The healthiest banana bran muffins with no added sugar. These bran muffins are sweetened with bananas and are high in fiber. Perfect for a light and nutritious breakfast or snack!
Where do you stand on bran muffins? Do you like them? Personally, they were never my go-to muffin flavor, but I do appreciate their extra dose of fiber. And really, I’m up for any healthy baked good.
I first decided to create a healthy low-sugar bran muffin after being asked by countless patients for a healthy bran muffin recipe. I searched and all the recipes that I found contained a generous amount of added sugar. While there’s nothing wrong with enjoying muffins with sugar, I wanted to share a low-sugar version.
I’m calling these muffins the healthiest banana bran muffins for good reasons. First, they’re sweetened with fruit. Second, they’re made with whole wheat flour (believe it or not, but most bran muffins aren’t). Finally, they’re packed with fiber thanks to the added bran. That last one goes for every bran muffin of course.
Put all of these things together and you’ve got very nutritious muffins. Of course they might not literally be the healthiest on earth, but they’re certainly the most nutritious muffins I know, so let’s just go with it.
These muffins are highly customizable. This recipe is a great base, but I’m sharing some ingredient substitutions and additions below if you want to take it to the next level.
What You Need: Overripe bananas, apple sauce, eggs, avocado oil (or light-tasting oil), vanilla extract, all-purpose whole wheat flour, wheat bran, baking soda, baking powder, salt.
How to Make The Healthiest Banana Bran Muffins:
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make healthy banana bran muffins.
- Getting Ready
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease the bottom of a muffin pan or use muffin liners.
- Mix the Wet Ingredients
Mix all the wet ingredients in a medium mixing bowl, including the mashed bananas, apple sauce, eggs, avocado oil and vanilla extract.
- Mix the Dry Ingredients
Stir all the dry ingredients together in a different bowl, including the flour, wheat bran, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Avoid overmixing.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared muffin pan, making 12 muffins. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Ingredient Substitutions and Additions:
- For the Apple Sauce: Some readers have had success replacing the apple sauce with Greek yogurt. If you use plain Greek yogurt, you will lose some of the sweetness of the apples. Read below for tips on adding sweetness to the recipe.
- Add Spices: For more flavor, try adding a touch of cinnamon, nutmeg and/or cardamom to the muffins.
- Add Fruits: Feel free to add blueberries or dried raisins to add a light sweetness to the muffins. Raspberries, dried cranberries and other fruits could work too. Have fun with it!
- Add Nuts: You can add a crunch to the recipe by adding chopped nuts, such as walnuts or pecans.
- Add Chocolate: Add chocolate chips for extra sweetness. Of course they won’t be fruit-sweetened in this case, but it would be a delicious addition to these nutritious muffins.
- Make them Vegan: You can make these muffins vegan by using a flax egg or other egg replacement. The results might vary slightly. I’m currently working on a vegan recipe and I will update this post to share the other version when they’re done.
- Make them Gluten-Free: Some readers have had success using different flours. You can try replacing the wheat bran with oat bran (use certified gluten-free if needed) and the flour with Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 gluten-free flour mix. Some have also used almond flour with success, but I can’t guarantee the same results as I haven’t tried it myself.
A Note on the Sweetness of the Muffins:
Note that these muffins aren’t overly sweet. They’re not meant to be sweet dessert-style muffins. I would describe them as lightly sweet breakfast muffins, which are best when served with nut/seed butter, jam or other toppings. So before you tell me that these are not sweet, please know that this is not the intention of this recipe. Please keep this in mind when you leave a review. That being said, most of you said you LOVED this recipe! I love them too and I’m so happy to see you guys make this recipe.
Healthy Bran Muffins FAQ:
If you want a nutritious fiber-rich muffin recipe with a little more sweetness, you can add a bit of sugar. I haven’t tested this recipe with sweeteners myself, but many readers have made them with a touch of honey, maple syrup or even stevia. If you use honey or maple, I would recommend starting with 1-2 tablespoons as adding more might affect the texture of the muffins. If you want them sweeter, try adding granulated sugar to taste.
If you don’t want to add sugar to the batter, but would prefer a sweeter snack, I highly recommend serving them with a fruit jam or a bit of honey.
I don’t include the nutrition facts in my recipes for specific reasons. As a dietitian, I truly believe that having a healthy relationship with food is incredibly important and that we can enjoy nutritious foods without needing to count calories or macros. That being said, I understand that there are times when knowing certain macronutrient numbers is helpful or necessary, such as carb counting for insulin purposes. Each one of these muffins have 15g of carbs and 3.7g of fiber. If you want more information on the nutrition facts, some readers have shared the details in the comments. I hope this helps!
More Fruit-Sweetened Muffin and Bread Recipes:
- Fruit-Sweetened Carrot Cake Loaf
- Fruit-Sweetened Breakfast Banana Bread
- Fruit-Sweetened Peanut Butter & Jelly Muffins
- Blueberry Banana Almond Flour Muffins
- Fruit-Sweetened Apple Muffins
- Fruit-Sweetened Cardamom Blueberry Muffins
The Healthiest Banana Bran Muffins
- 2 large overripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 cup applesauce, unsweetened
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup avocado oil (or other neutral tasting oil)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup wheat bran
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease the bottom of a muffin pan or use muffin liners.
- Mix all the wet ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.
- Stir all the dry ingredients together in a different bowl, then stir in the wet ingredients until combined. Avoid overmixing.
- Transfer to the prepared muffin pan, making 12 muffins. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let them cool a few minutes before removing from the pan.
If you make these banana bran muffins, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! I love to hear from you guys. And of course, if you try this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram!
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