If you look up banana nut muffin recipes online they typically call for white (refined) all-purpose flour and sugar—lots of it. Some recipes call for as much as a cup (or even more) of sugar in a batch of twelve muffins. Some cupcake recipes I found also call for that same amount!
So leaving off the icing and calling it something different means we can eat cupcakes for breakfast? Whose grand idea was that!? Well, thankfully if you use whole-grain flour and a smaller amount of (a more natural) sweetener), muffins can actually be the breakfast food we were all hoping for.
Whole Wheat Banana Muffins for Breakfast
We love making different kinds of muffins using fruit, but you can’t go wrong with a basic banana nut muffin recipe. These can be made ahead of time and frozen or whipped up quickly in the morning for an easy breakfast idea.
By cutting out refined sugar and baking with whole wheat flour, these banana muffins are much closer to a breakfast food than the kind you’d get at the store or from a drive through.
Muffins also make a great homemade snack for lunches!
Ingredients for Banana Nut Muffins
There aren’t any fancy ingredients in these banana nut muffins because I wanted something easy to make with ingredients I usually have on hand. There’s no refined sugar, oils, or white flour either, just whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, eggs, butter, maple syrup, bananas, and nuts.
How to Choose the Best Bananas for Muffins
For the best flavor and texture, use bananas that are very ripe (even starting to brown). They should be a bit mushy, and are probably past the stage when you’d want to eat them. This recipe calls for two medium/large bananas; if yours are small you can add a third.
Besides banana muffins, homemade banana bread and banana ice cream are my favorite way to use up overripe bananas. You can use them fresh right off the counter or freeze your browning bananas to use later.
To freeze ripe bananas, either peel them (this is important because it’s very difficult once frozen!) and cut them into thirds and store in a freezer bag, or peel and pre-mash and portion out into containers before freezing. Then simply thaw on the counter prior to baking, or carefully thaw in the microwave on the “defrost” setting.
If you don’t frequently have ripe bananas in your house, they can often be purchased from grocery stores at a discount.
Options for Nuts
Nuts are optional for this recipe so you can omit them if there are allergies in your house. Chopped walnuts are traditionally added to banana nut muffins, but you can also try pecans, almonds, and hazelnuts too.
Some people like to add other mix-ins to these muffins. Chocolate chips can be used instead of nuts to turn these breakfast muffins into a sweet dessert instead. You can also mix in raisins or other dried fruit for something different.
Can I Use Honey Instead of Maple Syrup?
Yes, you can replace the maple syrup in this banana nut muffin recipe with an equal amount of honey.
What Are Some Substitutions for Butter?
If you’re dairy-free or are simply out of butter, you can swap it with applesauce, Greek yogurt, coconut oil, or another type of oil.
Applesauce, Coconut Oil, and Greek Yogurt: Replace 1 to 1, so ½ a cup for this recipe.
Olive Oil: Use ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons of olive oil instead of butter.
Tips for Freezing Homemade Muffins
Before you freeze your banana nut muffins make sure they’re completely cool. If they’re still releasing steam when you freeze them you can end up with soft, soggy muffins once they’re thawed.
Place muffins in an airtight container. For maximum freshness, “vacuum seal” your muffins in a zip-top bag by removing excess air. Defrost in the microwave for one minute or on the counter overnight.