I’m not sure exactly what it is about this muffin recipe but I genuinely think that it turns out way better than cooking an entire loaf of banana bread. I think that it’s due to a combination of using a few smart paleo friendly ingredient choices and the fact that the dough rises far easier with individual muffins than it does with a whole loaf.
Perhaps my favorite thing about this banana nut muffin recipe is the fact that not only do the muffins taste incredible, but they’re also quite good for you as well. Once again, this is thanks to the smart paleo friendly ingredients that are used to make the muffins.
Use Ripe Bananas for Naturally Sweet Paleo Banana Nut Muffins
For starters, you’ll obviously be needing to use some bananas (approximately four, mashed with a fork) in order to make banana nut muffins. In addition to making perhaps the best tasting baked paleo goods ever, bananas are also a fantastic source of quite a few essential nutrients.
Bananas contain a solid amount of dietary fiber, as well as a good mix of essential vitamins and minerals, not to mention a variety of bioactive compounds (antioxidants, polyphenols, carotenoids, etc.) that have been shown to help prevent several types of chronic degenerative diseases. (1)
Along with the four mashed bananas, you’ll also need to use four eggs when making these muffins. Eggs are easily one of my top five foods to use for just about everything, and they do an excellent job here of adding in a good amount of protein, saturated fat, dietary cholesterol, and a few more essential vitamins as well. The eggs act as an important binder in this paleo recipe.
Almond Butter, a Paleo-Approved Dairy Butter Alternative
In an effort to keep things even more paleo friendly with this recipe, you’re going to end up swapping out dairy butter in favor of using ½ cup of almond butter instead. I love this ingredient choice because in addition to giving your muffins a delightfully nutty flavor, it also loads them up with even more great health benefits.
Almonds have always been one of my go to snacking choices because of how good they are for you. They’re an excellent source of dietary fiber, vitamin E (and other disease fighting antioxidants), and they provide you with an abundance of heart healthy monounsaturated fatty acids.
While eggs have been shown to increase the good level of HDL cholesterol in your bloodstream, almonds help to reduce levels of the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol type. (2) The good news is that almond butter does indeed provide the same great benefits as eating raw almonds would, meaning that these muffins actually go a long way towards keeping your heart health in tip top shape.
Along with the almond butter, you’ll also need to add in a couple of tablespoons of melted coconut oil, which adds even more high quality fats into the mix. Unfortunately, a lot of folks still shy away from coconut oil because they’re concerned about the saturated fat content, but there’s really no need to worry.
The type of saturated fats that are found in coconuts are of the medium chain triglycerides (MCT) variety. MCT fats actually provide quite a few nifty health benefits, especially for anyone who may be following the keto diet. (3)
Ditch the Wheat Flour
I love using coconut flour in this recipe as a replacement for refined wheat flour for a few different reasons. First and foremost is the fact that certain proteins found in wheat have been linked to chronic inflammation, which in turn can develop into a variety of inflammatory diseases. (4)
Avoiding inflammation is reason enough alone to use flour alternatives like coconut flour. But in addition to that, using coconut flour also has the added benefit of providing even more dietary fiber and medium chain triglyceride fatty acids, all in a 100% gluten free package.
Using both nutmeg and cinnamon together in this recipe is also a delightful way to add a deliciously nutty hint to your muffins.
Once you have combined all of your dry ingredients, you can then blend them together with your wet mixture before distributing the batter evenly into your prepared muffin tins. Though I will say, if you’d like to bake this in a loaf pan instead, it would work wonderfully that way too.
6 Banana Nut Muffin Recipes That Will Curb Your Dessert Cravings
It won’t take you very long at all to realize what I mean when I say that I prefer these banana nut muffins to banana bread. However, in the event that you’re not quite sold on this particular recipe, but you’re still craving a healthy paleo friendly banana dessert, then I’ve got a few other great recipe options for you from around the web:
- Chunky Money Paleo Banana Cookies (The Endless Meal)
- Paleo Banana Snack Cake (Detoxinista)
- Strawberry Banana Ice Cream (Nom Nom Paleo)
- Paleo Banana Bread Mug Cake (Two Ways!) (The Roasted Root)
- Paleo Banana Cream Pie (Whole Kitchen Sink)
- Chocolate Banana Milkshake (Primal Palate)
Before we wrap things up with this paleo banana nut muffin recipe, I just wanted to go over a few extra topics that a few of my friends have asked me about when it comes to making this recipe. Maybe you’ll find some of the following information useful as well:
Are Bananas Really Paleo Friendly?
