These healthy vegan banana nut muffins are lower in carbs and full of protein than your traditional muffin. They make a heartier breakfast than your everyday muffin because of a surprise ingredient!
My family has never been a baking family. Most of the bread, stuffing, cakes, and muffins came from boxed mixes.
I didn’t really know there was a difference between boxed and homemade until I visited other families in high school and college and tasted the difference. I usually don’t bake much either unless you can my baked oatmeal (but I’m trying to remedy that).
The problem with store-bought muffins is they’re usually full of sugar and artificial trans-fats. Trans-fat adds are usually partially hydrogenated oils where hydrogen is added to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid. The problem with trans fats is that they can raise your “bad” (LDL) cholesterol levels and lower your “good” (HDL) levels. (See my fats post for more info on all types of fat.)
Eating trans fats can increase your risk of developing heart disease and stroke and is associated with a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes. (source) Now knowing about the unhealthy ingredients that go into the store-bought foods, I like to make my own versions from scratch so I know exactly what’s going into my goodies.
Vegan Banana Nut Muffins
Once I tried banana nut muffins I was hooked. I love the sweetness of banana and the little crunch of walnuts. I made my banana nut muffins vegan as well as gluten-free so that more people could enjoy them. There’s no dairy, refined sugar, or gluten in these puppies which makes for a healthy yet tasty snack.
I’ve been having these vegan banana nut muffins for breakfast or as a mid-afternoon pick me up. They’re also lower in carbs than other muffins so I don’t get the big blood sugar spike that normally happens with muffins made from wheat or semolina flour.
The Protein Secret
Since I wanted to make my vegan banana nut muffins without gluten, I thought, why not make them lower carb too? I started with using almond and quinoa flours – both of which are high in protein. But my biggest secret about this muffins is that they are made with beans!
Yes, you heard me, beans! I love using beans in baking or sweet treats (like my Snickerdoodle Dip). Most beans are neutral flavored so you can’t even tell they’re in there. And by adding them you’re upping your protein and fiber intake without sacrificing any flavor!
The beans and gluten-free flours make my vegan banana nut muffins denser than other muffins but they’re still really tasty and make for a heartier treat.
What are some of your favorite muffin flavors?
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- 1 cup almond meal/flour
- 1 cup quinoa flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- 1 can of white beans , drained and rinsed
- 2 TB + of water
- 1 ripe banana , mashed
- 1/4 cup almond butter
- 4 TB grade A or B maple syrup
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup walnuts , chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Add flours, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt to a large bowl and mix to incorporate it all.
- Add beans and water to food processor and process until smooth. If you need, add another TB of water. you don't want it thin, just smooth.
- In a separate bowl, add beans, banana, almond butter, maple syrup, and vanilla and mix to combine.
- Add this mixture to dry ingredients and mix to combine.
- Fold in walnuts.
- Add to muffin filling most of the way up (these will not rise much).
- Bake for about 20 mins (more if you're making the larger ones) then let cool for 10-15 minutes before taking out of pan.
- Can be kept in the fridge for about 4-5 days.
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Mary Ellen Valverde MS, CNS, LDN is a Licensed Nutritionist and Certified Nutrition Specialist who helps vegans find ways to make mealtimes easier (and healthier).
When she’s not creating new recipes for her blog, you can find Mary Ellen doting on her two shih tzus or exploring the world with her husband.