by Olena

Banana Protein Muffins

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Olena Osipov
5 from 14 votes

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Banana Protein Muffins are moist, fluffy, and naturally sweetened without the use of refined sugar. With 10g of protein per portion, these make a delicious and healthy breakfast or snack option!

These make a wonderful addition to your high protein snack arsenal along with these protein cookies, homemade protein bars, and coconut protein balls!

protein muffins with strawberries and chocolate chips with a raspberry on top

Moist, fluffy muffins made with almond and oat flours, protein powder, and no added sugar are bursting with strawberry and banana flavour in every bite. The trick to protein muffin recipe is to incorporate a moisturizing ingredient like bananas, Greek yogurt or cottage cheese into the batter and not over bake.

As much as I love making healthy versions of just banana based baked goodies like almond flour banana muffins, banana bread (also with coconut flour, zucchini, almond flour), and banana oat bars, I also love to have high-protein snacks to turn to, and now I can finally combine the two!

Why Make Protein Muffin Recipe?

  • Bananas: Delicious, affordable, and already pre-packaged. They’re full of potassium, fibre, iron, provide energy, and improve digestion and brain functioning. 
  • Strawberries: The sweet, juicy fruit is packed with vitamin C, fibre, and antioxidants.
  • Healthy: Wholesome ingredients full of fiber and protein, no refined sugar, and naturally sweetened with maple syrup and fruit. 
  • Naturally gluten free: With almond flour, oat flour and whey protein powder (always check labels to ensure!). 
  • Texture: These are moist, fluffy, and light!
  • 10g protein: With peanut butter, almond flour and protein powder – these high protein muffins are a nutrient dense, nutritious start to the day or eat one as an afternoon pick me up! 
high protein muffins with chocolate chips and strawberries in a bowl

Ingredients for Banana Protein Muffins

  • Bananas: The riper the better. A great way to reduce waste and use up overripe bananas, just like in banana pancakes and healthy banana muffins.
  • Egg: You’ll need just 1 egg for binding the ingredients and adding moisture.
  • Vanilla extract: A lovely warming flavour added to baked goods to enhance the all-around taste.
  • Almond flour: A heavier flour to work with, which is why it’s important to follow the directions as listed.
  • Oat flour: Adds flavor and adds to the fluffy, chewy texture.
  • Whey protein powder: Plain works best to keep these protein powder muffins as wholesome as possible.
  • Peanut butter: Adds a healthy fat plus delicious peanut taste to high protein muffins.
  • Baking powder and baking soda: The key to making these muffins nice and fluffy!
  • Salt: Needed to bring out the flavours of the surrounding ingredients.
  • Cinnamon: Adds a warming taste that pairs well with the other ingredients.
  • Strawberries: If your strawberries are large, you may want to dice them. If not, slicing them may get them to the size needed for strawberry banana muffins. It’s up to you.

When the strawberry season is in full bloom, we enjoy these protein muffins along with our local red gems full of vitamin C, fiber, and potassium raw, baked into a healthy cobbler, over a spinach salad, chopped into strawberry mango salsa, and chucked into strawberry smoothies and yogurt bowl. Aren’t strawberries so versatile?!

  • Chocolate chips: I recommended mini chips so you get chocolate in each bite, just like with healthy chocolate chip muffins, but use what you have, dairy free or sugar free if necessary.
  • Cooking spray: Super important for creating a nonstick coating, so no protein muffin recipe pieces get left behind.
banana protein muffin recipe ingredients with almond flour and oat flour

What Protein Powder is Best for Baking?

I recommend using a brand with minimum ingredients, preferably organic and grass-fed like this one. Certain recipes allow for total replacement of flour using protein powder, but this isn’t one of them! We’re using protein powder for the added health benefits as a bonus. I used plain whey protein powder, you can also use vanilla flavored and chocolate flavored. Just know muffins will come out sweeter because these powders are sweetened.

