A freshly baked batch of muffins is often reserved for the weekends, when we have the luxury of being able to spend some extra time in the kitchen and some extra time to drink coffee, read the paper and relax. But muffins can easily be an everyday food, especially if you make a batch that has a few health-conscious tweaks made to it, and you can bake a batch over the weekend to enjoy even on a busy weekday morning.
These Whole Wheat Banana Nut Muffins are that everyday type of muffin. Packed with fresh mashed banana, they are made with whole wheat flour, vegetable oil and have a handful of heart-healthy nuts thrown into the batter to add a little extra texture and flavor. The muffins are moist and have that same tight, dense crumb that a traditional loaf of banana bread will have, as opposed to a light and cake-like crumb. They have a good banana flavor, accented with a hint of cinnamon and brown sugar. They muffins aren’t too sweet and you can taste the nuttiness of the whole wheat flour, which actually works well with the nuts in the muffins.
I prefer to use white whole wheat flour in these muffins because the finished product is slightly lighter than muffins made with regular whole wheat flour, although both will work just fine in the end. I typically use a mixture of chopped pecans and walnuts in these. You can opt for one or the other – or even use chocolate chips if you want to make these slightly healthy muffins a little more indulgent.
These muffins, like banana bread, store quite well. They will stay moist and fresh in an airtight container for a few days if you’re not going to eat them all at once. They also freeze fairly well, though I like to wrap the individually so that they’re a little more convenient to grab for snacking. They’re good plain, but I also like them warmed up and served with a little smear of salted butter on top.
Whole Wheat Banana Nut Muffins
2 cups whole wheat flour (or white whole wheat)
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 brown sugar
1 large egg
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups mashed banana (2-3 large bananas)
1/4 cup milk (any kind)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans and/or walnuts
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar and egg until well combined. Whisk in vegetable oil, mashed banana, milk and vanilla extract. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients and stir until batter just comes together and no streaks of dry ingredients remain. Gently fold in chopped nuts. Do not overmix.
Divide batter evenly into prepared muffin cups.
Bake for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean and the tops spring back when lightly pressed.
Turn muffins out onto wire rack to cool completely.