I don’t like bananas, but somehow, banana bread is one of my favorite comfort foods. There is something about the light cinnamon flavor and the crumb of the quick bread that makes me enjoy my morning, tea, or afternoon snack a little more. I don’t know if it is because I don’t make banana bread often so it feels like a special occasion when there is some around, if it feels like a treat because we only ever had it at my grandparents house when I was growing up, or if the familiarity of the flavor makes me feel cozy and more relaxed when I take a bite, but I’m a happy girl when banana bread is around.
With only two of us around, it can be tricky (and tempting) to have a whole loaf of banana bread sitting on the counter. Since our schedules are both hectic right now with the start of the school year and new clinical rotation schedules, I wanted a more pre-portioned, on-the-go option that I wouldn’t feel bad about snagging on my way out the door in the morning. Healthy banana muffins were a wonderful solution. These muffins taste so similar to regular banana bread that you wouldn’t even know they were healthier from the taste, which is always the goal in my book :)
Since ripe bananas already provide some sweetness, it is a bit easier to cut the sugar from this bread than it is from other quick breads. I used honey and maple syrup to naturally sweeten the muffins a little more and whole wheat flour to make them even more nutritious. Baking the batter into muffins makes an easy breakfast to warm up at home but also makes it easy to pack in lunches or take on the road on those hectic mornings as kids, teachers, and parents get back into the school year. It is always such a treat when I reach in my bag and remember that I packed one of these muffins – like a little slice of cozy amidst the crazy.
Naturally sweetened and made with whole wheat flour, these healthier banana muffins are the perfect on-the-go breakfast for back-to-school hectic mornings, or heated up for a a cozy snack. They’re so good, you wouldn’t even know they are healthier ;)
Healthier Banana Muffins
Yields about 15 muffins
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
¼ cup pure maple syrup
¼ cup honey
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (this was 3 bananas for me)
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ginger
2 cups whole wheat flour (or white whole wheat or all-purpose)
turbinado sugar, optional for sprinkling on top
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray a muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray. I don’t like my muffins overflowing, so I sprayed half of the muffin cups on a second pan to make 15 muffins instead of 12 larger ones.
In a large bowl, use a whisk to mix together the coconut oil, maple syrup, and honey. Add the eggs and beat well. Stir in the mashed bananas and milk until combined, then add the baking soda, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon. Pour in the flour and mix with a spatula just until combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pans, filling each cup about 2/3 full. Optional: lightly sprinkle the tops of each muffin with turbinado sugar. Bake the muffins for 15-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean. Allow the muffins to cool a bit in the muffin pan before serving. The muffins will keep at room temperature in an airtight container or bag for 2 days, but also freeze well.