The Healthiest Banana Bran Muffins

The healthiest banana bran muffins with no added sugar. These bran muffins are sweetened with bananas and are high in fiber. Perfect for breakfast or a snack!

The Healthiest Banana Bran Muffins

Welcoming a new week with a new muffin recipe. This time, I have the healthiest banana bran muffins for you guys.

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’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. They may not literally be the healthiest on earth, but they’re the certainly the most nutritious muffins I know, so just go with it.

muffin ingredients in a bowl
muffin mixture in a bowl

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 I searched and all I could find were bran muffins with a considerably high amount of added sugar. While there’s nothing wrong with enjoying muffins with sugar, I wanted to share a low-sugar version.

If you’re not a bran muffin lover, I’m here to tell you that these are no ordinary bran muffins.

I won’t lie, these are no dessert muffins. Personally, I love them best for a snack served with nut butter, butter/margarine or even jam. They may not be sweet, dessert-worthy muffins, but they make the perfect base for your favorite bread toppings. Think of it as a high-fiber, banana flavored bread.

If you love this recipe, you may love my breakfast banana bread and carrot cake loaf!

muffin mixture in pan
baked muffins in pan
stack of bran muffins
bran muffin with bite taken from it

Update: I want to say again that these muffins aren’t overly sweet. They’re more like a lightly sweet breakfast bread, which is perfect for a snack with nut 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 review this recipe. 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. Enjoy!

The Healthiest Banana Bran Muffins
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4.9 from 29 votes

The Healthiest Banana Bran Muffins

These are no ordinary bran muffins. These are sweetened with bananas and applesauce, plus they’re made with whole wheat flour, making them the healthiest banana bran muffins. They’re high in fiber, low in sugar and make the perfect snack when served with nut butter, butter or jam!
Course Snack
Cuisine vegetarian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 12

Ingredients

Wet Ingredients

  • 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

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup wheat bran
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease the bottom of a muffin pan or use muffin liners.
  • Mix all the wet ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. 
  • Whisk all the dry ingredients together in a different bowl, then stir in the wet ingredients until combined.
  • 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. 

Notes

These muffins aren’t overly sweet as they’re only sweetened with fruits. They’re great served as a healthy snack with peanut butter, butter/margarine or jam!
If you like raisins, you can always add a handful to the batter to make raisin bran muffins.

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 onΒ Instagram!

99 Comments

  • Lucie Woloschuk

    I’m just baking these awesome looking sweets! I’m just wondering if you know the protein and calories for these muffins?

  • Jackie

    5 stars
    Wow, these are the best bran muffins ever and I’m not very good at baking. . I like bran muffins myself but not the extra sugar. Thank you so much for this recipe.

    • Unsweetened Caroline

      Hi Delores, I don’t have the nutrition facts for this recipe, but if you make my banana bread into muffins (it’s a very similar recipe), they’re about 20g of carbs per muffin. Hope this helps!

    • Jennifer

      5 stars
      Thank you I love this recipe and turned it vegan. I don’t really eat refined sugar so for clean eaters this is a bread with a touch of sweet, perfect! I substituted protein powder for the flour, coconut oil used, and Bob’s Redmill egg replacer for the eggs. Excellent recipe. Blessings

  • Lisa

    4 stars
    Just made these- altered it a touch! 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 cup rolled oats- delicious!
    Made a second batch with 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 cup rolled oats, 1 T. of chia seeds, and a TON of frozen blueberries (had to bake an extra 5 minutes- but worth it for the extra fiber/fruit!) They were amazing. Everyone wolfed them down- the teenagers begged me to make them all the time!

    • Dale Bronson

      5 stars
      We added a 1/4 tsp each or cinnamon and cardamom. These were delicious. They will be on the table at Christmas Brunch.

