Healthy Banana Nut Muffins Recipe With No Oil and Sugar

Updated on March 15, 2016
Turtlewoman profile image

Kim is a board-certified holistic health coach, healthy living and cleanse consultant, and studied under Drs. Andrew Weil and Walter Willet.

You can also swap white flour for whole wheat flour, which gives it that darker color.
You can also swap white flour for whole wheat flour, which gives it that darker color. | Source
3.2 stars from 99 ratings of Healthy Banana Walnut Muffins

Banana Walnut Muffins

In response to the question, "Does anyone have any good recipes for banana muffins? I am looking for less oil and less sugar." by tarajeyaram, I'd like to share a recipe that does not include either oil or sugar.

Whatever the reason may be to cut back on oil and sugar, there is a way to still enjoy a warm piece of banana nut muffin without those ingredients.

Baking is a work of art, yet muffins offer a less intimidating opportunity for novice bakers to experiment with. If this is your first time baking banana muffins, then you're in luck. The only skill that you really need is the ability to follow this simple recipe. It also helps to put some trust into this author like your life depends on it. No, really...just relax. This recipe is quite easy to make- you don't even need a mixer!

These healthy muffins are soft and a bit more dense, filled with banana flavor and a subtle crunch from the nuts. The best part is they're healthier! There is absolutely no comparison to the banana muffins that you buy at the store. Although I have to admit Whole Foods does have some amazing muffins.


Substituting oil and sugar

When swapping ingredients, it's a matter of understanding how they contribute to the mix. Oil adds moisture and sugar adds a sweetness to our taste buds. So in order to replace those two ingredients, you will need applesauce and a bit of honey.

Other replacements for sugar:

  • Stevia: A natural sweetener from the leaves of the Stevia plant. It has zero glycemic index, zero calories and zero carbs. It is 25-30 times sweeter than sugar, and far more healthy!
  • Honey: Use natural, raw honey.
  • Maple syrup: Use pure maple syrup. Otherwise you'd missing the point of eating healthy here. You might as well just put regular sugar.
  • Raw organic agave

Other replacements for oil:

  • Apple sauce: Healthiest choice!
  • Butter
  • Sour cream
  • Milk

Alright, let's line them up!


The riper bananas have more flavor and nutrients.


Banana Nut Muffins Recipe

You will need the following ingredients:

(Dry ingredients)

  • 2 cups organic unbleached white flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (use personal preference on sodium intake)

(Wet ingredients)

  • 1 cup ripe smashed banana (about 2-3)
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 1/4 cup pure honey
  • 2 eggs (room temp)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • And the final ingredient: Walnuts!!

*You can leave the nuts out...but they make a difference in texture and taste!

*If you use whole wheat flour: Use 2 cups of whole wheat flour, add 2 tablespoons of orange juice, and cut back the apple sauce to 1/3 cup.

Important tips!

  • at flour substitution, see the last paragraph.
  • Do not over mix the batter! Just gently "fold" the wet and dry ingredients together.
  • The riper the banana, the more flavor and nutrients it offers.
  • Your oven is different from my old one. So your cooking time may be different. It's better to check them sooner than the cooking time that is recommended. Just insert a toothpick in and if it comes out clean, they're done.
  • Eat them right away while it's warm!

Instructions for Banana Walnut Muffins

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.
  • In another bowl, gently whip the eggs. Mash the bananas really well and add it to the eggs.
  • Add the rest of wet ingredients in to the egg/mashed bananas
  • Stir the wet and dry ingredients together.
  • Pour mixture into prepared muffin pan lined with cupcake liners.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Depending on your oven, you might have to bake it a little longer. Just insert a toothpick in and if it comes out clean, the muffins are ready.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Combine dry ingredients.Don't forget the baking soda!Mix the mashed bananas with eggs. Gently mix everything together. Ahem...excuse me...MORE NUTS PLEASE!That's better.
Combine dry ingredients.
Combine dry ingredients. | Source
Don't forget the baking soda!
Don't forget the baking soda! | Source
Mix the mashed bananas with eggs.
Mix the mashed bananas with eggs. | Source
Gently mix everything together.
Gently mix everything together. | Source
Ahem...excuse me...MORE NUTS PLEASE!
Ahem...excuse me...MORE NUTS PLEASE! | Source
That's better.
That's better. | Source

Whole Wheat Banana Nut Muffins

As you know, I prefer wheat flour over white flour when it comes to baking. White flour plays evil games with my sugar level, bringing it up and down, threatening the possibility of weight increase and diabetes. So for a healthier recipe I use 2 cups of whole wheat flour, add 2 tablespoons of orange juice, and cut back the apple sauce to 1/3 cup.

Orange juice was a secret from the well trusted King Arthur website. It cuts out that slightly bitter wheat taste that you may not be used to. Who knew King Arthur could rule Britain and bake at the same time?

