Let me tell you why I love these healthy whole wheat, banana nut muffins…
Because you can feel good about eating one for breakfast or an afternoon snack. A lot of muffin recipes are bakery-style sugar-bombs topped with sugar crumbs. Don’t get me wrong, they are delicious and there are plenty of times I find good reasons to indulge in one. But I really love muffins as a quick (and tasty) go-to snack option. That brings me to this healthy banana nut muffin that you can eat every day.
The first step to making a healthy muffin is to reduce the added sugar without losing that slight sweetness. I don’t want an afternoon sugar-crash when I eat a muffin, but I don’t want something that tastes like cardboard either . This recipe keeps the added sugar to a minimum with only 2 tsp of sugar per muffin, which is 1/3 of the daily recommended limit of 6 tsp per day.
The other way to make a this healthier, is to swap in more nutritious ingredients. An easy substitution is whole wheat flour for all-purpose. Also, while butter in small amounts isn’t bad for you, peanut butter offers a bit more nutrition, including a little protein. Lastly, nuts are good for your heart and offer other benefits, so we keep adding those in with almond milk and walnuts.
And for a little treat, toss in some dark-chocolate chips for those antioxidants. Hey, it’s in the name of good health, right?
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 Tbs baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup peanut butter
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¾ cup almond milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 bananas
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 375. Grease a muffin pan (no need for paper cups, the muffins slide out nicely). Get out 1 large mixing bowl and 2 medium ones.
- Mash bananas in one of the medium bowls. Chop walnuts.
- Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt in the large bowl.
- Mix together the peanut butter and brown sugar until creamy. Stir in the milk, mashed bananas, and vanilla until combined.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the flour-mixture bowl and stir just until combined. Overmixing creates tough muffins, so don't do that. Fold in walnuts if using.
- Scoop batter into the muffin tin to make 12 muffins. Bake for 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool slightly before eating.
- Type of peanut butter: I’ve tried this with Jif and with natural, organic peanut butter. Either can be used, they are interchangeable.
- Almond milk: other nut milks, or even regular milk can be used.
- Bananas: I typically use 3 medium bananas. I’ve made this with slightly more banana mash and it turns out the same, so you don’t have to worry about being exact here. You can also roast the bananas before mashing them to bring out a little more of their sweetness and reduce the brown sugar by a bit.
- Chocolate chips: you can add in chocolate chips, or swap them out with the walnuts. Dark-chocolate Ghiradelli chips are my favorite go-to – hey, they have antioxidants, right?
- Riff on it: Replacing some of the flour for oats could be quite tasty! Also, try adding a little cinnamon to the batter.
Inspiration for Banana Nut Muffins
These peanut butter & banana nut muffins come straight from the Thug Kitchen cookbook. I’ve made them at least half a dozen times over the past year and still look forward to making them when my bananas over-ripen.
The Thug Kitchen series of cookbooks are actually one of my favorites. The first thing that jumps out is the entertaining HBO-style commentary and instructions. After giggling out loud from reading the first few recipes, I realized the book also delivers on the promise of offering a no-nonsense approach to cooking. The recipes focus on healthy ingredient choices (without being militant), and keeps the procedures simple.