Muffins are not cupcakes.
But, if you were to head to most coffee shops or do a quick online search for muffin recipes, it’d be easy to confuse the two. I love breakfast muffins as a portable, grab-and-go snack that I can eat on my way out the door in the morning or as I’m trying to feed Vander, pack lunch and get dressed– usually all at the same time.
I don’t want my muffins to contain a cup of sugar. Or chocolate chips. Those are called cupcakes and should be treated as such.
So, I stuffed all of my favorite healthy foods into this muffin: bananas, whole wheat flour, wheat germ, raisins and a touch of maple syrup for sweetener. Refined sugar and white-flour free, these are muffins that act like muffins.
I’m currently in Scottsdale, Arizona at the annual Produce for a Better Health conference, a conversation between nutrition professionals and growers/producers on how we can increase consumption of fruits and vegetables. Most of us fall way short of the recommended consumption amounts and yet, we know how healthy they are for us. Where is the disconnect? Of course, this is not a simple answer.
It’s like the butterfly effect, one small change in one area creates a ripple effect in something else. From the large, systemic issues like immigration policies as it relates to labor, food insecurity, access and water challenges to individual concerns around health concerns, expenses, food waste and taste/appeal. Simply telling you to ‘eat more’ isn’t necessarily as easy as it sounds.
I don’t have the answers. Our food system has so many moving parts, though I’m inspired by the trends: the rise of plant-forward/vegetarian/vegan eating patterns and the sustainability around several produce markets.
Two things kept standing out to me: the idea that many Americans feel that they cannot afford to eat healthy, even though they want to, and that food waste is part of the cycle that increases produce costs.
The first one really resonates with me, especially as a new mom. I’m well aware of my own privilege and the fact that I have the education around nutrition and the means to be able to purchase the groceries that I want.
All fruits and vegetables are important, organic, non-organic, fresh, canned, dried and frozen. I don’t think it’s important to split hairs between the small nutrition differences around the forms, the fact is that the majority of American’s don’t eat enough of them. So, I’m going to commit to sharing more varieties in my recipes. One thing that kept coming up was that as we increased messaging around fresh fruits and vegetables saw a decrease in canned and frozen; with many people believing that they weren’t as nutritious and therefore stopped eating them.
I don’t think this is helpful; my goal from the beginning has been to make fruits and vegetables easy and delicious. I want you to choose fruits over the chips, even if that means canned peaches because that’s accessible and affordable.
I’m pro-choice. Choose what works best for you and your family- whether that’s organic, conventional, fresh, frozen, dried, canned, ect. I’m not stressed about the small nutritional differences between them. Since we aren’t getting enough anyways, eat more however you can.
I plan on sharing more on these topics after I’ve had more time to digest and organize my thoughts.
These muffins contain two forms of fruits: very-ripe bananas and dried golden raisins. They are my answer to a grab-and-go breakfast option that isn’t packed with sugar. Like I said, I love muffins but I don’t want my muffin to be a cupcake in disguise.
I wanted to create a wholesome snack or meal that everyone could enjoy, sweetened mostly with ripe bananas and a smidge of pure maple syrup. Ripe bananas are they key! These won’t work with just-ripe bananas, they need to be nice and speckled.
Place the bananas and other ingredients into a food processor to blend until creamy. This helps the muffins bind together, since mashing bananas with a fork doesn’t always break them down enough. Then, add the dry ingredients to the wet and blend, then add in raisins and pecans.
Golden raisins are another secret sweetener
If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag your Instagram photos with #delishknowledge . I absolutely love seeing your creations. Happy cooking!
Healthy Vegan Banana Muffins
Yield 10 muffins
Healthy Vegan Banana Muffins! Naturally sweetened and packed with bananas, pecans, wheat germ and whole-grain flours. Perfect for kids and breakfast!
- 1 1/4 cup white whole-wheat flour
- 1/2 cup wheat germ
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 teaspoon apple cider or white wine vinegar
- 2 ripe bananas
- 1/3 cup neutral oil
- 1/3 cup 100% pure maple syrup
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Whisk together the almond milk and apple cider vinegar and set aside to let curdle for ~5 minutes.
- Whisk together the flour, wheat germ, oats, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl; set aside.
- Place the bananas, oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract and almond milk mixture in a food processor and puree until creamy.
- Add to the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in the pecans and raisins.
- Lightly spray/grease a muffin pan and fill to the top with the mixture, you should get about 10 muffins.
- Bake for 26-27 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool and serve! These should keep for 2-3 days covered in an air-tight container.
Courses breakfast, snack
Serving Size 1 muffin
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value
Total Fat 11 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Sodium 20 mg
Total Carbohydrates 34 g
Dietary Fiber 4 g
Sugars 14 g
Protein 5 g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.