Healthy Banana Oat Muffins (no added sugar)


With the French rentrée back-to-school this month and September being Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month, it’s the perfect moment to serve these Healthy Banana Oat Muffins. So, give yourself a naturally sweet and nutty boost to your breakfasts, without any added sugar.

Are Banana Muffins Healthy?

These banana muffins are healthy. Made with oats, banana, dried apricots and nuts, they are also low in calories with only just over 200 calories a portion.

Unlike our just-as-healthy muffin breakfast options, Breakfast Bran Muffins or Breakfast Oat Cookies, they contain absolutely no added sugar.

Instead they rely heavily on the natural fruit sugars using just an overripe banana and moist, dried fruits with a surprise brazil nut to add le crunch.

Why No Added Sugar Oat Muffins?

Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month

You could say I’ve been even more of a ‘Health Nut’ recently, ever since I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in February. It all happened quite by accident: no visible lumps on the neck, no symptoms (no strange change in voice, coughing or trouble swallowing).  Instead I saw a new GP last summer for something different since my usual doc was on holiday.  He asked questions, then felt my neck and asked me to get a deep lump scanned. Two biopsies later, I was told I had cancer.

The following month saw a dizzying thyroidectomy, parathyroidectomy and 3 tumours removed. Recovery time is fast and my scar is hardly even noticeable. Even after radioactive iodine treatment with a few days of surreal quarantine this summer, it’s all good. Luckily, this is a cancer that’s easiest to treat with follow-up scans and blood tests every 6 months.

Please consult your doctor if you suspect anything on your neck. DON’T FORGET TO CHECK YOUR NECK!

Healthy Banana Muffins with Oats

If you’re like me and have a ‘sweet tooth’ at breakfast, then I urge you to try these. As you know, I’m already extremely sensitive to too much sugar in cakes and French patisserie (too much sugar kills flavour) – and muffins are no exception.  In this case, however, I wanted to try making them without any added sugar at all.  Instead, they rely heavily on good quality dried fruits and a banana, making them moist and pleasantly naturally sweet.

As I mentioned in my previous post for sesame tuiles, adding some sesame seeds before baking adds a touch of calcium, if you’re looking for that extra boost (we all need calcium but particularly if you have problems or have lost your parathyroid glands).

More Healthy Breakfast Options

healthy oat banana sugar-free muffins

Healthy Banana Oat Muffins Recipe (No Added Sugar)

5 from 4 votes

Healthy Banana Oat Muffins (no added sugar)

Author: Jill Colonna
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course : Breakfast, Snack, Brunch
Cuisine : French, British
Keyword : baking with oats, healthy muffins, no sugar muffins
Servings : 9 muffins
Calories : 206kcal


Healthy breakfast muffins with no added sugar: just naturally sweetened with banana, moist dried fruits and brazil nuts.


  • 1 very ripe banana large
  • 100 g (3.5oz) porridge oats medium oats (or oatmeal)
  • 100 g (3.5oz) wholemeal flour or mix with plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (or pumpkin spice)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 75 g (3oz) dried apricots finely chopped (or prunes)
  • 75 g (3oz) sultanas
  • 75 ml (3 floz) sunflower oil (or other neutral oil)
  • 1 organic egg large
  • 100 ml (3.5 floz) whole milk
  • 9 brazil nuts (if extra large, cut in half)
  • 1 tbsp oats for sprinkling on top


  • Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F; Gas 6. Either grease a muffin tin or line with 9 paper muffin cases.
  • In a large bowl, mash the banana and gradually stir in the oats, flour, cinnamon, baking powder and soda. Add the apricots and sultanas, coating in the flour mix. Mix in the oil, egg, and milk until the batter is smooth.
  • Spoon the mixture into the muffin tin (or directly into silicone muffin moulds). Fill ¾ of the way up and push in a brazil nut into each muffin centre.
  • Sprinkle each top with a few porridge oats and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  • Leave to cool completely for about 10 minutes before taking out of the tin.