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Copyright © 2012 Turtlewoman (Kim Lam)

Questions & Answers

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      • profile image

        TDaddy 3 years ago

        I'm guessing this makes a dozen?

      • RTalloni profile image

        RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

        This healthier banana nut muffin recipe is a keeper--thanks!

      • Claudia Tello profile image

        Claudia Tello 4 years ago from Mexico

        I was searching for a whole wheat healthy muffin recipe and I fortunately found your. I´d love to give them a try using the healthier version and I definitely will include the walnuts.

      • profile image

        Shelly 4 years ago

        I'm all about eating healthy, but these were terrible!!! My dog won't even eat them. Just wasted a lot of good ingredients.

      • Turtlewoman profile image

        Kim Lam 4 years ago from California

        Hi Becca- Sorry I usually don't include the information. You can try this resource:

      • profile image

        becca0725 4 years ago

        this recipe turned out great with wheat flour and I didn't add the OJ. I just wanted to know if you have the calories, etc. for this recipe?

      • Turtlewoman profile image

        Kim Lam 5 years ago from California

        ElderdeRell- please PM and I can help you.

        Sam- Hope they turned out great! :-)

      • profile image

        sam 5 years ago

        i used wheat flour, and the muffins are in the oven. i wonder how they are going to taste.

      • profile image

        EldergeRell 5 years ago

        I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz respond as I'm looking to design my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from. kudos read more

      • Turtlewoman profile image

        Kim Lam 5 years ago from California

        Vibesites- Applesause will yield a bit different of texture, but still maintain its moistness. Hope you like it! Take care:-)

      • vibesites profile image

        vibesites 5 years ago from United States

        Really delicious looking, Turtlewoman. Now I've added to my list of healthy breakfast stuff. It's unbelievable that applesauce is a good replacement for oil, but I think it sounds differently delicious! Thanks for posting!

      • Turtlewoman profile image

        Kim Lam 5 years ago from California

        jigglypuff- about 12 small muffins.

      • profile image

        jigglypuff 5 years ago

        Exactly how many muffins does this make?

      • profile image

        njgirl 5 years ago

        just made these tonight...substituted 4 bananas instead. thought it would be sweet but to my surprise they were extra salty. i would half the amount of salt next time. i didn't used cupcake tins either...just sprayed the muffin tray first and filled them up almost to the top, then sprinkled with walnuts. they look great! taste wise--not overly sweet. i think less salt is the trick! thanks for sharing the recipe!

      • profile image

        Rosalyn 5 years ago

        I love, love, love these muffins turned out absolutely perfect! No one could even tell I didn't add sugar.

      • profile image

        Victoria 5 years ago

        Thanks Turtlewoman. That could very well possibly be the reason! I had enough batter to fill 6 more muffin cups and thinned/sweetened it up a bit more, so maybe that'll do the trick! I baked the first batch at 350 for 20 minutes and that was sufficient enough to bake them through. Hope the last 6 turn out well!

      • profile image

        Victoria 5 years ago

        Just took these out of the oven and they are as dry as bread and have no sweetness at all despite the applesauce, organic blue agave nectar and orange juice I added. No offense to the author or anyone else, but I will not be making these again.

      • Turtlewoman profile image

        Kim Lam 5 years ago from California

        Hi Victoria, I'm sorry to hear that your batter is clumpy. Are you scooping the flour directly from the bag? If that's the case, you might end up with too much flour.I used a spoon to lightly transfer the flour into my measuring cup. Also I used large eggs and medium sized bananas that equals out to about 1 cup. Sorry- I will mention the exact size. Thank you for commenting and letting me know your concern!

      • profile image

        Victoria 5 years ago

        I made the whole wheat version and the batter was the consistency of cookie dough. I added extra applesauce, orange juice, and then eventually 1/8 cup of canola oil to get a more wet consistency. It still was not pourable so I just spooned them in. They are in the oven right now and the tops aren't getting that nice round top like they should. Not very impressed with this recipe so far. It needs a bit more tweaking.

      • profile image

        Erin 5 years ago

        Does anyone know the carb content?

      • profile image

        Britt 5 years ago

        I made these the other day using King Arthur flour. I added cinnamon since it was on the photo. I used 1/4 cup agave nectar instead of the honey. They were delicious. I will make them again. Thank you!

      • profile image

        Shema 5 years ago

        Hi, just baked the muffins, smell was amazing! However must say that batter was too thick for 2 cups wholewheat flour (nothing runny like in pics above) & ended up being stiff muffins :( Still carries nice taste, can't bear to throw away food. Maybe more applesauce will thin it & keep muffins moist?

      • profile image

        Veronique 5 years ago

        I see everyone is giving kudos (and I'm not disagreeing), but has anyone actually made this recipe s that your reviews will actually be helpful in others venture to re-create it? Was the re ole satisfying? Did the ingredients taste well together?

