Banana Muffins - Healthy Snack Alternative
When I started this blog, I told myself that while it would mainly be centred around design and the various projects I like to get stuck into, I would also allow myself to write about something more lifestyle-related once in a while. And when it comes to sharing some yummy goodness, I guess there’s no reason why I shouldn’t!
I always try and be kinda good and look for healthy options when it comes to cooking or baking - particularly in the lead up to bikini season when I want to lose that extra winter weight. I decided a few years back to try out a banana muffin recipe I’d found online, and after loving the outcome, they’ve become my staple baked treat! I’ve tweaked the recipe to suit my own needs over the years, and considering how popular they are in my house (a batch of these elusive muffins will be lucky to last a full 24 hours) I thought it would be worth sharing with you all.
So here goes… here’s how to make a batch of 12 of these minimal-guilt muffins.
- 100g Oats
- Up to 2 ‘scoops’ of unflavoured/vanilla Protein powder (optional)
- 250g 0% fat Greek yoghurt/dairy-free equivalent
- 2 bananas (preferably over-ripe)
- 2 eggs
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking power
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- Touch of salt
- Around 50ml of honey, nectar or equivalent sweetener
- Mix ins (optional) - 50-100g milk or dark chocolate, blueberries, nuts… whatever you like!
- Food processor/blender
- Mixer/Mixing Bowl
- Muffin Tin for 12
- Muffin cases (optional)
Pro-tip: If you’re lucky enough to own a food processor, you can just chuck in all the ingredients once you’ve ground up your oats. Mashes the bananas for you, and saves on washing up! I would recommend in this case that you add and stir in your mix-ins by hand to prevent them from being broken down.
How to make:
1. Prep the oats
The idea of using oats in this recipe is that they take the place of the flour usually used in muffins. I normally use regular porridge oats that we have in the cupboard, but any kind will do. You’ll first need to break the oats down into more of a flour consistency using a food processor or blender. My blender tends to get clogged up so you may need to blend/process the oats a few times, shaking or stirring to redistribute the oats every so often. At this stage I also like to add in some protein powder - one or two scoops will be fine, but it’s completely optional and won’t affect the recipe at all whether you add it or not. Just a simple way to sneak some more protein into my diet!
2. Prep the bananas
Preferably you will have over-ripe bananas for making your muffins (stops them going to waste if you were gonna chuck them in the bin), but if you’ve just popped down to the shops for all your ingredients and they’re super fresh, don’t worry. Lay your unripe bananas on a baking tray and place them in a preheated oven for around 5-10 minutes - this will turn them black! Once you have your ‘ripe’ bananas, mash them in a mixing bowl.
3. Mix it all up!
Add your ‘oat-flour’ to the bananas along with the eggs, and then the yogurt, mixing thoroughly at each stage - I do this with a mixer but you could probably do it by hand pretty easily too. The yoghurt will make the mix go a strange, runny consistency and it will smell strongly of the yoghurt, but that’s normal! Then add in your baking powder, baking soda, vanilla essence and a little salt, and finally some sort of sweetener (I use agave nectar but honey works just the same) with the amount depending on your personal sweet tooth!
4. Add your own touch
Now’s the time to personalise. I’ve tried the muffins with dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and blueberries, but I also know people who have tried raisins, nuts or even just left the muffins without anything extra. Add what you fancy to make the muffins your own!
Due to the gooey consistency of the muffins they can be a little tricky to remove from the tin once baked, so I would recommend lining your muffin tin with muffin cases to avoid this (something I always forget to do). If you don’t have any muffin cases, be sure to oil up the muffin tin first to make it easier to remove the muffins after baking - I just spray some fry light in each muffin-hole (is that what they’re called?) and wipe it round with a bit of kitchen-roll to spread it out. Once you’ve distributed your mix, place in the oven at around 200 degrees and let bake for 15 minutes. And try and refrain from opening the door, as they might deflate!
6. Let cool
Once removed from the oven, check they’re cooked by ensuring a knife/cocktail-stick/weird-pokey-stick-in-the-kitchen-drawer comes out clean when stuck through the middle of one of the muffins. Then leave them in the tin on a cooling rack to cool for at least 10-15 minutes - to stop them from falling apart when you remove them. Once cool (or once you can wait no longer) use a butter knife to carefully remove the muffins from the tin. If you were smart and used muffin cases, simply remove them once cool enough to handle!
And now it’s time to dig in! They tend to deflate slightly once cooled by don’t worry, they still taste amazing - the gooey density of these muffins is what makes them so delicious! Best enjoyed with a cup of tea, especially when they involve chocolate, the magic of these muffins is that they taste just as good while still warm as they do days later - the moistness of the banana means the muffins always taste fresh. I’d still recommend that you keep them in an airtight container to maintain freshness - that’s if they last long enough to be stored before being devoured!
Not only are these muffins low in carbs and sugar with a sneaky protein hit, but can also be dairy free and low fodmap if made using appropriate equivalents. The recipe is so versatile that you can easily make changes without it affecting the deliciousness of these little treats - meaning it can be tailored to suit a variety of tastes and diets.
I made a batch of these muffins at the weekend using around 60g of agave nectar as my sweetener, and 75g of chopped dark chocolate as my mix-in. When I calculated the nutritional values I was shocked to find each muffin only contained 15g of carbs! I dare you to try and find a muffin as tasty AND as low carb as these on your local supermarket shelves...
If you do decide to give this super easy recipe a go, please do let me know what you think - and any alterations you may make to the recipe to make the muffins your own! Happy baking :)