      • Jennifer

        Thank you I love this recipe and turned it vegan. I don’t really eat refined sugar so for clean eaters this is a bread with a touch of sweet, perfect! I substituted protein powder for the flour, coconut oil used, and Bob’s Redmill egg replacer for the eggs. Excellent recipe. Blessings

  • Rhonda

    4 stars
    I can’t say enough how impressed I am with these muffins! I added a tsp of cinnamon, substituted coconut oil for the avocado oil and added chopped pecans. These are so moist and just sweet enough. Thank you!

  • Amber Blake

    1 star
    Sorry! Didn’t like them; even added a bit of cinnamon & raisins- still so bland! Sadly, they do need a touch of sugar..

    • Unsweetened Caroline

      It’s not for everyone I suppose, but I must say, you were warned. I did specify many times in the recipe that these aren’t sweet bran muffins. They’re made to be a high-fiber muffin without any added sugar that can be eaten for breakfast or a snack with nut butter, jam or other normal bread toppings. Instead of seeing them as a sweet muffin, try seeing them as a high-fiber bread in muffin form that should be enjoyed with regular bread toppings. I’m sorry you gave them a 1 star rating as the recipe was not meant as you thought they should, but thanks for the feedback!

  • Jane

    5 stars
    Great recipe!!! Made it for my 1 year old for quick breakfast or snack. I used coconut oil and added chia seeds and she loves them. I also used bran cereal soaked in warm water. First time making on of your recipes and will definitely not be my last. Thanks.

    • Unsweetened Caroline

      Hi Sarah, I don’t have the calories for these, but the recipe is inspired by my banana bread, which is similar. The banana bread made into muffins will come to about 145 calories. Hope this helps!

    • Nourished by Caroline

      Hi Amanda, I haven’t tried it, so I can’t guarantee it will work. My thought is that it would work fine for the texture, but you’ll lose some of the natural sweetness of the recipe. I definitely think it’s worth a try though! You could add a touch of granulated sugar or top it with sweet ingredients when serving. Let me know if you try it!

  • Nick G

    5 stars
    These were super healthy and god dang good!

    I’ve tried a few banana bran muffin recipes and this is tied for #1..not as tasty as the other one, but way healthier, as the other recipe uses a 1/2 cup of honey, and is a tad too sweet for my liking..so next time I’m going to combine the two recipes, and try 1/4 honey mixed with 1/4 cup of applesauce, which methinks will be the perfect mix.

    These muffins are a good taste test to see how askew one’s taste buds and sensitivity to sugar is..if they’re too sweet for one’s taste, it’s likely that individual is the typical obese first world consumer of about 50x more sugar on a daily basis than should be ideally consumed, and it’s all but a given their taste buds are dysfunctional from an appalling diet.

  • Amanda

    Hi Caroline! What would you suggest as a substitute for applesauce in recipes like this? I have an intolerance to sorbitol and mannitol, so can no longer do apples or applesauce.

    • Nourished by Caroline

      Hi Amanda! Someone else tried Greek yogurt and said it worked! I haven’t tried it myself though. You can find her notes in the comments. She also added a touch of stevia, but you could try granulated sugar or maple too. Hope this helps!

  • Jessica

    5 stars
    I add a small handful (1/8c?) of carob chips, raisins and walnuts and cook them an extra couple of minutes. They’re in my husband’s lunch rotation and he LOVES them!

  • Janice

    5 stars
    This is an awesome recipe! I love the bran and banana ratio and, most importantly, that there is no added sweetener. The muffins rose nicely and the ripe bananas add the perfect amount of sweetness (IMO). Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  • Anna

    5 stars
    I really liked these. I had 3 old bananas that I needed to get rid of, but two were on the smallish side, so it was only a little more banana. I also did not have any applesauce, so crushed some pineapple in, and I added a bit of cinnamon. They were delicious and do not need sugar in my opinion. I will try some stewed Apple next time as I think it will be better than pineapple. But delicious nonetheless! Thank you for posting.

  • Rick F.

