Healthy Banana Nut Muffins are the perfect make-ahead snack the entire family will love. These muffins are moist, delicious, and gluten-free. This easy banana muffin recipe comes together in under 30 minutes and uses only one bowl. Make a batch to freeze for a quick healthy breakfast or after school snack.
Having healthy breakfast or snack recipes that are within reach, portable, and made ahead of time is essential in keeping up with our lifestyle.
These healthy banana nut muffins check all of those boxes. As a bonus, these muffins are gluten-free and one of the most delicious banana muffin recipes you’ll ever make.
I know that’s a big statement to make, but it’s true.
These muffins have a mix of banana and caramel-like flavors with a texture so tender you won’t believe these are good for you.
I love making a batch on the weekend to enjoy during the week. These easy banana muffins barely last two days!
Reasons You’ll Love These Healthy Banana Nut Muffins
- No refined sugar – The sweetness comes from ripe bananas and coconut palm sugar; that’s it!
- Easy to make – All of the ingredients get mixed using just one bowl!
- Gluten-free – Oat flour takes the place of all-purpose or whole wheat flour to create a tender and delicious gluten-free muffin recipe.
- Make-ahead and freeze – These banana muffins freeze nicely and come to room temperature fast for a quick breakfast or snack. I’ll give more meal prep tips below.
Mashed ripe bananas – I use 1 ½ cups of mashed banana, which is about three medium bananas.
Unsalted butter – Butter provides a rich flavor and creates a tender texture. However, you can use coconut or olive oil too.
Oat flour – Oat flour is my favorite flour to use in gluten-free recipes. I haven’t tried almond flour, so I’m not sure if that will work. If you prefer to use all-purpose flour or whole wheat, flour then substitute 1:1 in place of the oat flour.
Coconut palm sugar – Instead of using refined sugar, I use coconut palm sugar. Coconut palm sugar is an unrefined brown sugar, and it’s quickly become a favorite. This sugar gives the banana muffins a delicious caramel flavor.
Pure vanilla extract and cinnamon – I use both vanilla and cinnamon to add more flavor to the muffins.
Salt – I use a little salt to enhance the sweetness and make all of the flavors pop.
Baking soda – I use baking soda as a leavening agent to help the muffins rise.
Eggs – I use eggs as a leavening agent and bind the rest of the ingredients together.
Chopped walnuts – I add ½ of a cup of walnuts. That’s the perfect amount to get a crunch in every bite. I also light to sprinkle a few on top before baking in the oven.
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These healthy banana nut muffins will keep on the counter in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
After two days, store the muffins in the refrigerator to stay fresh for up to a week.
You warm up the muffins in the microwave or let them sit on the counter for 20 minutes or so until they come up to room temperature.
These banana nut muffins have a lot of moisture because of the mashed ripe banana. However, I do follow two essential tips when baking muffins.
The first tip is don’t overmix the batter. After you add the dry ingredients, slowly mix the ingredients just until combined.
The second and most important tip is don’t overbake the muffins. That’s the best way to dry out a muffin.
A muffin is perfectly cooked when you can stick a toothpick into the center and crumbs stick to it.
I never use liners when making this banana nut muffin recipe. Instead, I coat the muffin tin with cooking spray before adding the batter.
If you want to use liners, I recommend picking up these silicone muffin liners.
The best bananas to mash are ripe bananas. A ripe banana has brown spots on the skin and is soft.
The more ripe a banana is, the darker and more prevalent the spots will be.
Also, a very ripe banana will be much sweeter and perfect for banana bread or muffin recipes.
To mash bananas, first remove and discard the skin. Then put the ripe bananas into a bowl and, using the back of a fork, mash the bananas until it has a pudding consistency and most of the larger lumps are gone.
You can also use a potato masher to mash the bananas.
To freeze bananas then follow these instructions.
Substitute a variety of nuts. Walnuts are the nuts most often found in classic banana nut muffin recipes.
However, use any of your favorite nuts. Pecans are delicious in this recipe.
Leave the nuts out – If you’re allergic to nuts or want to lower the fat and calories, then leave the nuts out of this recipe.
You can substitute the nuts for chocolate chips too!
Substitute different flours – I’ve made this muffin recipe with all-purpose flour, white whole wheat flour, wheat flour, and oat flour. All can be substituted using a 1:1 ratio.
Like I said, I haven’t made this with almond flour or other flours but give it a try and let me know how it works out.
Substitute coconut oil for butter. If you want to make a vegan banana muffin, just swap out the butter for ¼ cup melted coconut oil.
Some people use olive oil in muffin recipes, but I haven’t, so I can’t speak to whether that’s a good substitute.
Don’t add the hot melted butter directly in with eggs cause they will scramble. Slowly mix it in after you stir all of the wet ingredients together.
Don’t forget the butter. I can’t tell you the number of times I melted butter on the stove or in the microwave and then forget to put it in.
So, I’m adding this to the cooking notes as a friendly reminder.
How to Make Healthy Banana Nut Muffins
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, add the banana and mash until it transforms into a pudding-like consistency. Then use a whisk to mix in the eggs, vanilla, and coconut palm sugar until blended and smooth.
Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon on top of the wet ingredients. Then use a spatula to mix the ingredients just until combined.
Measure out ½ cup of chopped walnuts and then remove a couple of tablespoons to sprinkle on top of the muffins. Add the walnuts to the batter and stir 2-3 times.
Spray a muffin pan with cooking spray and divide the batter between the 12 muffin cups. You’ll fill each cup just about to the top. Sprinkle each muffin with the leftover walnuts.
Put the banana muffins into a 350-degree oven and bake for 17 -18 minutes.
Remove the muffins from the oven and let them cool for 2-3 minutes in the pan. Then remove from the muffin pan and place the muffins on a cooling rack to finish cooling.
Meal Prep & Storing Instructions
These healthy banana nut muffins can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
To freeze the muffins, after they cool wrap individually in plastic wrap and then place them together into a large labeled freezer bag.
If you don’t want to use plastic wrap then flash freeze the muffins and once they are frozen place them into a large labeled freezer bag and freeze.
Frozen muffins take about 15-20 minutes to thaw on the counter. You can also heat them up in the microwave for 1-2 minutes or until heated through.
Healthy Banana Nut Muffins
- Large mixing bowl
- Muffin pan
- Cooling rack
- 1 1/2 cups cups mashed banana 3 medium bananas
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar can substitute brown sugar
- 1 3/4 cup oat flour can substitute white whole wheat or wheat flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts save 2 tablespoons to sprinkle on top of the muffins.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- If you haven't already mashed the bananas then add the whole bananas into a large bowl and mash until it forms into a pudding-like consistency. Then whisk together the mashed banana, eggs, vanilla, and coconut palm sugar until blended and smooth.
- Slowly stir in the melted butter.
- In the same bowl, on top of the wet ingredients, add the oat flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
- Slowly stir just until all of the ingredients are combined, don't over mix.
- Add the walnuts and stir 2-3 times until the nuts are evenly distributed. Don't forget to save a couple of tablespoons of the walnuts to sprinkle on top.
- Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray. Then divide the batter among the 12 muffin cups. Sprinkle the saved walnuts on top of the muffins.
- Bake for 17-18 minutes. The muffins are done when you can insert a toothpick and there's no batter but only crumbs that stick to it.
- Let the muffins cool in the pan for about 3 minutes.
- Remove the muffins from the pan and place them onto a wire rack to finish cooling. Enjoy!