whole wheat banana muffins

Delicious and Healthy Whole Wheat Banana Muffins with Walnuts

Muffins are a quick and easy breakfast food, but homemade muffins are even better. This recipe for whole wheat banana muffins is healthy, moist, dairy-free, and, most importantly, easy to make. Banana nut muffins are a great way to use up ripened bananas to avoid putting them in the trash. It’s a great way to escape from the routine of banana bread or smoothies.

These banana muffins use healthier ingredients compared to conventional muffin recipes, while still delivering a quality indulgence. Whole chunks of banana and crunch from the nuts add texture that will delight. 

whole wheat banana nut muffins close up picture

Below, I explain the functionality and purpose of each ingredient used in this recipe as well as any variations you can try. Learn basic food science skills while you bake a healthy recipe and reduce your food waste. 

Tip: You can save the banana peels and soak them in water for a few days to give to house plants or just compost them. 

Equipment:

  • Standing mixer – Hand mixer or mixing by hand will also work
  • Muffin trays
  • Wooden spoon or rubber spatula
  • Ice cream scoop (optional)

Step by Step Guide for How to Make Whole Wheat Banan Nut Muffins

Whole Wheat Banana Muffins Nutrition

Each muffin has about 280 calories. When paired with fruit or yogurt, this makes a great addition as a breakfast treat. Using whole wheat flour adds protein and fiber to the muffins. Coming in at 4g of protein per muffin and 4g of fiber per muffin as well. Using fat and nuts means each muffin has ~17g of fat with ~14g of sugar per muffin. While these are not considered healthy, they are a healthier alternative to conventional muffins that use all-purpose flour.

banana nut muffins recipe nutrition facts panel

Whole Wheat Banana Muffins: Ingredient Highlights

Whole Wheat Flour

  • Less Refined than All-purpose flour
  • More nutrition in whole wheat flour including fiber, protein, iron, 
  • Provides earthy flavor
  • Whole wheat flour has a shorter shelf life than all-purpose flour, so you can use this recipe over and over again!

Brown Sugar

  • Dark Brown Sugar vs Light Brown Sugar
    • Dependent on the content of molasses in the sugar
    • Dark Brown sugar has more molasses while light brown sugar has less
    • Molasses is the syrup made as a by-product of sugar extraction
  • Not as refined as granulated sugar, and contains trace minerals
  • Don’t recommend as a source for nutrition because we should limit our refined sugar intake

Bananas

  • Bananas are high in sugar, and have high glycemic load
  • Bananas add sweetness without adding refined sugar 
  • Green bananas have more fiber in them than regular bananas
  • Ripened bananas (older bananas) are best for cooking as they release the most water and have higher sugar content

Eggs

  • Eggs serve three purposes
    • Leavening
    • Emulsifying
    • Texture
  • Can use a vegan alternative such as aquafaba (also known as chickpea broth) or flax-meal, but disclaimer we haven’t tested the recipes. 

Walnuts

  • Add texture as well as protein
  • Whole walnuts can be expensive, buy them in pieces from stores like Trader Joe’s or Imperfect Foods. This saves on your cost and prevents food waste!
  • If you have whole nuts of any variety, chop them up into bite-size pieces

Vegetable oil

  • In the US, vegetable oil is very sustainable due to its small food miles footprint
  • Most times made from corn or soybean oil
  • Grown domestically and processed domestically
  • Avocado oils and coconut oils have much larger carbon footprints and coconut can impart a coconut flavor to the finished product.
  • These oils are also very expensive
  • You can sub for olive oil but it may impart some flavor 
  • Soybean oil and corn oil both have very neutral flavors. 
whole wheat banana muffins

Whole Wheat Banana Muffins with Walnuts

Print Recipe
Course Breakfast
Keyword Whole Wheat Muffins
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 14 minutes
Servings 12
Author Kelly D’Amico

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Whole Wheat Flour 2 cups
  • 4 Bananas ripened
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup Vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon 1 tsp
  • 1.5 tsp Baking soda
  • 0.5 tsp Salt .5 tsp
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Walnuts optional

Instructions

  • Pre-heat oven to 375ºF
  • Spray muffin tray with a non-stick spray like PAM®
  • Take two bananas from the set and place them in a standing mixer with the paddle attachment
  • Mix on low speed until mashed
  • Cream together bananas and brown sugar until smooth and homogenous (about 2 minutes)
  • Add eggs one at a time while the mixer is going
  • Then add vegetable oil slowly while mixing.
  • In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients including whole wheat flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon
  • Blend or Whisk dry ingredients together until homogenous
  • Combine dry ingredients 1 cup at a time while blending, adding when fully incorporated
  • Add Vanilla extract, mix, and turn off the mixer
  • In a separate bowl, mash bananas with a fork and add walnut pieces
  • Fold in the mashed bananas and walnuts into the mixture with a rubber spatula
  • Then with ice cream scoop, scoop into pre-sprayed muffin tins
  • Tip – using cooking spray means you don't need a muffin liner
  • Bake at 375ºF for 12-16 minutes, or until it comes out clean with a fork or toothpick
  • Enjoy!

Whole Wheat Banana Muffin Variations

  • Can also use pecans or Brazilian nuts
  • If you have a nut allergen, you can remove this ingredient without consequence
  • If you’re a fan of chocolate chips, you can sub 1:1 with chocolate chips to make banana chocolate chip muffins
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Leave a comment below if you like this recipe, or if you made it, share it on instagram and @madetosustain. Enjoy!

Kelly D'Amico, Founder Made to Sustain

Kelly D’Amico, MBS

Hi there! I’m Kelly D’Amico. Welcome to my blog, Made to Sustain, which spreads awareness of building a more sustainable food system. I create and share recipes and food brands that are good for people and good for the planet. I have a Master’s degree in Global Food Technology and a BS in Food Science and Nutrition from Rutgers University. I’m eager to help you learn more about a sustainable diet.

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