How to Make Protein Powder Muffins

  • Prep: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 muffin tin with parchment paper muffin liners and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Combine wet ingredients: In a medium or large mixing bowl, mash bananas with a fork until smooth. Add egg, maple syrup, peanut butter, vanilla extract, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and protein powder. Whisk very well until combined and no lumps.
  • Add in flours: Add almond flour and oat flour and stir with spatula until well mixed.

Baking is a science and this includes precise measurements. Make sure to level the top of your measuring cup with a knife and do not pack!

  • Fold in chocolate chips and strawberries: Stir in strawberries and chocolate chips until just incorporated.
  • Divide the batter: Using an ice cream scoop, evenly distribute the batter into the 12 muffin pan.
  • Garnish: Add strawberries and chocolate chips on top of each muffin.
  • Bake: Place muffin tin into the preheated oven and bake for 22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle. Check at 20 minutes as ovens will vary. Allow to cool 15 minutes before enjoying!

Optional Add-In’s and Variations

  • Chocolate chips: Although mini chips are recommended because you’ll get more chips per muffin, any size chip will work as will sugar free chocolate chips, dairy free, dark chocolate etc.
  • Berries: You can use any other berries that are available in your part of the world to make this protein muffin recipe. Raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries (which also taste amazing in this breakfast blueberry cake!) will work great. Heck, use diced mango if you have it!
  • Other nut butters: Almond, cashew, hazelnut – just remember to warm up the nut butter slightly so it incorporates into the protein muffin recipe batter evenly.
  • Egg free: Try to use a flax egg.
  • Banana free: Try unsweetened applesauce.
  • Vegan protein powder: Use 1/2 cup of flavored plant-based protein powder, then reduce maple syrup to 2 tbsp and add 1/2 cup any dairy free milk or water to the batter.
  • Chocolate protein powder muffins: Use chocolate protein powder.
  • Warming spices: Nutmeg would also taste great!
  • For a little extra sweet crunch: Add a streusel topping if desired. Use whole wheat flour (or gluten-free flour), coconut oil, oats, cinnamon, brown sugar, and salt. Combine into a crumble and add before baking your strawberry banana muffins!

Need more ideas for your ripe bananas? Check out my 10 healthy banana snacks!

Tips for Best Results

  • Spray muffin liners! The batter contains little fat so liners would only end up sticking to the muffins! Spray the sides and the bottom of each muffin liner with cooking spray.
  • Banana tip: Bananas have thick skin which we don’t eat, therefore it’s not necessary to buy organic. You can always save your money and buy organic leafy greens (or strawberries!) that are directly exposed to pesticides.  However, the difference (depending on where you live) is usually a matter of cents, so if you’d like to support organic farming, and farmers who don’t spray with toxic pesticides, continue to buy organic bananas. 
  • Tip of the day: Get to know your local farms. Some smaller farms don’t have the means to be “certified” as organic but that doesn’t mean they’re not practicing organic farming. To be certified takes resources. The certification is helpful to us at the grocery store to know what’s organic and not, but go ahead and get to know your local farms and their practices, you may be surprised at what you find!

FAQs

Can I make these protein muffins vegan?

You can! Use a flax egg instead of an actual egg, which is just a combination of ground flaxseed and water that has been combined and allowed to set and thicken. All out of flax? Try chia egg! You’ll also want to replace the whey protein powder with a plant based protein powder and dairy free milk – see notes in recipe card. You may find the texture and consistency slightly different, but it’ll still taste great.

Do I have to use muffin liners?

Yes and No. Whether you choose to liners or not (which I do recommend using), you will need to spray your muffin liners or pan with cooking spray because there is no fat in this recipe to create its own “grease”. Spraying will help your muffin ‘slide’ out easier, leaving no protein muffin behind!

Can I make this into bread?

Yum! Turn this into high protein banana bread easily by pouring the batter into a loaf pan (again sprayed and dusted – best lined with parchment paper) and bake it until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Check at the 30-minute mark.

