These Healthy Banana Muffins with applesauce are naturally sweetened and made easy in one bowl. Moist and delicious your family will love these for breakfast or healthy snacks.
Other favorite treats include these pumpkin banana muffins, banana oatmeal muffins and banana chocolate chip muffins.
Table of contents
When it comes to baked goods, simplicity is key. These healthy banana muffins made with applesauce, whole wheat flour and no refined sugar win every-single-time.
They are a family favorite and I can guarantee they will be yours too!
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.
I used spelt flour in this banana muffin recipe but you can use whole wheat flour as well.
I love to use whole grain flours to make healthy pumpkin muffins, healthy carrot muffins and healthy oat bran muffins! Kids gobble them up and I feel happy they enjoy something good for them.
What Makes These the Best Healthy Banana Muffins?
- Low fat: By using applesauce this recipe requires minimum oil.
- Low calorie: These healthy banana muffins are just over 100 calories per serving.
- Low sugar: Thanks to being sweetened naturally with ripe bananas and a touch of maple syrup these contain only 10g of natural sugar per muffin.
- Whole grain: Using 100% whole wheat flour or spelt flour adds both fiber and nutrients you don’t get with white flour.
- One bowl: With easy directions!
- Simple ingredients: Are easily found at any store.
- Light and fluffy: Healthy muffin recipes are a crowd pleaser. Both adults and kids love these! Just see reviews and comments yourself.
Healthy Banana Muffins Ingredients
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.
- Flour: The only flours I recommend to use are regular whole wheat flour and spelt flour.
- Sweetener: Maple syrup, honey, agave or any other liquid sweetener works for these low sugar muffins.
- Applesauce: Either sweetened or I use unsweetened. Store-bought or homemade like Instant Pot applesauce.
- Egg: For lift and binding.
- Oil: Avocado, olive oil, grapeseed oil works. Coconut oil is great too. It has to be melted and measured after.
- Baking staples: Baking soda and baking powder for leavening and salt for taste.
How to Make Healthy Banana Muffins
These healthy banana muffins come together in less than 30 minutes, perfect for a healthy breakfast.
- Whisk egg and mash bananas: In a large mixing bowl, lightly whisk an egg. Add bananas and mash well with a potato masher.
- 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.
Vigorous mixing will result in gluten development in the flour. Banana muffins will come out rubbery and tough.
- Bake for 22 minutes in preheated 375 F degrees oven. Fill each muffin pan opening almost full with raw batter. After baking, let muffins cool for about 5 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool off completely.
Using an ice cream scoop makes your batter easily scoopable and is the perfect amount for filling each cup in your muffins tin!
Tips and Substitutions
- Use ripe bananas: Bruised bananas are even better. Scary looking brown bananas are awesome.
- Muffin tin liners: I typically spray both the muffin tin and the liners to prevent sticking.
- Extremely moist banana muffins: Use 4 bananas (2 cups). If you have only 2 bananas, make healthy banana oatmeal cookies instead.
- Flour: Do not 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. For gluten free versions, check out my almond flour banana muffins and oat flour banana muffins.
- Dry to wet ingredients ratio: Needs to be maintained. Do not use dry sweetener like brown or white granulated sugar, please.
- Applesauce substitute: You can substitute with Greek yogurt 2% and higher fat content. Please do not use non-fat yogurt. Banana muffins will not taste good.
- Vegan muffins: Learn how to make a flax egg or chia seed egg.
This recipe is for plain healthy 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, or pistachios chopped or in 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. You might love to make healthy blueberry banana muffins!
- Dried fruit: Raisins or dried cranberries.
- To make mini banana muffins recipe: Bake for 15 minutes and do a toothpick test. If it comes out with muffin batter on it, bake longer, if necessary.
- Would you like a banana bread? Check out my healthy banana bread with applesauce.
- Banana zucchini: Make banana zucchini muffins that hide zucchini in the muffins for moisture and nutrients!
How to Ripen Bananas Quickly?
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.
You might also want to try this oven method for ripening bananas. Place bananas on baking sheet, bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes. Let them cool, remove black skin and mash.
How Do You Mash Bananas?
I find the best way is to use my potato masher. I use the same bowl to mash them in that I will be making them in as it saves me from washing too many utensils or bowls. One bowl for the best muffins!
You may find that bananas are easier to mash if they are warmed up slightly. Place bananas in the microwave for 20-30 seconds before proceeding with mashing them.
Yes, they stay great in the freezer for up to 3 months. Reheat in the microwave and you will never know they have been frozen.
Your bananas were either too large (remember to use max 2 cups of mashed banana) or you used old baking powder.
You over mixed the batter. Mix only until all ingredients are combined and use a gentle hand when mixing.
Serve with Instant Pot egg bites, egg muffins, Ukrainian breakfast potatoes, or hashbrown breakfast casserole to fuel your morning!
Combining lunch and brunch? Serve these on the side with strawberry spinach salad or smoked salmon salad.
How to Store
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 for healthy snacks. 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
- Healthy blueberry muffins
- Healthy strawberry muffins
- Healthy carrot muffins
- Healthy chocolate muffins
- Healthy morning glory muffins
- Healthy zucchini muffins
You might also enjoy this list of 10 healthy banana snacks or peruse through my full list of muffins and quick bread recipes!
Healthy Banana Muffins with Applesauce
- 1 large egg
- 3 large very ripe bananas 1 1/2 cups mashed
- 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
- 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.
- Add flour and gently stir until well incorporated. Do not over mix otherwise muffins will be tough.
- 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.
- Let muffins cool for about 5 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool off completely.
- Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
- Freeze: In an airtight container or bag for up to 3 months. Thaw on a counter for a few hours or overnight.
- Bananas: Choose very ripe bananas that are yellow with many brown spots to brown patches. If you like extremely moist muffins, use 4 bananas (2 cups).
- Flour: Do not 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.
- Liquid sweetener: No dry sweetener like sugar please. You have to keep dry to wet ingredients ratio.
- Sweetened or unsweetened applesauce: Either can be used. Can substitute with Greek yogurt 2% and higher fat content. Please do not use non-fat yogurt. Banana muffins will not taste good.
Delicious and Nutritious!
Wow, this hits all the marks with no sugar, and only WW flour which is exactly what I was looking for. I use coconut sugar but really want to start using honey instead when possible and this recipe made that happen. I have another banana muffin recipe that I have used for years that uses sugar but your recipe tastes surprisingly better! I noticed a stronger banana flavor which is delightful.
Olena, thank you for sharing your recipe and I have already marked several of your other muffin recipes and look forward to trying them as well. I also appreciate the way you share information concerning the recipe and break down the reasonings behind each ingredient, way to go.
You are a marvelous chef and I’m sure your grandma would be proud.
My pleasure and thank you for your kind words. Strong banana flavor in banana baked goods is a must.:)