Virginia Willis Blog

Turning Old into New: Banana Mango Muffins

Banana Mango Muffins on

Preventing Food Waste

I have a near daily ritual in that I scope out the fridge and repurpose what needs to be eaten, compost what needs to go, and freeze what needs to chill out until a later date. I make stock of some sort from those bits and pieces that make sense. And, of course, there’s a small amount that’s past its prime. It’s a smart habit, one that I heartily encourage.

Cooking from scratch can be expensive. I know I’m guilty of being seduced by produce at the farmer’s market or a sale at our local co-op. I know I wind up with more than we can eat every now and then. Other than a goal of not creating scary science experiments, I strongly feel it’s a crime to waste food, and an expensive one, too.

Recently, we had a lot of friends and family in town and after the dust cleared I spent a day puttering about the kitchen and turning old into new. Nearly limp vegetables were grilled for salad, slightly bruised berries and stone fruits were made into smoothies, and we enjoyed the treat of freshly cooked pole beans for lunch. 

Banana Mango Muffins on

Banana Mango Muffins

Overly ripe fruit can be tricky. I am pretty persnickety about bananas. I only eat bright yellow and firm bananas. I had to take a medicine when I was a little girl that was banana flavored. The result? For most of my life, I have despised bananas. I saw the light and changed my ways a few years ago. Now, I always keep bananas in the kitchen and when I have bananas past their prime, I make banana bread.

It’s also an easy and automatic way to transform brown, spotty, mushy fruit into a delicious quick bread or muffins. We also had a mango left over from my recent business trip to Florida, so I chopped it up and added it to the batter, as well. Since I added the mango and knew it would contribute moisture, I also knew I needed to back off on the butter. By the way, if you don’t have whole wheat pastry flour, you can solely use all-purpose.

Fruit flies be gone! With just a little effort I had breakfast muffins for the family. Reuse, reduce, recycle — and rethink. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did.

I’ve been pretty busy with my column Down-Home Comfort  for Food Network. Please check it out. I am absolutely loving it! And, take a look at the recent Q&A in Taste of the South magazine where I talk about my newfound love of Matzoh Ball Soup and what makes a good tomato sandwich. Lastly,  I’m  in pretty good company with Mario Batali, Chris Costentino, and Elizabeth Karmel in Redbook’s 30 Days of Grilling so make sure to take a look at the slideshow for great ideas for cooking outdoors.

Bon Appétit Y’all! 


Banana Mango Muffin on



Banana Mango Muffin on


  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 3 ripe bananas mashed
  • 1 mango chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. In a bowl, whisk together the sugar, pastry flour, all purpose flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
  2. Add the eggs, melted butter, then the mashed bananas and diced mango. Add the reserved dry ingredients and pecans and stir to combine. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan.
  3. Bake until a rich, golden brown and the muffin start to pull away from the sides of the muffin tin, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool slightly, then invert onto the rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Please be nice. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission is prohibited. Feel free to excerpt and link, just give credit where credit is due and send folks to my website, Thanks so much.


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Copyright © 2014 Virginia Willis Culinary Enterprises, Inc.

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