Oh these banana nut muffins are my favorite! They are a little healthier than a regular muffin. They have a little crunch from the pecans, a little sweetness from the bananas and raisins, and just a ton of flavor all around. Not to mention it’s the perfect recipe to use up all those over ripe bananas your kids didn’t eat!
I really debated on the name for these muffins – should they be called Healthier Banana Nut Muffins OR Vegan Banana Nut Muffins. Yep, they are vegan! But sometimes I think people associate “vegan” with flavorless, only vegetables, weird ingredients, and complicated recipes. This muffin recipe couldn’t be farther from all those things so I didn’t want to scare people away with the word vegan! So I settled on the name Healthier Banana Nut Muffins.
A Healthier Muffin
Why healthier and not healthy- because I don’t know that I would ever call a bread item completely healthy, especially a bread item that includes sugar. Hence the name “healthier” : )
Here are the 4 things that put this recipe into the healthier category:
- I replace the eggs with a mixture of flax and water. It is a trick that a lot of vegan bloggers use. Here is a great tutorial for flax eggs on the site Minimalist Baker. Flax is an amazingly powerful little seed. It contains heart healthy omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, and lignans which studies have shown reduces the risk of heart disease, cancers, stroke and diabetes. I also like to add flax meal to smoothies and yogurt. It’s like adding a little dash of flavorless health.
- Instead of butter I use extra virgin coconut oil.
- The sugar is cut down to just a 1/2 cup and then a 1/4 of honey is added. You will not miss the sweetness from the extra sugar. Between the ripe bananas, raisins, and honey these muffins come out naturally sweet.
- The pecans are not in there just for flavor and crunch. Although those are two great additions to a muffin! Pecans contain plant sterols, which are effective at lowering cholesterol levels. They are also oleic acid rich, the healthy fat found in olives and avocado.
Now that all the science is out of the way, let’s just say they taste AMAZING!
Turbinado Sugar or Sugar in the Raw
I choose to use turbinado or raw sugar when I make these muffins. Now, you can certainly use white sugar if that is what you prefer. But, there are two reasons why I choose raw sugar. First, I like the brown sugary/molasses flavor of the turbinado and when I bake with it, it makes the top of the muffin slightly crunchy. But, only right out of the oven. After it is stored that little crunchy crystallization goes away. So- eat one right out of the oven : ) Second reason being that it’s a healthier version of white sugar. Turbinado is actually the first pressing of the sugar cane, so it undergoes very little processing. This is a great article on the benefits of turbinado sugar on Livestrong.
Make the muffins your own
There are some great swap outs that will make the muffins your own! If you are not a pecan fan you could certainly try using walnuts or almonds. Raisins aren’t your thing? Try adding dried cranberries or dried blueberries instead. Are you loving coconut? Me too! Try adding a little toasted coconut flake to amp up the coconut flavor.
I hope you give these Healthier Banana Nut Muffins a try in your kitchen!
- 3 over ripe bananas, smashed
- ¼ cup turbinado sugar
- ¼ cup honey
- ½ cup extra virgin coconut oil, room temp. but not melted
- 2 tablespoons flax meal mixed with 5 tablespoons water (see flax egg)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup raisins
- ½ cup pecans, chopped
- 1½ cups flour, sifted
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Line muffin tin with paper muffin liners
- Smash the bananas with the back of a fork until they are almost smooth. A few small chunks may remain. Set aside.
- In a large bowl combine the coconut oil, sugar, and honey together and stir with a wooden spoon until they are well combined.
- To the sugar mixture add the vanilla, salt, flax mixture, cinnamon, raisins, pecans, and bananas. Sift in the flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Mix all the ingredients by hand until they are will combined.
- Fill each muffin cup almost to the top of the paper liner.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until browned an cooked thru.
- Mix 2 tablespoons flax meal with 5 tablespoons water. Stir. Let sit for 5 minutes to thicken.