Healthy Banana Walnut Muffins

I love a good challenge.  So when my friend Denni asked me to find healthy dessert recipes with no refined sugar, I was thrilled.  I am now officially beginning this challenge by posting these banana walnut muffins.  Gwyneth Paltrow has a great site called GOOP, and these muffins were one of her first recipes to post (however, they are no longer on the website for some strange reason... good thing I wrote it down).  Since things like brown rice syrup and barley flour are not usually found in my kitchen, I changed up the recipe to what I thought would yield similar results without having to search the ends of the earth for extra ingredients.  I hardly miss the sugar at all!
Warning:  These are not miracle muffins!  Sure my mom's banana nut muffins are more delicious and just melt in your mouth.  However, for the healthiness of these, I say they are pretty darn good.  I enjoy making a batch and having them for breakfast.  For today's muffins, I decided to skip sifting all the flours together... sometimes, you just don't have the time!  And I really did not notice a difference.  So here I start my challenge of finding healthier recipes... stay tuned for more!
Banana Walnut Muffins
Makes 1 dozen muffins

Recipe Notes
I know some people like to take the raisins out of a recipe, but I would not do it here! I think they are essential to adding moisture and sweetness.  The recipe calls for 3 ripe bananas.  I sometimes use four and I like them to be almost black for the most flavor. This recipe also calls to puree bananas in a food processor.  This is the best way, but I have hand mashed the bananas and added the liquid ingredients when I didn't have a food processor.  To save time, I do not sift the flours in this recipe.  Instead, I sifted and fluffed them together with a large fork.
3 ripe bananas (4 if they are small)
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups whole spelt flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup walnuts
2 teaspoon fine sea salt
6 tablespoons canola or sunflower oil
1/2 cup white spelt flour (or all purpose white flour)
Step by Step
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Roast walnuts on a baking sheet for about 7 minutes; Coarsely chop.
2.  Combine flours, baking soda and salt in a medium size bowl.  Using a large fork or slotted spoon, gently sift ingredients together to combing and get out any lumps.  (see first picture below)
3.  Puree bananas in a food processor and add remaining liquid ingredients; Mix well.
4.  Make a well in the flour and pour in the wet mixture. (make sure to scrape bowl well)
5.  Fold together unitls flour is moistened.  Do not overmix or the muffins will be tough!
6.  Add walnuts and raisins and fold just a few times to combine. 
7.  Line muffin tins or spray with cooking spray.
8.  Use an ice cream scoop (or large spoon) to evenly distribute batter among cups.
9.  Bake approximately 25 minutes.  Test with a toothpick until it slides out clean with no crumbs on it.
10.  Cool in pan for a few minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack and continue to cool.


  1. These look yummy! I think you met and passed the challenge. :)

  2. Wow, these look great! Thanks for adding the option without a food processor... I don't own one and I love to know things like this are still possible. Look great!

  3. you're awesome ash! i'm going to make these tonight. can i substitute agave nectar for maple syrup do you think? so i don't have to go to the store:) i'm also going to try chocolate chip meringue cookies with stevia...let you know how it goes. dinner with sus, g and sarah soon? what are your next couple of weeks like?

  4. Mr. Hungry is a lucky man! And I'm a lucky colleague! Have a great weekend!

  5. Denni, I'm not too sure if agave nectar would do the same thing as molasses syrup, but I definitely think it is worth trying. Let me know how it turns out if you try it this way because it sounds like a great alternative! I would love to know about meringue cookies as well.

    Frances, sorry I didn't get any of these to the office... I will have to make another batch.

    Rachel, make sure you completely mash the bananas into almost a liquid and they will work great.

    Reginald, I'm glad you like the recipe!

  6. Wow, I will be checking back often for more of these recipes. It is the exact type of recipes I am looking for... Can't wait!

  7. Thank you thank you! I am looking for recipes with no refined sugar for my health and will be very interested to see what else you post on this topic.