As moms, we’re always trying to come up with healthy snacks that our kids actually want to eat. This is why I love the humble muffin. There are so many ways to add healthy ingredients, and your kids just think they’re eating a tasty treat. Muffins are easy to bake and when you make a big batch like these, you can freeze extras for another week, which is an awesome time saver for busy parents. I love packing mini muffins into the kids’ lunch boxes for their school day snacks or serving them for breakfast or after school with a favorite nut butter spread on top for a little extra nutrition.
I love this recipe, as it uses a mix of whole wheat and white flour. The combo adds extra fiber and nutrients from the whole wheat, while the white flour keeps them from getting too heavy. Bananas add a lot of natural sweetness so you don’t need much sugar, plus the bananas are loaded with fiber, potassium and vitamins B6 and C. Between the eggs, yogurt, and whole wheat, there’s plenty of protein too, making these a healthy and satisfying snack.
Scroll down to the bottom of the recipe for tips and swaps for making your other muffin recipes even healthier.
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3-4 very ripe bananas – 1 ½ cups once mashed
- ½ cup pure cane sugar
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 3 extra large eggs OR 2 jumbo eggs
- 1 Tablespoon ground flax + 2 Tablespoons water
- ¼ cup oil – avocado, canola or safflower oils – plus a little extra for the baking tin
- 1 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- ½ - ¾ cup chocolate chips or chopped bittersweet chocolate
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- In a small to medium size bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients.
- In a larger bowl, mash the bananas into a puree with the back of a fork, next mix in the remaining wet ingredients.
- Slowly mix the dry ingredients into the banana mixture, starting with about ½ of dry mix and then adding in the rest.
- Stir to fully combine.
- Next chop the walnuts and chocolate chips if using, and mix into the batter.
- Now, prepare your muffin tins – pour about a teaspoon of oil into one well of the muffin tin and using a silicone pastry brush or paper towel, brush the oil into each well of the pan. Alternatively, use paper liners, but I often find more of the muffin sticks to the paper than to the pan.
- Place filled muffin tins into the oven on the center rack. Bake regular size muffins about 24 minutes at 325°F and mini muffins for about 13 minutes, until a toothpick poked through the center comes out clean.
- Allow to cool for a few minutes in the muffin tin and then remove and place on a wire rack.
- These Banana Muffins will keep well in an airtight container for up to 1 week. They also freeze beautifully in a zip top bag.
- Makes about 20-22 regular size muffins or 48 mini muffins (perfect for a classroom treat or party) or 12 regular size plus 24 mini muffins which is usually what I make.
- Note: the calorie and nutritional info listed here is for one muffin based on 20 regular size muffins baked.
Baking tips and notes:
1 – Don’t you hate it when there’s just a little extra muffin batter? When this happens to me (pretty much always!), instead of using another muffin tin or waiting until one batch finishes baking, I just pour the extra batter into an oven safe ramekin or two and bake away.
2 – A lot of schools or classrooms have a no nuts rule. In that case ,leave out the nuts all together or bake half the batch without nuts and the other half with. I usually add nuts to my bigger muffins and eat those at home or give them to my husband to bring to work and then bake the minis with no nuts for the kids to bring to school.
3 – Freezing extra muffins is great, especially with a recipe like this that makes so many! Wait until your muffins cool completely and then place in an airtight container or zip top bag, and carefully squeeze out all the air. Place in the freezer. I take muffins directly from the freezer, place in a small container and send off to school with the kids. By the time lunch or snack time arrives, the muffins are completely defrosted and perfect to eat.
4 – Making other muffin recipes healthier is easy with just a few swaps. Try replacing up to half the white flour with whole wheat pastry flour (it’s lighter in texture than regular whole wheat). Add in some fruit. Mashed banana, avocado or apple sauce can replace some of the butter or oil. Throw in some blueberries, chopped cranberries or apricots. Replace some of the milk, butter or oil with low fat plain yogurt. This not only reduces the fat, but adds in healthy protein and calcium and keeps your muffins extra moist and delicious. Nuts and seeds are another great addition for adding in extra protein, fiber, healthy fat, vitamins and minerals. Try reducing the amount of sugar. Start out by reducing about a quarter of the sugar, and if nobody notices, you can try reducing even more the next time you bake the recipe.
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