My bananas are not overripe, can I still make these?

If your bananas are not overripe quite yet, there are a few tips and tricks you can use. The first is that you continue making these as-is, knowing they will not have the same natural sweetness, will be harder to mash and you may find you need added sugar to compensate. The second, is you place the bananas in a paper bag on the counter for a couple of days and you hold off on making these until then. The third is that you place the bananas (skin and all) onto a baking sheet and bake at 300 degrees until the skin is completely black. Once cool enough to touch, slice open the skin and reveal the sweet, soft, and mushy banana ready to be used!

How to Serve High Protein Muffins?

I love to eat these muffins as is or with a small smear of nut butter! Here are some other ways to enjoy them all day long:

How to Store Strawberry Banana Muffins?

Make Ahead: You can prepare the batter, minus the leavening agents and berries, up to a day in advance. Leave it covered in the refrigerator and mix in the baking powder + soda, strawberries + chocolate chips before baking the muffins.

Storing: Store muffins at room temperature for 1 day and then transfer to refrigerator for another 4 days (muffins are moist and can spoil fast).

Freezing: Freeze in layers with parchment paper between, in a large freezer bag. They will store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

More Healthy Muffin Recipes

strawberry banana muffins with berries and a muffin in half to show chocolate chips
Banana Protein Muffins

Banana Protein Muffins {Gluten Free}

These Banana Protein Muffins are moist, fluffy, and naturally sweetened without the use of refined sugar. With 10g of protein per portion, these make a delicious and healthy breakfast or snack option!
5 from 14 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Breakfast or Snack
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Cooling Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 52 minutes
Servings: 12 muffins
Calories: 178kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 muffin tin with parchment paper muffin liners and spray with cooking spray. Set aside. In a large bowl, add bananas and mash with a fork.
    Banana Protein Muffins
  • Add egg, maple syrup, peanut butter, vanilla extract, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and protein powder. Whisk very well until combined and no lumps.
    Banana Protein Muffins
  • Add almond flour and oat flour (make sure to level the top with a knife and do not pack) and stir with spatula until well mixed.
    Banana Protein Muffins
  • Garnish with strawberries and chocolate chips, stir a few times until just incorporated.
    Banana Protein Muffins
  • Using an ice cream scoop, divide batter between 12 openings of previously prepared muffin tin, about 3/4 full per each.
    Banana Protein Muffins
  • Add strawberries and chocolate chips on top, and bake for 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Don't overbake.
    Banana Protein Muffins
  • Remove from the oven, let cool for 15 minutes and enjoy.
    Banana Protein Muffins

Make Ahead: You can prepare the batter, minus the leavening agents and strawberries, up to a day in advance. Leave it covered in the refrigerator and mix in the baking powder + soda, strawberries + chocolate chips before baking the muffins.

    Storing: Store muffins at room temperature for 1 day and then transfer to refrigerator for another 4 days (muffins are moist and can spoil fast).

      Freezing: Freeze in layers with parchment paper between, in a large freezer bag. They will store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

        Notes

        • Ripe bananas: You can use yellow ripe or very ripe bananas, just add a few more tablespoons of maple syrup.
        • Warmed up peanut butter: If you keep your peanut butter refrigerated or it’s thick, warm it up in the microwave or on the stove until it’s runny. Otherwise, you will have a hard time mixing it with other ingredients. Any other nut/seed butter works.
        • Vegan protein powder: Use 1/2 cup of flavorite flavored plant-based protein powder, reduce maple syrup to 2 tbsp and add 1/2 cup any milk or water to the batter.
        • Mini chocolate chips: I highly recommend to use mini chocolate chips as they distribute more evenly among the muffins because the amount is small. Healthier too.
        • Almond and oat flours: I have not tried any other flours, so can’t recommend. You will need different amount though because all flour act differently. Baking is a science and it’s best to follow the recipe.
        • Berries: You can use any other berries that are available in your part of the world to make this protein muffin recipe. Raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries would all work! 
        • Other nut butters: Almond, cashew, hazelnut – just remember to warm up the nut butter slightly so it incorporates into the protein muffin recipe batter evenly.
        • Egg free: Has not been test, but you can try to use a flax egg.
        • Banana free: Try unsweetened applesauce.
        • Chocolate protein powder muffins: Use chocolate protein powder.
        • Warming spices: Nutmeg would also taste great!
        See recipe post for more tips and FAQs.