      • Turtlewoman profile image

        Kim Lam 5 years ago from California

        Hendrika, you're welcome. I hope your granddaughter loves the muffins! Thank you for stopping by! Take care :)

      • Hendrika profile image

        Hendrika 5 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

        Thank you for the recipe. My granddaughter loves baking, but we want to go slow on the calories so this recipe will help a lot.

      • Turtlewoman profile image

        Kim Lam 5 years ago from California

        Dr Pooja, Oh I know exactly what you mean! Coffee and muffin wakes me up most mornings.

      • Dr Pooja profile image

        Dr Pooja 5 years ago

        Love to have my cup of coffee with slice of cake or muffin.Anything healthy is a must try.

      • profile image

        ignugent17 6 years ago

        Looks so good voted up!

      • Turtlewoman profile image

        Kim Lam 6 years ago from California

        You're welcome MGP- my aunt has diabetes and she has to watch her sugar intake. That's when I started trying to bake "out of the ordinary" desserts. I hope you like them...let me know how they turn out. :-)

      • MPG Narratives profile image

        Marie Giunta 6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

        I really enjoy banana muffins and banana bread but try not to eat them too often because of the sugar. Don't have to worry now, thanks Turtlewoman. I will try this recipe next time I have ripe bananas.

      • profile image

        Karen 6 years ago

        hey thanks i used 1/4 maple agave and they turned out really good, thanks ! :)

      • Turtlewoman profile image

        Kim Lam 6 years ago from California

        Hi Karen, you can substitute the same ratio for maple syrup, 1/4 cup. Please let me know how they turn out, and if I can help answer any questions. Enjoy!

      • profile image

        Karen 6 years ago

        how can i add maple but keep the consistency right ?

      • Turtlewoman profile image

        Kim Lam 6 years ago from California

        Thanks cclitgirl and Chris- you guys are awesome. I appreciate your votes!

      • Chris Achilleos profile image

        Chris Achilleos 6 years ago

        Mmmm now those muffins look really good :) Thanks for sharing the recipe Turtlewoman. Voted up and useful!

      • cclitgirl profile image

        Cynthia Calhoun 6 years ago from Western NC

        This is a great hub, Turtlewoman! This makes me think that other than just using organic sugar and wheat flour, there are lots of things I can do to make and eat a healthful treat. Great hub!! You've got my votes.

      • Turtlewoman profile image

        Kim Lam 6 years ago from California

        Hi's always so good to hear from you! I always feel like not everyone can eat like I do, with my weird taste buds. So I hope to reach out to a wider audience.

      • Turtlewoman profile image

        Kim Lam 6 years ago from California

        Vellur- Hi! Thank you for your vote and kind comment!

      • homesteadbound profile image

        Cindy Murdoch 6 years ago from Texas

        Looks like a really great and healthy recipe. I like the way you provided all the different substitutions to make the recipe even healthier.

        The picture of the finished project looks fantastic!

      • Turtlewoman profile image

        Kim Lam 6 years ago from California

        vespawoolf- Yes, orange juice definitely helped me during my transition to eating more wheat flour. I hope your husband will enjoy the goodies. Thank you for visiting!

      • Turtlewoman profile image

        Kim Lam 6 years ago from California

        Hi Anamika and Sam209- Thanks for commenting and voting!

      • Turtlewoman profile image

        Kim Lam 6 years ago from California

        Jiro- Thanks for visiting. I don't believe baking soda is bad for you. Commercial baking powder, on the other hand, may contain aluminum and corn starch, which may affect our cognitive skills if consumed in LARGE amounts. You can leave out baking powder if you want, however since it acts as a leavening agent, your muffins will turn out a bit flatter and more dense. They will still taste good, just look different. This recipe only calls for 1 teaspoon, compared to many other recipes that I have seen.

        You can also make your own baking powder by mixing baking soda and cream of tartar (1:2 ratio)!

        As with any baked goods, it's best to eat in moderation, even healthy ones! Hope it helps...I might have to write a hub on this topic now...thanks for bringing it to my attention!

      • jiro profile image

        jiro 6 years ago from India

        Did you know baking powder and baking soda is not good for our health. so I can't make cakes daily or weekly, I will make it when any special occasions come. Have you any ideas about it.

      • Vellur profile image

        Nithya Venkat 6 years ago from Dubai

        Yummy nutritious recipe. Baking is a work of art. Voted up.Great photos, makes me want to eat right away.

      • vespawoolf profile image

        vespawoolf 6 years ago from Peru, South America

        This is a great recipe, and I love the orange juice tip for cutting bitterness. My husband may even like these! Thank you.

      • sam209 profile image

        sam209 6 years ago

        Nice piece Turtlewoman!

      • Anamika S profile image

        Anamika S Jain 6 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

        That looks yummy! And on top of it, it's low fat too! Voted up and sharing!


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