    For those of you asking for the nutrition facts on this recipe, here you go. These figures came out of using the Nutritionix app entitled β€œTrack” for IOS (I put it in as a recipe). I am NOT affiliated with this company, just a happy user. I made no changes to the recipe in order to get these figures. These figures are per serving (of 12 servings total)

    Calories : 117 (calories from fat : 54)
    Total fat : 6g
    Saturated fat : 0.7g
    Cholesterol : 31mg
    Sodium : 202mg
    Total Carbs : 15g
    Dietary fiber : 3.7g
    Sugars : 3g
    Protein: 3.3g

    Vitamin A: 1.4%
    Vitamin C: 6.8%
    Calcium : 4.1%
    Iron : 6.2%

    Net Carbs : 11.6g
    Vitamin D: 6.8 IU
    Phosphorous : 113.5mg
    Potassium : 169mg

  • Jo Blankenship

    5 stars
    Love, love, love thee muffins. I added raisins, used regular flour, as it was all I had on hand. Getting ready to make another batch.

  • Yuki

    5 stars
    I don’t use refined sugar so often anymore after I had my baby so this recipe is perfect for me! Easy to bake and taste delicious! I can’t wait to try other sugar-free recipe that you created. Thank you Caroline!

  • Ilene

    Please send me the nutritional info. These look great! (Perhaps it’s there somewhere, but I can’t find it.)
    Ilene

    • Nourished by Caroline

      Hi Ilene, I’m sorry, but I don’t include the nutritional information with my recipes for several reasons. You can check out my breakfast banana bread recipe on the blog, where some people shared the nutrition information in the comment section (the recipe is similar to this one). Another option is to use a nutrition calculator app. If you want recipes with nutrition information, I do have some meal plans available. Sorry for the inconvenience.

  • Amy

    4 stars
    Love the recipe I am sugar free right now in my diet and adding some sweetness to recipes through fruit has been a lifesaver. The things I changed was using only coconut flour, coconut oil in place of the applesauce because I didn’t have any and I added unsweetened coconut and raisins. I used coconut milk and almond milk. Delicious and will use again

  • Jo-Ann Sternberg

    5 stars
    Just made these for my son who is big on NO ADDED SUGAR.
    Such a simple recipe — and they are absolutely DELICIOUS! They will surely become a staple.
    Thanks so much — I’ll keep my eye open for more excellent ideas from you!

  • Tuula

    5 stars
    Thank you for a great tasting, healthy recipe. I love recipes that do not use sugar. These muffins are moist, delicious and so easy to make. Probably the easiest muffin recipe I have ever made. For those wanting a little more sweetness, I added dried cranberries to one batch, just because I needed to use them up. The muffins were quite sweet, sweeter than I need. I like them plain just as much. Thanks again.

  • Sarah

    5 stars
    These are delicious. Muffins sweeter than this are cupcakes. I did, however, add a few cals to mine by smearing butter on them right out of the oven. Yum.

  • Amanda

    5 stars
    Thank you for sharing this recipe. It was exactly what I was looking for – a healthy banana/bran muffin. I used coconut oil, and did half whole wheat flour and half almond flour (thanks to another baker’s comment). I added 1/4 tsp of cinnamon, 1/2 cup of raisins and 1/2 cup of chopped nuts. The muffins were absolutely perfect. My picky 10 year old is gobbling them down right now. Love the recipes that are sugar-free. Thanks again!

  • Rose

    Love this recipe. As I am celiac, I subbed gluten free flour for the flour and gluten free oat bran for the wheat bran, with the addition of 1/2 t xantham gum and a few extra minutes baking time. They came out perfectly.

  • Susan

    4 stars
    Loved these muffins however didn’t rise as much as I like. I used crushed pineapp!e in lieu of applesauce. Very moist

    • Nourished by Caroline

      I’m so happy you like them! I’m assuming the reason why they didn’t rise as much is because you used pineapple instead of applesauce. It’s good to know that it works well and tastes good though, despite the fact they they didn’t rise as much. Thank you for the feedback. πŸ™‚

  • Meep

    5 stars
    What a great (and forgiving!) recipe. I made these for my 7 month old baby for baby led weaning breakfasts. Applesauce isn’t a thing in my country so I made my own by cooking and pureeing apples and strawberries. I also used ‘Ancient Grains’ baby cereal (powdered oats, millet, quinoa and barley) instead of the wheat bran in order to use it up and boost the iron in the recipe.

