This one-bowl, blend and done banana muffin recipe is one of the recipes I’ve tested the most, probably because my family is such banana nut bread fans. But because they are such big fans and eat banana nut bread so often, the pressure was really there to make them as healthy as possible because it would be silly to continue feeding your family something they ate all the time, but was bad for them.

I wanted this morning item to be something to carry them throughout the day. I wanted it to be something they didn’t need to worry about eating. In fact, I wanted the muffin to actually be good for them when they ate it.

Of course, you can make anything as healthy as you want, but if it’s not good, nobody is going to eat it. And so the journey of developing the perfect muffin began.

It helps that banana muffins are naturally dense and heavy in banana flavor. Any substitutions you do on the basis of health that might affect flavor or texture are normally masked.

I wanted to highlight a couple of ingredients that were substituted, which is worth noting.

  1. Dates for sugar - It’s been a belief of mine that if you want to add sweetness, specifically from that of fruits, that you should use the whole fruit because it is accompanied with the natural fibers and nutrients from the plant. True, it can make the baked good more dense, but because we are dealing with a naturally dense product, the substitution works.

  2. Olive oil for butter - You have to make sure to use a light olive oil for this because many times olive oil is too strong in flavor. That being said, one of the only oils truly proven to be good for you is olive. When you substitute an oil for a butter - like in a cake, the end product is usually lighter, which in our case works because we are adding some ingredients, which can make our product more dense and this balances it off.

  3. Garbanzo flour for all-purpose flour - I really advocate using flours that add value to health and because all-purpose flour is stripped of a lot of it’s nutrients and fiber, using it results in empty calories for the eater. Garbanzo flour is obviously packed with protein and fiber. Because it can add a stronger flavor to the muffins and also a slight denseness, I advocate cutting it with a lighter, gluten-free flour.

Vegan Banana Muffins

(makes 12 muffins)

  • 3 bananas, very ripe
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup dates
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2/3 cup + 2 tablespoons garbanzo flour
  • 1/3 cup gluten-free flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseeds, ground
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (optional, can substitute blueberries, pumpkin seeds, etc.)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a food processor, blend bananas, dates, olive oil, almond milk and vanilla until smooth.
  3. Add in the garbanzo flour, gluten-free flour, salt, baking soda and ground flax seeds. Blend until smooth. Let batter rest for about 5 minutes.
  4. Fold in toppings.
  5. Pour batter into greased muffin tins.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.