Since the basic approach of the paleo diet is to basically only eat the same foods that were available to our caveman ancestors, it should come as no surprise that yes, bananas are indeed 100% paleo.
While they aren’t the best option for anyone following a more strict low carb eating plan (like the ketogenic diet), bananas are an excellent carb option for individuals who are moderately active. Their potassium content and the fact that they’re such a quick-releasing type of carbohydrate makes them fantastic for athletes and anyone else living an active lifestyle.
The only important thing to keep in mind is that bananas do have quite a high sugar content, so you don’t want to go nuts eating them. With that being said, they’re still a better snacking option than anything that’s made with refined sugars – just don’t go overboard with them and you should be fine.
What Are the Benefits of Using Nut Butters in Paleo Baking Recipes?
One of the most common questions I get about the paleo diet is in regards to using nut butters.
Peanut butter is probably the most commonly used type of nut butter, but you can also use butter made from just about any other type of nut. I’ve personally used and enjoyed all of the following:
- Almond butter
- Cashew butter
- Pecan butter
- Macadamia nut butter
- Hazelnut butter
- Pecan butter
I’ve also heard good things about pistachio butter and acorn butter, although I’ve never tried either type.
Using nut butters in your baking recipes is a great idea for a few different reasons, especially for anyone out there who may be lactose intolerant (or otherwise sensitive to dairy products).
In general, with nut butters, you’ll get more of the following:
- Dietary fiber
- Heart healthy monounsaturated fatty acids
- Essential vitamins and minerals
In addition to all of that, they also add a delicious nutty taste to all of your baked goods. What’s not to love about that?
Can I Use Almond Flour Instead of Coconut Flour For This Recipe?
Speaking of nut butters, since this muffin recipe uses almond butter, I get a lot of questions about swapping out the coconut flour and using almond flour instead.
If that’s something that interests you, you’ll be happy to know that not only is almond flour a perfectly acceptable substitute, it actually works great when making these muffins.
Just as almond butter offers up nearly the same health benefits as eating raw almonds does, so too does almond flour. That means using almond flour will end up adding in even more healthy fats, fiber, protein, and essential nutrients to this recipe, while giving the muffins even more of a delightfully nutty flavor.
Can I Add Anything Else To These Muffins?
I wouldn’t recommend altering this recipe too much. These muffins are seriously already pretty spectacular as is.
With that being said though, there are only two changes that I would recommend trying with this recipe. The first change is swapping out the coconut flour in favor of almond flour instead, as mentioned in the previous point.
The second change I would make is to add in your choice of chopped nuts as decorative toppings to your muffins. It’s up to you what type of nut to use. I personally like to go with chopped almonds or walnuts when adding a topping to my muffins. Cashews or pecans are another great choice as well.
Again though, this is 100% optional, and these paleo banana nut muffins are good enough as is when following the base recipe!
(You may also like: Coconut Flour Chocolate Chip Banana Nut Muffins)
- 4 bananas, mashed with a fork (the more ripe, the better)
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup almond butter
- 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup coconut flour
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with cups. In a large bowl, add bananas, eggs, almond butter, coconut oil, and vanilla. Using a hand blender, blend to combine.
- Add in the coconut flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Blend into the wet mixture, scraping down the sides with a spatula. Distribute the batter evenly into the lined muffin tins, filling each about two-thirds of the way full.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Serve warm or store in the refrigerator in a resealable bag.
Paleo Banana Crumb Muffins
2 cups almond flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
4 medium ripe bananas, chopped
4 medium eggs
2 tbsp melted coconut oil
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the crumb topping:
¼ cup almond flour
2 tbsp unsweetened finely shredded coconut
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp coconut oil, softened
1 tbsp almonds, chopped
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper cups. Set aside.
2. In a bowl combine the almond flour, pinch of salt and baking powder. Set aside.
3. In a food processor place the bananas and process until smooth. Add the eggs and process until well combined. Add the melted coconut oil and pure vanilla extract and pulse to combine. Add in the almond flour mixture and pulse until well combined.
Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Set aside.
4. To make the crumb topping, combine the almond flour, unsweetened shredded coconut and chopped almond in a bowl. Add in the honey and coconut oil and mix with a fork until large crumbs form. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over batter in each cup.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before serving.