    Finally I cooked it in a loaf tin and cut into strips for my little one. He loved it! Perfect recipe with limited sugar. My husband and I loved it with just a drizzle of honey on top. Thank you!

  • Laine

    5 stars
    I make these on repeat. Sometimes adding pecans, sometimes cinnamon, and sometimes unsweetened coconut on top!! They are always delicious and satisfy the afternoon snack cravings!
    Thank you again for a perfect recipe!

  • Laine

    I make these on repeat. Sometimes adding pecans, sometimes cinnamon, and sometimes unsweetened coconut on top!! They are always delicious and satisfy the afternoon snack cravings!
    Thank you again for a perfect recipe:)

  • Jessica

    5 stars
    These are a great lunchbox snack. I omit the oil and use two individual containers of unsweetened apple sauce instead. I also add chocolate chips, chopped nuts , raisins and sunflower seeds. I find I have to cook them an extra 2 minutes or so (probably because of the apple sauce) and my husband loves them!

    • Nourished by Caroline

      That’s great! I’m so happy you both like them! And it’s good to hear the apple sauce works. It could be the reason for the extra cooking time, but every oven can be different, so it could be that too. Thank you for sharing your feedback! πŸ™‚

  • CandaceCooking

    5 stars
    Fabulous!! It is so hard to find good healthy low sugar options. These are absolutely wonderful & I added some dried cranberries & chopped walnuts for a little extra pizazz!

    Delish!

  • Mary

    4 stars
    I made these yesterday with wheat bran, Greek yogurt (in lieu of applesauce), cranberries and walnuts. I put in about a tablespoon of honey (hard to be precise as it made a big mess trying to pour from the jar; sticky results). They are certainly not sweet, as made clear, but I find them good and they’re certainly healthy. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  • Laura

    5 stars
    Wow, these are so good! I used flax seed meal in place of the egg and added frozen blueberries. They were light and delicious and may replace my usual go-to vegan blueberry bran muffin recipe whenever I have overripe bananas on hand.

  • Catherine

    5 stars
    Love this recipe! Perfect level of sweetness for me and added a little bit raisins for extra treat.

  • Teresa Dillabough

    5 stars
    Finally!!!! A delicious, moist, light, and truly healthy Bran Muffin!!! Thank you so much for this recipe with the best balance of healthy & sweet (the fruit) that I’ve tried. Other ones I’ve tried don’t rise as nicely as these and are dense and usually too dry or too doughy.

  • Taylor

    5 stars
    Made this with the ingredients I had on hand (will list substitutions below) and they turned out so great! Definitely adding to the regular rotation for a healthy breakfast/snack option. I wanted to make them vegan so I used two flax eggs (two tablespoons ground flax mixed with five tablespoons water). No applesauce, so I used canned pumpkin and coconut oil instead of olive oil. Then lastly, I only had whole wheat bread flour and was worried about how the extra protein would react. So I mixed it 50/50 with oat flour and added in some raisins. Baked for exactly 20 minutes and they were perfect!

  • Susan

    5 stars
    These are terrific muffins…my quickie breakfast go-to. I add chopped nuts and raisins to the recipe and I don’t miss the sugar at all, with peanut butter on top and some fruit on the side, it’s all I need. Thank you Caroline for this recipe πŸ™‚

  • CB

    5 stars
    I have a tried and true family recipe that used 1 cup sugar so wanted to compare a similar one without the sugar. This one is great, and the addition of 1/2 tsp nutmeg really clinches it, it makes the difference πŸ™‚ we tend to add 1/2 cup of blueberries or choc chips. I’m going to try raspberries next with 2tsp lemon juice, but your recipe is the perfect baseline for the healthy muffins we love, thank you!!!