by Olena

Healthy Banana Muffins

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Olena Osipov
5 from 126 votes

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Healthy Banana Muffins with applesauce, whole wheat or spelt flour, and no sugar. Moist, delicious, easy and kids love these healthy muffins. They’re easy to prepare with ripe bananas and pantry staples. Perfect for breakfast today or a snack tomorrow. You can even meal prep these for the freezer!

We make this healthy banana bread muffin recipe as breakfast meal prep and they are on our regular snack rotation along with almond flour banana muffins, healthy banana pancakes and healthy chocolate chip muffins.

A Stack of Healthy Banana Muffins

When it comes to baked goods, kids love simplicity. These healthy banana muffins with applesauce, whole wheat flour and no refined sugar win every-single-time. They are my kids favorite and I can guarantee they will be yours’ too (especially when enjoying with healthy iced coffee!)

Plus, I’ve really enjoyed experimenting with spelt flour recently and that is what I used in this banana applesauce muffins recipe (you can use whole wheat flour, too!). I’ve already made healthy pumpkin muffinscarrot oatmeal muffins, healthy oat bran muffins, and even healthy cinnamon rolls with it!

Why These Healthy Banana Muffins Work?

  • Moist and low fat thanks to applesauce!
  • Low sugar and low calorie banana bread muffins compared to any bakery or store-bought muffins.
  • Easy directions and simple ingredients you can find at any store.
  • A crowd pleaser – A healthy breakfast or snack that makes everyone feel good. Kids love these! Just see reviews and comments yourself.

Whenever you see your bananas start going bad with brown spots, stick them in the freezer until you are ready to make this awesome healthy banana muffin recipe. 🙂

Healthy Banana Muffins with applesauce in a muffin tin

Ingredients in Healthy Banana Muffin Recipe

When it comes to baking, it is best to follow the recipe as much as possible. Baking is a science and it does not like substitutions. But below I have included a few that I think will work for these healthy muffins. There are a few warnings as well. 🙂

  • Bananas. Choose very ripe bananas that are yellow with many brown spots to brown patches. Bruised bananas are even better. Scary looking brown bananas are awesome. If you like extremely moist banana muffins use 4 bananas (2 cups).
  • Flour. The only flours I recommend to use are whole wheat flour and spelt flour. I do not suggest to use all purpose flour or coconut flour because all flours act differently. You may be OK with white whole wheat flour or wheat pastry flour. If you would like to use almond flour, check out my almond flour banana muffins.
  • Maple syrup, honey, agave or any other liquid sweetener works. Not dry sweetener like brown or white granulated sugar, please. You have to keep a dry to wet ingredients ratio.
  • Sweetened or unsweetened applesauce (perfect for baked goods like chocolate muffins and healthy coffee cake!). Can substitute with Greek yogurt 2% and higher fat content. Please do not use non-fat yogurt. Banana muffins will not taste good.
  • Oil. Avocado, olive, grapeseed oil works. Coconut oil is great too. It has to be melted and measured after.

How to Make Healthy Banana Muffins

  • Mash bananas and an egg. In a large mixing bowl, add bananas and mash well with a potato masher. Then I add an egg and using same masher I “whisk” the eggs. Saves a few utensils to wash.
  • Add liquid ingredients and leavening agents: Applesauce, maple syrup, oil, vanilla, baking powder and soda and salt, then whisk to combine or I use the same masher to “whisk”. This step makes this recipe one bowl.
  • Add flour and gently stir until well incorporated. Give the banana muffin batter a few stirs and let it sit a few seconds. Then stir in a different direction again. Try to stir from the very bottom to avoid patches of flour in the muffins. Do not over mix.

Avoid over-mixing the batter: Vigorous mixing will result in gluten development in the flour. Banana muffins will come out rubbery and tough.

  • Bake for 22 minutes in preheated 375F degrees oven. Fill each muffin pan opening almost full with raw batter – I used regular ice cream scoop. After baking, let muffins cool for about 5 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool off completely.

Tips for Best Banana Muffins

  • To make bananas ripen faster: Place a few ripened bananas or apples with unripened ones in a brown bag. Close tightly and wait 1-2 days. The ethylene gases from the ripened fruit will speed up the ripening. 

Oven method for ripening bananas: Place bananas on baking sheet, bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Let them cool, remove black skin and mash.

  • To make mini banana muffins: Bake for 15 minutes and do a toothpick test. If it comes out with muffin batter on it, bake longer, if necessary.
  • Would like a banana bread? Check out my healthy banana bread recipe.
  • Do not over mix the batter: I can’t repeat this tip enough! Don’t over mix the muffins. Stir until just the ingredients are combined. Muffins should be light and fluffy – no rubbery and tough.

Add-ins and Variations

This recipe is for plain banana muffins. You can add 1/2 cup to 1 cup of these add ons without any other changes to the recipe:

  • Nuts: Walnuts, pecans, almonds, pistachios – chopped or pieces.
  • Chocolate chips: Mini chocolate chips would go a long way and you will have to use less of them.
  • Blueberries: fresh or frozen, both work great.
  • Dried fruit: Raisins or dried cranberries

I also have a recipe for banana zucchini muffins that hide zucchini in the muffins for moisture and nutrients!

