this!

    You’ll get something like this!

  4. Combine dry ingredients, except the chocolate chips, in the food processor and pulse a few times to get it all mixed together.nutty canadian dry
  5. Add the wet mixture to the food processor and mix until just combined. Remove the blade and fold in chocolate chips.nutty canadian batter from top
  6. Spoon into muffin tins, filling right to the top and bake for 5 minutes at 425F, then 15 minutes at 350F, or until toothpick comes out clean.

nutty canadian singler nutty canadian stackBon Appetit!

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Psych Student Syndrome, the DSM, and How this Ended in Baked Goods

The aftermath of this baking blitz.

“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

– Jiddu Krishnamurti

Before you start reading this post, you should know that I may have ADHD, OCD, multiple anxiety disorders, and I may have discovered a few phobias I didn’t know I had before the last few weeks.

I don’t actually, but see problem is that I have Psychology Student Syndome (PSS). Which is the psychology version of Medical Student Syndrome. I will never forget the day my first year applied psych professor warned us as we read the overviews of the classes of psychological disorders to not start self-diagnosing.

Which I didn’t until about 5 minutes later, when… OH MY GOD! I’VE GOT OCD??!?!?

Fortunately other than the minor blip I stopped that nasty habit.

For a while.

Until Psychopathology. And then you really start picking up on random symptoms that you recognize lie within your behaviour repertoire, cognitive habits, or problem areas. For a while there I was almost convinced I had early onset Alzheimer’s. REALLY early onset. All because I kept forgetting things at home and losing things inside my house. Yeah, it was really bad.

I calmed myself down after the course was over, until last week when we started discussing ADHD in my Disorders of Children and Adolescents class. All of a sudden every time I glanced away from the textbook, ironically, the chapter on ADHD, I got lost in a sea of thoughts where I recalled every time I got distracted reading the textbook, or forgot to respond to someone’s text or email.

I actually was at the point where I contemplated going to my doctor. I spent the entire weekend convincing myself that despite the fact that I couldn’t focus on the readings to save my life, that I did not have symptoms of inattention at the ADHD level.

I am hoping that somewhere in grad school they will convert me into a certified sane person. Or at least will teach me how to recognize when I have officially lost my mind versus just think I have. Who knows by the time I graduate the definition of half the mental disorders may have changed.

Did you know that in the first two editions of the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the Bible of Psychology) actually classed homosexuality as “sociopathic personality disturbance”? This wasn’t changed until 1974, when it was modified to “sexual orientation disturbance.” Whatever that means. And before you go blaming psychology for this – it was really a symbol of the current cultural attitudes.

The first attempt at gather statistics on the mentally ill was the 1840 census. It listed a single category – “idiocy/insanity” – apparently being stupid was synonymous with crazy which was synonymous with “not like us”. I should check with Merriam Webster on that one. The last system used by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) prior to the DSM, consisted of 22 categories (1917), and when the DSM was first released in 1952, it was only 130 pages with 106 mental disorders.

DSM-I to DSM-IV-TR

DSM-I to DSM-IV-TR

I found this on Twitter a few weeks ago  - thanks @Runs4Coffee

I found this on Twitter a few weeks ago – thanks @Runs4Coffee

Today, the newly published and highly controversial DSM-5, has 947 pages, and over 300 mental disorders, including 15 new disorders. Including “Caffeine Withdrawal.” Crap. There’s another disorder on the list. Though apparently this, as well as Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, is on the “we still have to study this one” list. Also added to the DSM-5 is  “Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder” which to me sounds like “excessive temper tantrum disorder” but I haven’t read the research yet so no one yell at me yet. I mean the changes I am sure are good. Except the fact that none of my professors are willing to use the DSM-5, and insist on sticking with the DSM-IV-TR. Because that’s a good sign.

 

If you’re curious about some of the other disorders added: check out either the APA website, or this article from the Wall Street Journal.

So needless to say, it has been an interesting and mildly stressful couple of weeks. October  is also midterm month. And Grad School Applications month. Which means it is also Beg-and-plead-with-random-strangers-in-an-attempt-to-secure-grad-school month. And Scholarships Application month. So all together, if you’ve followed me since the beginning or hit up the archives, this spells baking. Lots and lots of baking.

On the menu this week? Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins and Oatmeal Chocolate Cheesecake Cookies.

The aftermath of this baking blitz.

The aftermath of this baking blitz.

With Turkey Day coming I’m working on my hollow leg, so I gave most of the cookies away to Aaraf’s lab (I felt bad, last time they all shared ONE of the cookies because Aaraf had already eaten them all). The other 16 12 cookies are calling to me though.

And this whole time, yes I have been mentally creating a parody for “Milkshakes” about these cookies. Yeah, you wish you were as cool as me.