These Banana Nut Muffins are really all about the taste, but you can’t beat a muffin that’s also healthier, thanks to whole wheat flour and less sugar.
Over the past (almost) six years of writing this blog, I’ve learned an important lesson when it comes to recipe development. As much fun as it is to come up with new flavor combinations and crazy original ideas, more often then not, it’s the simplest flavors that resonate with you, the readers, and even my family.
Years ago (pre-food blog), I made some banana muffins that my husband and I immediately fell in love with. The texture, the flavor…they had it all. But when I made the muffins again several years later, I was surprised by how sweet they were. My tastebuds had changed, and muffins that resembled cupcakes, rather than healthy snacks, just didn’t do it for me anymore.
If you visit here often, you already know that I like to lighten things up. It was time to put our old standby banana muffin recipe under the microscope.
First came the flour. I rarely use all-purpose flour anymore, as I’ve discovered that whole wheat pastry flour (my favorite is the one by Bob’s Red Mill) produces a really tender texture, with the benefit of added fiber.
The next victim was the sugar, which I slashed by half. That sounds rather drastic but, to me, the muffins have just the right amount of sweetness, veering away from the cloyingly rich taste of many store-bought muffins (or our banana muffins of the past). In previous muffin recipes, such as my Whole Wheat Carrot Muffins, I’ve used brown sugar. That would certainly work in this recipe, but I decided to try something new this time. I picked up some organic coconut palm sugar at one of the local supermarkets. Coconut palm sugar has a lower glycemic index than regular sugar (that being said, remember that is still sugar, and should be used sparingly in your diet) and can be substituted in a 1:1 ratio for granulated or brown sugars.
What if you’re not a nut lover? That’s okay, just leave them out. No harm, no foul.
The result? These muffins got rave reviews from everyone in my family. In fact, both kids and my husband put one in their lunches for the next day. I’d say that’s a good day at the office!
Other whole wheat muffin recipes:
Cookin’ Canuck’s Whole Wheat Carrot Muffins
Cookin’ Canuck’s Whole Wheat Pumpkin Spice Latte Muffins
Texanerin Baking’s 100% Whole Grain Cinnamon Apple Muffins
Baked Bree’s Whole Wheat Orange Chocolate Chip Muffins
Eat the Love’s Whole Wheat Blackberry Muffins
Whole Wheat Banana Nut Muffins Recipe
- 3 ripe bananas mashed
- 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar or brown sugar
- 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 egg whisked
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a muffin tin with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, stir together the bananas, coconut palm sugar (or brown sugar), applesauce, egg and vanilla extract.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
- Stir the flour mixture into the banana mixture until combined. Stir in the pecans.
- Spoon the muffin batter into the prepared muffin cups.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean, 15 to 17 minutes.
- Remove muffins from the pan and allow to cool. Serve.
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