Written and developed by Cathy Collins

…But his favorite food inspired me. According to legend Elvis Presley loved grilled peanut butter and banana sandwiches.  It has been said he added bacon to those sandwiches.  Who knows how much truth there is to any myth or legend… the information is lost and all we have is a recounting of tales.  It is your choice whether to believe the story or not.  In any case, Elvis is an American Icon and his favorite snack is legendary.  You may or may not be a fan of his music, his life or his legacy.  That doesn’t matter.  What does matter is that the Elvis Muffins (yes, bacon is included in the recipe, but entirely optional… but be adventurous, give it a try).  These muffins are made almost entirely from Food Pantry Finds and can be made as a sugar free treat too, so anyone watching their sugar intake can eat them.

Aside from peanut butter and banana sandwiches and muffins, there is no end to uses for peanut butter and the Food Finders Food Bank, Inc. has pallets full of it. My father ate toasted peanut butter and bacon sandwiches.  Those are surprisingly pretty good.  I used nearly a whole jar of it making the PB&J coffee cake. Triple XXX Family Restaurant even puts peanut butter (and pickles and onions) on a cheeseburger.

From time to time we see ripe bananas at the pantries, some of them approaching overripe.  The problem arises when there isn’t enough time to make banana bread or banana cake.  I found a solution for those almost too ripe bananas and a limit on my time to cook.  Just freeze them. Peeling whole frozen bananas presents a time consuming, rather sticky challenge. I’ve found it’s easier to peel them, break them into 2 or 3 smaller pieces, put them in a freezer bag and then into the freezer.  I can usually fit 2-3 bananas in a quart sized bag and that’s a perfect number for making banana bread.

Once frozen, the bananas can be used in banana bread, banana cake, banana pancakes, or anywhere you need mashed bananas.  Dole sells frozen dark chocolate covered banana slices for about $3.50 for a box of 24 slices (http://www.dole.com/Products/Dippers/Banana-Dippers).  Why not make your own? Make it a little better; add a dollop of peanut butter to each banana slice. You can get a bag of dark chocolate chips for less than $2.50 and the bananas for free (and there will be more than 24 slices)!  Add a little prep time and temporary freezer space and you have a great snack.

Use the frozen bananas in smoothies. They give the smoothie a creamy, thick milkshake-like consistency.  One of our favorite smoothies is a peanut butter-banana-chocolate chip smoothie.  My kids love it and I don’t mind giving this kind of “milkshake” for breakfast.  It’s full of healthy foods like peanut butter, bananas and yogurt.  We even justify the chocolate by using dark chocolate when we can get it. Bananas keep for several months in the freezer, so the next time there are pounds and pounds of very ripe bananas, don’t pass them up.

All of this talk about peanut butter and bananas makes me hungry.  I guess it’s time to get a hold of my daughter/photographer and get back to the kitchen.

Elvis Muffins Recipe

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