Healthy Banana Bran Muffins

These Healthy Banana Bran Muffins are super delicious! They’re great to make ahead and throw in the freezer, so that even on the busiest days, everyone can enjoy a healthy breakfast. One muffin keeps you satisfied for hours!

I’ve got a banana muffin recipe that’s always a hit for breakfasts, brunches, mid day snacks, etc. The only problem is, they actually should be called dessert instead of a breakfast bread. With white flour, a generous portion of sugar and a buttery crumble topping, they’d never win a “healthy muffin” contest. These Healthy Banana Bran Muffins are a delicious alternative!

Closeup photo of a Healthy Banana Bran Muffin on a cooling rack with other muffins in the background.

I love having a more nutritious option for using up all those over-ripe bananas. I don’t generally bake without sugar, but I liked the challenge of coming up with something loaded with super healthy ingredients, low in fat and sans sugar.

Top photo of a cooling rack full of Healthy Banana Bran Muffins with sliced almonds decorating the rack.

After reading about using pureed raisins as a natural sweetener, I decided to give it a go. A thirty second whirl in the blender was all it took to puree the raisins and combine the other ingredients. I added this “wet” mixture to the dry ingredients I had already combined in a big bowl; wheat bran, oatmeal, all-purpose and whole wheat flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and a pinch of salt.

Extreme closeup of a Healthy Banana Bran Muffin with sliced almonds on top.

Healthy and super delicious!

It took a few tries to get the proportions right, but these these Healthy Banana Bran Muffins are now on my list of top favorite muffins. They’re moist, flavorful and just plain delicious. With lots of fiber and super nutritious ingredients, one muffin gives me oddles of energy, and keeps me satisfied all morning.

MY OTHER RECIPES


Photo of three Healthy Banana Bran Muffins on turquoise and green napkins with small bottles of milk in the background.

Best of all, when I let the bananas go a little too long, I have a wonderfully guilt-free way to use them up. I might even enter these guys in a healthy muffin contest – I think they’d have a good chance of winning!

Café Tips for making these Healthy Banana Bran Muffins…

  • I buy wheat bran in bulk at Whole Foods, but you can also get it pre-packaged. (It can usually be found in either the flour section or the health-food section of the grocery store.)
  • You’ll be shocked at the difference 1 minute will make with the raisins. Even if your raisins are dry and shriveled, 1 minute in the microwave, with a tiny splash of water, will make them plump and beautiful. That means super tasty, moist muffins!
  • These muffins freeze beautifully. I like to freeze them uncovered on a sheet pan for about an hour. Once they’re frozen, I throw them in a zip lock bag or freezer container. It’s easy to pull one or more out as needed.
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Healthy Banana Bran Muffins

Healthy Banana Bran Muffins - A perfect breakfast or snack, these muffins are super delicious, no-sugar, high fiber and loaded with great ingredients.

4.8 from 12 reviews

These Healthy Banana Bran Muffins are super delicious! They’re great to make ahead and throw in the freezer. No matter how busy the day is, everyone can go out the door with a healthy breakfast!

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 20 muffins
  • Category: Bread, Breakfast

Ingredients

  • 1  cup dark raisins
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • For the almond topping:
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¾ cup sliced almonds
  • a pinch salt
  • For the muffins:
  • 1 ½ cups wheat bran
  • ½ cup oatmeal (old fashioned rolled oats)
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup sunflower oil (or other neutral flavored oil)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Spray 20 muffin cups with baking spray.
  2. Combine the raisins with 2 teaspoons of water in a microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup. Cover with plastic wrap and cook on high for 1 minute. Remove from microwave and set aside to cool.
  3. Prepare the topping by combining the butter, honey and cinnamon in a medium-size microwave-safe bowl. Cover with a paper towel and microwave on high power for 30 seconds. Add almonds and stir gently till almonds are coated. Set aside.
  4. Combine the wheat bran, oatmeal, flours, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in a large bowl, Stir well. Add ½ cup raisins and stir again till well combined. Set aside.
  5. Combine the wet ingredients and the remaining ½ cup raisins in a blender container and blend on high speed for 30 seconds.
  6. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour in the wet ingredients and stir just until flour is incorporated. Scoop or spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling full. I use about ⅓ cup per scoop.
  7. Sprinkle tops of muffins with prepared almonds. Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350˚F and bake for another10 minutes or until  muffins are set in the center and golden brown. Allow to cool in muffin pan for 10 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

Super delicious and wonderful to make ahead and throw in the freezer! On busy days everyone gets a healthy breakfast!


53 thoughts on “Healthy Banana Bran Muffins”

  • What a wonderful recipe, Chris. They look super delicious and you know how much I love almonds 🙂 I’ve been craving some banana bread lately too!

