If you're reducing sugar in your diet, these healthy banana oat muffins are perfect for breakfast. With no added sugar whatsoever, enjoy them loaded with naturally sweet bananas and dried fruits for an extra boost to start your day. Made in just 30 minutes!
Are Banana Oat Muffins Healthy?
This recipe for banana muffins is particularly healthy. For a start, they're made with oats which contain important soluble fibre (beta glucan), which helps to lower cholesterol if eaten regularly. Oats help to release energy slowly to keep you going throughout the morning (this will help to avoid snacking between meals). Oats are also a good source of protein, minerals and vitamins.
To discover much more why oats are so healthy, see my favourite Scottish porridge oats at Hamlyns for more about the health benefits of oats.
Much like my other low sugar breakfast recipes like Breakfast Bran Muffins or moist banana nut bread, they are perfect if you're cutting down on sugar. These muffins contain absolutely no added sugar whatsoever. There's no need!
Instead they rely heavily on the natural fruit sugars using a couple of ripe bananas and moist, dried fruits such as sultanas, cranberries, apricots and walnuts from the pantry. If you can use organic apricots, even better - they are particularly high in magnesium and excellent if you ever have a twitchy eye syndrome.
So these healthy muffins are also a great source of daily fibre. Perfect for rustling up a quick breakfast that's good for you too.
Is it Better to Add Oil or Butter to Muffins?
These banana and oat muffins contain grape oil but any neutral oil is good. Sunflower oil is also good but be aware that olive oil is strong in flavour and so neutral oils are best for these.
Coconut oil is also good, as only small amount is needed.
If you prefer to use melted unsalted butter, then that's good too - there's nothing wrong with good quality French butter! (See my UK/US glossary for French ingredients).
How Many Calories are in a Banana Oat Muffin?
So, not only are they healthy but they are also low in calories - with less than 150 calories a muffin.
However, we use calories only as a rough guide. We don't count them. As long as we eat a balanced diet and don't snack between meals and avoid ultra processed foods, then that's really what we feel matters.
Thyroid Cancer Awareness
You could say I've been even more of a 'Health Nut' lately, ever since I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2019. 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. Thankfully recovery time is normally fast and my scar is hardly even noticeable today. Even after radioactive iodine treatment with a few days of surreal quarantine (it was just before Covid hit and then heard much of quarantines), it's all good. Luckily, this is a cancer that's easiest to treat if discovered soon enough, with follow-up scans and blood tests every 6 months.
The weird thing is, I've always been sensitive to too much sugar and don't consume over-processed sugar-loaded foods plus walk everywhere! There are so many other factors it could be. However, I am using this to pass on the message to consult your doctor if you suspect anything on your neck.
These banana muffins are so easy to make.
- Basically weigh all the dry ingredients together in one bowl then add the dried chopped fruit;
- In another bowl, mash the bananas and gradually add/weigh the wet ingredients: milk, oil and egg;
- Combine the 2 mixtures by stirring together then spoon into a 12 cavity muffin tin, lined with either paper cases or parchment paper;
- Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Healthy Banana Muffins with Oats
So, in a delicious nutshell, if you're like me and have a 'sweet tooth' at breakfast, I can't urge you enough to try these healthy muffins. As you know, I'm already extremely sensitive and avoid the temptation to add too much sugar in cakes and French patisserie (too much sugar kills flavour) - and muffins are no exception.
These banana oat muffins have no added sugar at all. They simply don't need any. This is because they are already loaded with good quality dried fruits and bananas, making them moist and pleasantly naturally sweet. Let me know if you think they're sweet enough in the comments below. Enjoy served slightly warm.
More Healthy Breakfast Options with Oats
As we love to add healthy oats in the morning for daily fibre, here are a few more recipes with breakfast porridge oats:
- Healthy flapjacks with fruit and nuts (oat granola bars);
- maple granola
- chocolate, coconut and cranberry granola
- breakfast oat, hazelnut & cranberry cookies
Healthy Banana Oat Muffins Recipe (No Added Sugar)
Healthy Banana Oat Muffins (no added sugar)
- 12 cavity muffin tin with paper cases (or parchment paper)
- 2 small bananas very ripe
- 100 g (3.5oz/1¼ cups) porridge oats medium oats (or oatmeal)
- 100 g (3.5oz/ ¾ cup) wholemeal flour or mix with plain (all-purpose) flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 75 g (3oz / ⅓ cup) dried apricots finely chopped (or prunes)
- 75 g (3oz / ⅓ cup) sultanas and/or dried cranberries
- 75 ml (3 floz) sunflower oil (or other neutral oil e.g. grape seed)
- 1 organic egg large
- 125 ml (4 floz /½ cup) whole milk
- 25 g (2 tbsp) walnuts broken (or mix of nuts)
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F; Gas 6. Either grease a muffin tin or line with 12 paper cases.
- In a large bowl, mash the banana and stir in the oil, egg, and milk until combined. In another bowl, prepare the dry ingredients: oats, flour, baking powder, soda, chopped apricots, nuts and sultanas, coating in the flour mix. Mix the 2 together using a spoon until well combined.
- Spoon the mixture into the cases or parchment in the muffin tin. Fill ¾ of the way up.
- Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean.
- Leave to cool slightly for about 5-10 minutes before taking out of the tin.
- Sprinkle sesame seeds on top with the oats before baking, for added calcium;
- Substitute dried fruits: e.g. dates, prunes, currants, dried cranberries or blueberries in place of the apricots. Note that some packaged dried fruits have added sugar so avoid these if possible.
This recipe was first published 30 September 2019 but has now been completely updated.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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
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 - or indeed just get a technical contrôle technique...