        Nutrition

        Serving: 1muffin | Calories: 178kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 148mg | Potassium: 187mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 53IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 78mg | Iron: 1mg
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        59 comments on “Banana Protein Muffins

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        1. Wow, these look super delicious!

          Would plant-based protein powders like pea or hemp protein work OK instead of whey protein?

        2. 5 stars
          I love this recipe and so does my family. Could almond flour be used instead of the whole wheat flour? I would love to make this lower-carb if possible

            1. Hi Costas. This recipe calls for whole wheat flour. If you want to substitute for all purpose flour, Use 1 cup of white flour for every 3/4 cup of whole wheat flour that recipe calls for.

        3. 5 stars
          Strawberries are in season now here in Ankara,Turkey so I had a lot of them and was struggling to find a healthy protein packed recipe so that I could use them up. I’ve made these muffins twice now and they are simply AMAZING!! Thank you so much! We love your whole blog (protein pancakes are also a weekly staple here!!). But these muffins are sweet and tart and theres no protein taste. Even the husband liked them 🙂

        4. 5 stars
          I have made these about 20 times. I often switch things up according to whats in stock (blueberries work well, or different flavoured protein powders, wholemeal spelt, flax egg, other types of milk etc). Each time they work well and i enjoy having them on hand because of their nutritional profile. One of the best nutritious muffin recipes i have come across- I have also added a dot of maple syrup and handful of choc chips for a less nutritionally-minded crew. Worked well.
          Thanks for the recipe!

          1. No, won’t work because coconut flour is super thirsty and ratios will be off. It can never be substituted for whole wheat without changing the recipe.

        5. 5 stars
          Have made these twice, once with blueberries and the other with strawberries. Both times delicious, even my husband is addicted to them! I love all of your clean-eating recipes on this site. You’ve helped me out so much on my path to healthy living. Thank you!

          1. Hi Jo. You made me think to remake these muffins and take new pics. I haven’t made these for years. Glad everyone is enjoying.:)
            You are so welcome!!! As long as I can help in any way to eat anyone healthy, my heart is full!

        6. Hi, would the recipe need to be re-balanced in any way if I left the strawberries out altogether?

        7. 5 stars
          Just made this and they are FANTASTIC. Had 1.5 bananas on hand so added a bit more yogurt and did a mix of strawberries as blueberries. I was pleasantly surprised at how sweet this muffins still are without any sugar – still sweet enough to be a treat, I’m cut up some cheese to eat alongside it to balance it out. Can’t wait to make these again and try more recipes, thanks for sharing!

        8. In Canada the winters are long and fresh berries quite expensive. Do you think I could use frozen or will it be too wet?

        9. Hey Olena. Have you ever made this recipe as a loaf of bread? I was all set to make them as muffins and just found out the place I’m staying at the moment doesn’t have a muffin tin… I’m not the best at baking so I’m not sure how to alter the baking temperature or time.

          1. Hi Rachel. I haven’t but you can try. I’m positive it will work. T the same just longer baking time. I would say check after 35 minutes with a toothpick test. Let me know how it goes.

        10. 5 stars
          I just made these and they were great! I did substitute the Greek yogurt for unsweetened applesauce just because I had it on hand. I made blueberry, chocolate chip and strawberry-lemon muffins, so good!!