FAQs

How to make banana muffins healthy?

These banana muffins are healthy! They contain fiber from spelt flour (our whole wheat) and are naturally sweetened with bananas and maple syrup. They are low calorie with just over 100 calories and low fat with only 1 g per serving. They are low oil but if you want to try to omit the oil – some readers have omitted it entirely – but I have not tested that (so proceed with caution).

How do I store banana applesauce muffins?

If your house isn’t warm and humid, they would be fine for 2 – 3 days on the countertop. After 3 days, refrigerate for another 3 days. You could also freeze these right after they have cooled off – they stay great in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Why did my muffins with bananas sink in the middle?

Your bananas were either too large or you used old baking powder.

Can I use gluten free flour for healthy banana muffins with applesauce?

You can, but not in this recipe. If you need gluten free muffins, check out my gluten free muffins!

Serving Recommendations

Plan a whole breakfast or brunch or eat as a snack – there is plenty of ideas on how to use your healthy banana muffins with applesauce!

Making Muffins in Advance

To store and prevent muffins from drying, place in a resealable bag or airtight container and store on a counter for 3 days. Afterwards if any left (never happens to us), refrigerate for another 3 days

Freeze baked and cooled healthy banana muffins same day to ensure freshness. Freeze for up to 3 months. I double recipe for eating right away and triple if I want to freeze some. These healthy banana muffins are that good. Kids are obsessed with them!

To thaw just remove muffins from the freezer and let defrost in a bag for a few hours or overnight on a counter.

More Healthy Muffin Recipes

You might also enjoy this list of 10 healthy banana snacks, 65 homemade snacks or peruse through my full list of muffin and quick bread recipes!

healthy banana muffins stacked on top of each other with bananas
Healthy Banana Muffins

Healthy Banana Muffins {Kid Approved}

Healthy Banana Muffins with applesauce, whole wheat or spelt flour, and no sugar. Moist, delicious, easy and kids love these healthy muffins. They're easy to prepare with ripe bananas and pantry staples. Perfect for breakfast today or a snack tomorrow. You can even meal prep these for the freezer!
4.96 from 126 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Snack
Cuisine: North American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Total Time: 27 minutes
Servings: 12 muffins
Calories: 107kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg
  • 3 large 1 1/2 cups very ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup applesauce sweetened or unsweetened
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 3 tbsp olive, avocado or coconut oil (melted)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/3 cups whole wheat or spelt flour
  • Cooking spray I use Misto

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and spray non-stick 12 muffin tin with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, lightly whisk the egg. Add bananas and mash well. Add applesauce, maple syrup, oil, vanilla, baking powder and soda and salt; whisk to combine.
    Healthy Banana Muffins
  • Add flour and gently stir until well incorporated. Do not over mix otherwise muffins will be tough.
    Healthy Banana Muffins
  • Fill each opening almost full with batter (I used regular ice cream scoop) and bake for 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
    Healthy Banana Muffins
  • Let muffins cool for about 5 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool off completely.
    Healthy Banana Muffins

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.

    To thaw just remove muffins from the freezer and let defrost in a bag for a few hours or overnight on a counter.

      Video

      Notes

      • Bananas. Choose very ripe bananas that are yellow with many brown spots to brown patches. Bruised bananas are even better. Scary looking brown bananas are awesome. If you like extremely moist banana muffins use 4 bananas (2 cups).
      • Flour. I do not suggest to use all purpose flour or coconut flour because all flours act differently. You may be OK with white whole wheat flour or wheat pastry flour. If you would like to use almond flour, check out my almond flour banana muffins.
      • Liquid sweetener: Not dry sweetener like sugar please. You have to keep dry to wet ingredients ratio.
      • Sweetened or unsweetened applesauce. Can substitute with Greek yogurt 2% and higher fat content. Please do not use non-fat yogurt. Banana muffins will not taste good. A note about the applesauce as well – sweetened applesauce can be used if that’s all you have on hand and final result will be a tad more sweet. 
      • Optional add-ins: Walnuts, pecans, almonds, pistachios – chopped or pieces. Chocolate chips, fresh or frozen blueberries, raisins or dried cranberries.
      • To make banana ripen faster: Place a few ripened bananas or apples with unripened ones in a brown bag. Close tightly and wait 1-2 days. The ethylene gases from the ripened fruit will speed up the ripening. Or bake on a baking sheet at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Let them cool, remove black skin and mash.
      • To make mini banana muffins: Bake for 15 minutes and do a toothpick test. Bake longer, if necessary.
      • Would like a banana bread? Check out my healthy banana bread recipe.
      • Do not overmix the batter: When you mix vigorously for a long period of time, gluten in flour starts to develop. Banana muffins will come out rubbery and tough.

      Nutrition

      Serving: 1muffin | Calories: 107kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 179mg | Potassium: 170mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 47IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1mg
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