Easy, soft, dairy-free Walnut Banana Bread Muffins are nutritious and a perfect booster snack for your toddler (and for you). Made with simple ingredients, it will become a family favorite.
Banana bread is my go-to recipe when I need to use those over ripe bananas. And yes, that happens a lot in our household.
So naturally we get bored if I'm making the same recipe over and over again.
On the other hand, I've found that "traditional" banana bread while delicious and nutritious, it's not really very easy to take on the go.
I've cut it up into slices and taken it to the park in the past but it somehow still wasn't easy enough for my son to eat so he just didn't bother!
So the obvious solution was to make them into muffins instead!
And in the attempt to make them even more nutritious I decided to add some walnuts this time too.
Nutrition And Ingredients
- Make sure to finely ground walnuts before (if you don't already have ground ones)
- A great source of healthy fats, calories and vitamin E
- Wholegrain spelt flour is more digestable than regular wheat flour, especially for babies and toddler. However since not always available, use wholewheat flour instead
- Wholewheat flour contains more nutrients (like iron, magnesium and manganese but also complex carbohydrates and fiber) vs. regular white flour
- Great source of fats, calories and fiber
Raw Cocoa Powder
- Contains powerful antioxidants which can support heart health
- Make sure to use the raw unsweetened version
- I always recommend using original Ceylon cinnamon because it has lower amounts of coumarin which can be harmful for the liver in large quantities
- You'd want to use overripe bananas here. Partly because they are easier to mash/blend but they also have a higher sugar content so they are sweeter and so better to add an overall sweet taste of the banana bread muffins
- Great source of potassium and carbohydrates that provide energy for the body
- Choose either organic ones or free-range ones as here I can be sure that the chickens have not been treated with any hormones, antibiotics or preservatives
- Eggs are a great source of B vitamins, especially choline as well as protein
- When I want to use a natural sweetener for my son’s meals, agave syrup is always my first choice. Just because it’s the most available. But you can easily use date syrup or any other natural sweetener as well. Just make sure you avoid honey for babies under the age of 1 year
- Agave syrup like other natural sweeteners is better than regular sugar because it doesn’t spike up the blood sugar as fast and therefore has a better impact on overall health. The main sugar in agave syrup is fructose so if you need or want to avoid it you can use other natural sweeteners
How To Make Walnut Banana Bread Muffins
Prepare everything for baking. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F. Line a muffin tin with muffin cups unless you are using a silicone muffin tin.
Prepare the wet ingredients. Mash the banana with a fork or in a blender. Add the agave syrup and egg to the mashed banana and mix.
Mix the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl mix all the dry ingredients.
Finalize the batter. Add the dry ingredients to the banana, agave syrup and egg mixture and mix in with a spatula.
Bake. Once you have a firm batter, fill the muffin cups about ¾ of the way, leaving some space for them to rise. Bake for about 20 minutes. You'll know the muffins are done if you put a knife or toothpick through them and it comes out clean.
Cool and serve. Remove the muffin cups from the muffin tin and allow to cool before serving.
When Can I Give This To Babies And Toddlers?
Given that there is cocoa powder that contains caffeine and it is a much sweeter muffin we would avoid giving this to babies under 1 just because we want to avoid them associating snacks with sweetness.
However if you have tested all the allergens beforehand you can give this to your baby as soon as you would like (just omit the "decorative" nuts on the top that could be a choking hazard).
Tips & Tricks For The Perfect Muffins
Use muffin cups. This is always, always a must if you are not using a silicone muffin tin. I know that for some of you this is logical but I've had people asking me why they can't remove their muffins from the tin and it took me a while to figure out that they didn't line it with muffin cups. With silicone tins it's much, much easier because you can easily scoop them out.
Don't over mix the dry ingredients and wet ingredients. When adding the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients mixture, make sure to mix them in gently. I always recommend doing this with a spatula. Preferably a silicone one.
Don't over fill the muffin tins. For this recipe I've found that filling the muffin tins about ¾ of the way is perfect. They won't rise as much during baking but will be just high enough for you to easily take them out of the muffin cup and enjoy once cooled.
Use ripe bananas. It really is important to use really ripe bananas for any banana bread type recipe. They have a more sweeter taste than under-ripe ones and will add to the overall sweet taste of the banana bread. Of course you can use under-ripe ones if you don't have any other and you really want to make your banana bread but then you will need to either add more sweetener or satisfy yourself with a plain banana bread taste.
Possible Walnut Banana Bread Muffins Variations
Use other natural sweeteners. You don’t need to use agave syrup in this recipe. You can easily substitute with any other sweetener. I would recommend only using natural ones like date syrup or maple syrup.
Use another flour. If you don’t have (or want to use) whole wheat flour, you can always choose plain wheat flour or a 50:50 combination with rye flour. I wouldn’t recommend using fat-based flour such as coconut or almond because you’d need a carb-based one to make this banana bread rise.
Mix your nuts. Walnuts are just one combination possible for these Banana Bread Muffins. Hazelnuts, almonds even cashews are a great choice to try.
Bake them in a baking tin. When I don't have the time to nicely arrange the batter into 10 muffin tins, I just use a 10 x 10 inch (25 cm x 25 cm) square baking tin and place the batter inside. It also takes about 20 minutes to bake and once cooled I just cut them into pieces.
More recipes like this you may like
Walnut Banana Bread Muffins
- 2.65 oz ground walnuts 75g
- 3.53 oz wholewheat flour 100g
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tsp raw cocoa powder
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 bananas
- 1 egg
- 1.69 fl oz agave syrup 50ml
- Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F.
- Line a muffin tin with muffin cups unless you are using a silicone muffin tin.
- Mash the banana with a fork or in a blender.
- Add the agave syrup and egg to the mashed banana and mix.
- In a separate bowl mix all the dry ingredients.
- Add the dry ingredients to the banana, agave syrup and egg mixture and mix in with a spatula.
- Once you have a firm batter, fill the muffin cups about ¾ of the way. Add chopped nuts to the top if you want.
- Bake for about 20 minutes. You'll know the muffins are done if you put a knife or toothpick through them and it comes out clean.
- Remove the muffin cups from the muffin tin and allow to cool before serving.