Delicious served fresh and still warm from the oven, although once cool can be frozen in sealed packs to enjoy defrosted at any time in the next month.
As no sugar at all is added (not even honey or maple syrup), this recipe relies heavily on the banana and DRIED fruits to give it the natural sweetness for breakfast. If you substitute ingredients, ensure that it is just the dried fruits, such as dates, prunes, currants, dried cranberries or blueberries in place of the apricots.
I like to sprinkle sesame seeds on top with the oats before baking, for added calcium.

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From the kitchen

12 responses to “Healthy Banana Oat Muffins (no added sugar)”

  1. 5 stars
    Goodness Jill, you have played down your horrid year. So glad that you’ve come through it with flying colours. Although I have a sweet tooth, I have to say I prefer a savoury breakfast to a sweet one. But your muffins look delicious and with no added sugar, I reckon I could force one down 😉

    • Hehe – I want to stay positive and besides, unless anyone can benefit from what I’ve to say there’s not much point in moaning, is there? Although I have discovered that I have been using some harmful cosmetic items for the last few years, being duped from cunning labels. Now THAT I’ll be sharing on social media soon. In the meantime, I’m continuing to cut down on unnecessary sugar.

  2. I’m so sorry to hear about your diagnosis last summer, that must have been such a scary and difficult time. I think things like that can give us the kick we need sometimes to improve our diet. I love the look of these banana oat muffins, especially that they have no added sugar, as its something I’m trying to cut down.

    • Thanks Kavita. The perplexing issue is that my diet is healthy and I normally am careful when buying products. This week, however, I was shocked to discover beauty products that I’ve been using for years that contain harmful ingredients that can damage the thyroid! Deodorants, shampoo, hairspray, body cream – all completely misleading on their labels (zero parabens etc.). I’ll share on social media, as we all have a right to know. In the meantime, I’m reassured on the food front and can continue eating the French way!

  3. 5 stars
    I do love banana muffins and especially love that these are very healthy ones with no added sugar. We do all need to watch our sugar intake!

    • Thanks, Camilla – I love how you didn’t add any sugar to your creamy chocolate mousse, letting the vanilla paste do the job – and the chocolate. It’s amazing how by cutting back on it we notice it all the more when folk add it to excess.

  4. 5 stars
    Oh, Jill, I had no idea! How scary, but good to know you were treated and recovered. Whew. I am hypothyroid and have noticed blood sugar spikes when I eat sugary foods on an empty stomach, so recipes like your yummy oat muffins are perfect! xoxo

    • Gosh, Liz – I’m discovering an overwhelming number of friends around who also have thyroid problems. Hypothyroid isn’t fun and totally understand, as my treatment for life is based on being hypo although it’s all so complicated as I’m currently hyperthyroid. In any case, it doesn’t stop us from looking after our diets and lifestyle and generally just looking after ourselves. Sending hugs to you and the family from Paris!

  5. Do you suppose I could substitute applesauce to replace the banana? I have developed an allergy to bananas, but I miss them. I am trying to cut down on sugar and it has been messing with my baking success.

    So happy you found your thyroid cancer when you did. My family has all had thyroid issues/surgery, though none with cancer. You are so brave.

    • Poor you on banana allergies but yes, apple sauce to replace this would be great. Isn’t that funny what you say about cutting down on sugar in your baking? I’m totally with you! I’m also with you on the thyroid issues. I have realised that so many people have had problems with it and it’s not something that we should just take for granted x

      • 5 stars
        Wow Jill, I’m so glad tout va bien with you !!!
        I would love these muffins – a nice sub for morning gruel/oatmeal. Living in France I’ve became allergic to too much sucre (I break out in hives). Unless its embedded in tons of cream, pastry and butter. Ha ha
        I should have my neck checked too ?

        • Unless it’s with cream, pastry, butter? Too funny but I hear you, Carol, on the sugar intake. I’ve always loved sweet for breakfast, though, and realise it’s time to be more careful. Of course you should check your neck if you feel anything a bit different. I think my doc decided to check me out as I’d lost all my body hair (including eyebrows) and symptoms pointing to thyroid…

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