These Healthy Banana Muffins with applesauce are naturally sweetened and made easy in one bowl. Moist and delicious your family will love these healthy muffins for breakfast or snack.
Other favorite banana muffins include these almond flour banana muffins, healthy banana oatmeal muffins and healthy banana zucchini muffins.
Table of Contents
- What Makes These the Best Healthy Banana Muffins?
- Healthy Banana Muffins Ingredients
- How to Make Healthy Banana Muffins
- Tips and Substitutions
- How to Ripen Bananas Quickly?
- How Do You Mash Bananas?
- How to Store
- More Banana Muffin Recipes to Try
- More Healthy Muffin Recipes
- Healthy Banana Muffins with Applesauce Recipe
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 our 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 to make these banana applesauce muffins 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 these healthy muffins 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 muffins contain only 10 grams 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 recipe: With easy directions!
- Simple ingredients: Are easily found at any store.
- Light and fluffy: 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 banana muffins. There are a few warnings as well.
- Bananas: Choose very ripe bananas that are yellow with many brown spots to brown patches. Previously frozen bananas are okay too, just make sure to thaw them.
- 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 banana applesauce muffins.
- Applesauce: Either sweetened or I use unsweetened. Store-bought or homemade like Instant Pot applesauce.
- Egg: For lift and binding.
- Oil: Avocado oil, 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: Add 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 healthy 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 banana muffins cool for about 5 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool off completely.
Using an ice cream scoop makes your muffin batter easily scoopable and is the perfect amount for filling each cup in your muffins tin!
Tips and Substitutions
Here are my tips and tricks for the best healthy banana muffins in the world!
- Use ripe bananas: Bruised bananas are even better. Scary looking brown bananas are awesome. Here is a quick tutorial how to ripen bananas faster if your bananas are not quite there yet.
- Muffin tin liners: I typically spray both the muffin tin and the liners to prevent sticking.
- Extremely moist banana muffins: Use 4 bananas or 2 cups of mashed bananas.
- 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 whole 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. Healthy banana muffins will not taste good.
- Vegan banana muffins: Use 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 blueberries or frozen blueberries, both work great. You might love to make healthy blueberry banana muffins!
- Dried fruit: Raisins or dried cranberries.
- To make mini banana muffins: Bake healthy banana muffins 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.
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 300 F for 30-40 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 healthy banana muffins 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.
How to Store
To store and prevent healthy banana muffins from drying out, 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 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 banana muffins from the freezer and let defrost in a bag for a few hours or overnight on a counter.
More Banana Muffin Recipes to Try
- Banana protein muffins
- Carrot banana muffins
- Pumpkin banana muffins
- Healthy banana chocolate chip muffins
- Vegan banana muffins
More Healthy Muffin Recipes
- Healthy blueberry muffins
- Healthy morning glory muffins
- Healthy zucchini muffins
- Healthy oatmeal muffins
- Healthy chocolate chip muffins
You might also enjoy this list of 10 healthy banana snacks.
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.
Absolutely love these muffins. They’re soft and moist and easy to make with no refined sugar. Great with coffee, very satisfying breakfast or snack. I did add walnuts and a little bit of cinnamon which just put the taste over the top. Awesome recipe THANK YOU.
I’m so happy to read this! Thanks for your positive feedback!
These muffins are delicious! This will definitely be my new go to for banana muffins.
I’m so happy to read this! Thanks for your positive feedback!
Oh my goodness. These are some of THE best Banana muffins that I’ve ever eaten! I’ll be saving this on my “tried and true” Pinterest board to make again and again! My bananas were super ripe, I used local honey, and sweetened applesauce. I normally would use unsweetened, but my husband accidentally bought sweetened, so I thought I’d use it up instead of letting it go to waste. Therefore, I did cut back on the honey just a little bit. Otherwise. I followed the recipe exactly how you have it and they were perfect!
That’s so great! It sounds like you have a new favorite, Dana!
I just made these muffins. They are cooling now. I added walnuts and coconut. They smell so good. I’m sure they will be amazing. Nice to find a healthy recipe.
I’m so happy to read this! Thanks for your positive feedback!
I have never commented on a recipe before, but had to for these muffins because they consistently turn out perfectly, and I am so happy! I use 1/4 cup pumpkin puree instead of an egg, added 1 cup shredded zucchini and walnuts, and these are fantastic every time. I usually prep them and freeze for the week, and they are great cold or reheated. I saw a comment above about using dates in place of some of the maple syrup which I plan to try next! Love how reliable and adaptable this recipe is.
I’m so happy to hear your love this recipe so much, Logan! Thank you for sharing all your interpretations. I’m sure they will come in handy for some readers.
Would a one-to-one flour substitute work ok?
You mean a gluten free 1:1, recipe has not been tested, but you can try. You might like almond flour banana muffins with naturally gluten free almond flour.
YUM!! I’ve been making these muffins for my kids for years. They LOVE them. I love that they aren’t packed with sugar. I recently tweaked your recipe and they came out so good. I cut up 8 dates (small pieces), soaked in 1/2 cup of boiling water until lukewarm then replaced the applesauce for the date mixture (include water) and reduced the maple syrup to 2 tbsp. I got this idea while looking through from my grandmother’s (French-Canadian) recipes. I know American recipes are full of sugar and not healthy. Dates are a superfood because they are high in nutrients, fiber and antioxidants. Your recipe is amazing and now with my date tweak these muffins are healthier.
Yum, what a great substitution! Thanks for sharing!
I had some ripe bananas and applesauce that I needed to use and use this recipe. OMG! They are so good! I added walnuts, coconut, dried cranberries, and chocolate chips.
This will be my go to recipe for muffins.
Yum, those additions sound amazing!
Thank you. My kids loved them. I like how they are not too sweet.
So happy to hear you and the kids enjoyed them!
Thanks for this awesome recipe!
I used two bananas and I added extra applesauce because I only had 2 bananas and it came out wonderful and tasted delicious!
Oh! I added chocolate chips too.
I hope my grandkids would enjoy these muffins when they come over!
I am sure they will love them! Glad you like the recipe!