Do you ever go searching for a recipe online and get totally overwhelmed by the sheer volume of recipes? I feel like I could spend hours finding what I'm looking for and it's hard knowing if a recipe is going to come out the way I want it to. I usually go for recipes with good ratings and read the reviews but even then it can feel like a shot in the dark.
To demonstrate how different recipes can be, I decided to make three batches of banana muffins (mostly due to the fact that 14 ripe bananas were left at our house - Thanks Jenny!). Each recipe came up on the first page of googling "banana bread" and had a 5 star rating. They all had the base of bananas, eggs and flour but each one varied the rest of the ingredients pretty significantly. I made almost no modifications to the recipes. I decided to rate the muffins on appearance, texture and taste.
Recipe #1 from Food.com: Basic recipe. I added mini chocolate chips to this one
- Appearance: (5 stars) Classic banana bread muffin. These browned perfectly and came out with the classic split tops
- Texture: (5 stars) Moist with the outside similar to the inside
- Taste: (5 stars) These are quite rich so one muffin feels like a full meal. You can taste the banana and there is a lot of flavor.
Recipe #2 from MyRecipes.com: Less butter than #1 and more flour but also includes yogurt.
- Appearance: (4 stars) These turned out much lighter than I was expecting and a little on the hard side
- Texture: (3 stars) Hard on the outside and a little dry on the inside which was surprising with the addition of the yogurt.
- Taste: (4 stars) Much blander than #1 but still had a good banana flavor. They were even better with a little butter on top.
Recipe #3 from Food.com: This is the low-fat version of the banana muffin. It doesn't have any butter or oil in it and replaces it with applesauce
- Appearance: (3 stars) These look like they have oats in them but they don't. I think the lumpy look came from the applesauce (I used chunky)
- Texture: (3 stars) Very moist... almost too moist
- Taste: (4 stars) These taste really good but the texture and flavor don't fully pull off the banana muffin. Great alternative if you are looking for a low fat muffin but definitely not traditional
Overall, Recipe #1 was the clear winner. The thing that surprised me the most about this little experiment was the drastic difference in appearance of the three muffins with them all starting with a similar base. All of them tasted good and would be a decent muffin on it's own but once you start comparing, it's crazy how different they can be.