  • Fantastic! I made these for my hubby’s birthday breakfast yesterday and they are fabulous. Dense, hearty with just the right amount of sweetness. Realized at last minute that I did not have oatmeal or milk, so just added a bit more wheat bran, and a full cup of yogurt. Also used two whole eggs, and put in some nutmeg + cloves. I took them out a few minutes before they were done-done since bran tends to dry out as it cools and I wanted them a little more moist.
    Will definitely be making these on a regular basis. Thanks!

  • I’ve been eyeing these muffins for a few days on IG they are beautiful. Love how healthy and delicious these are, making these for my granddaughter she loves raisins, thanks Chris!!

  • Now, that I can’t find the bran cereal I use to make muffins, I’m delighted that you revived this wonderful recipe! I think I have some extra shriveled raisins in my pantry just waiting for these 🙂

  • Great recipe BUT I hope that people do not think these are sugar free – far from it. Using raisins is great but they are 92% sugar! One cup of raisins is 520 calories, almost all from sugars (glucose and fructose). Raisins add much more fiber, of course, and trace minerals but as with most dried fruit – loaded with sugar. It’s a “healthier” alternative but those who need to watch their sugar intake – beware – as the bananas also offer 17g sugar per banana used. Instead for calling this healthy I think I would call them natural… great ingredients and nothing processed!

    • Thanks Ann for your input. I agree, it’s especially important for people with diabetes and pre-diabetes to be aware and limit natural sugars as well as processed sugars. I’m calling them healthy in that, they’re made with bran and whole wheat flour and they’re free of processed sugar. I feel better feeding these to my family than a muffin made with 100% white flour, processed sugar and lots of butter, really more of a dessert than a breakfast option. You’re also right, raisins are high in natural sugars but they’re also fat-free and a great source of fiber, iron and potassium. I think different people have different definitions of “healthy”, depending on their diet restrictions and nutritional preferences.

  • I made these last week and they are awesome. I used all whole wheat flour. I froze the extras for a quick breakfast. Do you think it would work to use zucchini instead of bananas? I’m thinking I might have to up the wet ingredients a little – maybe add a little more yogurt? Tis the season for zucchini muffins. Well, zucchini eveything, really. Thanks for such a great healthier option for muffin lovers.

    • Hi Erin, so happy you enjoyed these. I haven’t tried them with zucchini as I do have a wonderful zucchini muffin recipe. Please let me know if you try them with this adaption.

  • Anyone break down the nutritional content? Fat, carbs, fiber?
    I like these, though I like a tad more spice. I use Watkins cinnamon… I’d use another 1/3, and consider alternative of adding nutmeg or vanilla.
    Mine also took much longer to bake… Oven is true…I added 6 minutes overall.
    Otherwise happy… No. Not otherwise, period! 🙂

    • Hi Iris,

      Do you have a food processor or a mixer? I think these would work fine if you mix the wet ingredients in either one. If you don’t have either, mash the bananas very finely, use quick oats and chop of the raisins as finely as you can. Honestly, I haven’t tried this but my guess is that it should work okay.

  • Great recipe! I forgot the eggs and didn”t put in the whole raisins at the end of the recipe. Still came out great. Thanks.

  • Dear Chris, gorgeous muffins, healthy and with such an incredible warm color – the recipe sounds so good – no more excuse for me for not baking banana muffins for the lack of a really fabulous recipe – my kids would adore these in their lunchboxes!
    Thank you for sharing yet another amazing recipe!

    • Hi Deborah,I believe the Weight Watchers point count is 1. Here are the nmuebrs you need to calculate. Each muffin has:Calories: 29.6Fat: 0.2 gCarbohydrate: 7.6 gFiber: 0.6 gProtein: 0.7 gThanks so much for asking.- Susie

  • Most muffins really are better suited to be desserts, aren’t they? Too bad, because they have so much potential. Glad you took the time to develop a really healthy muffin so we don’t have to wait until dessert time to enjoy them! Terrific recipe — thanks.

  • Gorgeous photos, Chris. I still smile as I picture the two of you making the shots…!!
    My kids love anything banana, and over the years I’ve worked hard to “healthify” our recipes as well, but the sugar is always an issue. I’ve got this recipe printed and in the kitchen. I’ve got a carload of dance girls driving to LA tomorrow and this looks like good fuel.

  • Thanks for walking the walk and talking the talk and making these more nutritious and healthy. I just printed this recipe out because I always have one more banana that I can eat which turns brown. I use them for smoothies and various bundt cakes so this will be a new recipe. I also can stick them in the freezer and pull out one at a time. BTW – I’ve got my Weck Jars and large stash of sliced almonds and am ready to roll with “your” nuts when the summer is over. They will make lovely hostess gifts.

  • Am I just tired or did I miss where you put the 1/2 cup raisin/water that were set aside? Do they go in with the wet ingred?

  • Oh my these look delicious. Love the whole wheat and wheat bran. I just made raisin bran muffins today with part spelt and part soft whole wheat and wheat bran.

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