        11. hi, tried these tonight and the strawberrys came out mushy and wet in side the muffins, had little flavor. Thoughts on what to do next time. The rest of the muffin was perfectly baked and moist and fluffy.

          1. That is how berries usually are – moist. For flavour try to use ripe and organic strawberries. Those regular giant cardboard berries are not strawberries, I’m sorry they even sell them.

        12. Hi Olena! I see this hit Buzzfeed today (Congrats)! I am actually looking for ways to add protein into my routine, wouldn’t have thought to add protein powder to muffins… I should buy some plain! I only have chocolate powder and that may taste funny. 😉

          1. Hi Laura. Oh really, I haven’t seen them. Oh well…Protein powder in muffins is one of the easiest way to add more protein to your diet and enjoy a baked goodie at same time.:) Vanilla flavour or plain is the best for baking. I highly recommend plant based organic or non-GMO protein. Read my recommendations here and I also loved Oriya Organics.

        13. 5 stars
          Thank you for always including instructions for freezing! I am always wondering about that especially when there are ingredients I don’t use often.

          1. My pleasure. I do that because many of my recipes make large batches plus. You can freeze pretty much everything! Even cheese. Enjoy!

        14. 5 stars
          Hi, I found your recipe on pinterest the other week and have made it twice since! My partner loves it. We generally do not eat sweets/anything with a lot of added sugar so I love when I find baking recipes that tase nice with no added sugar or other substitutes! Thank you for sharing!

          1. Hi Jessica. I have more muffins recipe you might like. I do not use any sugar and some of them are only naturally sweetened with fruit. We do not eat a lot of sweets ourselves, even healthy ones. And whenever I eat sugar (usually on vacation because unfortunately there are no healthy sweets around) my face gets an awful outbreak of acne and I feel like an addict. Sugar is evil!

        15. 5 stars
          Great recipe! I just made theese. But dont use protein powder with stevia. The stevia leaves a bad after taste. Next time I will use my hampa protein. And its true that they dont rise with gluten free flour but it doesnt matter!

        16. I’m so excited to make these! I do not have whey protein. Do you think it will be ok to remove from the recipe completely or do you think I need to substitute it?

          1. You need to use protein powder in this recipe. Baking is very precise and I have not tested these muffins with any other substitution.

        17. 5 stars
          I just made these and they taste great. I did make a few substitutions. I’m gluten free so I used my blend of Wholemeal flour and my bananas were on the smaller side so I added an extra for good measure. I added a few drops of sugarless sweetener and I used oat bran/flour in place of flax as I can’t get it locally. They’re slightly rubbery, but I was heavy with the whey and it’s barely noticeable when warm. I’ve stuck them in the freezer ready for breakfasts all week.

        18. 5 stars
          I loved this recipe! Thank you so much for posting it for us to try! I didn’t have any flax seeds so I substituted them for two T. Of Rolled oats and they tasted yummy! Next time I’ll have to find the flax seeds to use though.

        19. 5 stars
          I made these today and they were great! The added strawberry gives it an extra burst of freshness and flavor. I added a bit of cinnamon and 1/4 cup of agave nectar. Thank you for this amazing recipe!

          1. These muffins rely on gluten in whole wheat flour to rise. But considering there is plenty of whey protein you might be fine using GF oat flour. They might not rise as much but still should hold and taste great!

        20. 5 stars
          I’ve made these muffins twice already and they are amazing!! I made them with blueberries the first time and strawberries the second and they were both equally fantastic! My 6yr old twin boys and I are gluten free so I used Pamela’s GF pancake mix in place of the flour and added 2T chia seeds and they were sooo good! I can’t believe that the 2 bananas were enough to sweeten the whole batch:) This will be our go-to healthy muffin recipe. Thank you!
          Heidi

        21. These look so yummy! Props that you made them 3 times to reach perfection! Way too many good fruit options in the summer to pick one. Strawberrys, peaches, plums, melons,and all berries are delicious! Thanks for sharing this recipe + your tips!

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