These healthy banana nut muffins are paleo, grain-free, gluten-free, flourless, sugar-free, sweetener-free, oil-free, coconut-free, peanut-free and made with just four ingredients. Simplicity at its finest.
These walnut muffins remind me of fall. Warm and rustic. Especially the ones with whole walnuts pressed into the tops. Something about them is just somehow reminiscent of the pre-winter season: shades of reds and oranges and browns coalesced against a blue sky; long sleeves and cool weather; crunching leaves sprinkled along the roads and warm, sweet-smelling wind and hot soups.
Now, you might be wondering: why am I posting a fall nostalgia-inducing recipe in April, which is the dead middle of spring? Shouldn’t I be focused on the pinks/purples/greens/yellows of spring? And birdsong and bright colors? And the floral scent of blooming flowers?
Well, April is the beginning of fall in the southern hemisphere. Here in Chile, summer is just ending and cooler weather is already chasing the sun’s warmth away. The past two weeks have been especially chilly. (It’s chilly in Chile, punny I know. Fun fact: it’s actually pronounced chee lay – the beginning of cheat followed by lay like you’re laying out in the sun – not chili the bean dish.)
March, April and May are the autumn months down here. (Another fun fact: yes, Christmas in Chile is during the summer and they do celebrate it; a warm-weathered Christmas is quite different than celebrating the festivities in cold weather. The absence of snow is just… strange.)
Regardless of your current season, these simple healthy banana nut muffins can and should be enjoyed all year-round, whatever the season, through all the seasons. Winter, summer, spring or fall… Let’s make some muffins and eat them all!
I’m a natural born poet, in case that fact escaped you. 😉
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again: Simplicity is beautiful. Recipes that don’t waste your whole day away or require a million exotic ingredients yet still taste amazing, well… that’s perfection right there. I’m not against elaborate cooking, but on a daily basis the simple recipes are the ones that I fall back to (no pun intended) and are much easier to incorporate into everyday life (esp. for busy peeps!).
These Paleo Banana Nut Cupcake Muffins have only four ingredients, take less than 10 minutes prepare and everything is done in the blender so there’s minimum cleanup!
It kind of hits all the simplicity bases: minimal ingredients, minimally time-consuming, minimal cleanup. Even eating them takes minimal time/effort; they taste so good you can’t help but
pound crunch them down like they’re going out of season (this pun was, in fact, intended). They practically just disappear! Swept away like leaves in the wind!
Bananas and nuts kind of go together. The nuts keep your blood sugar levels steady (because bananas on their own are sugary and all) plus the tastes balance each other out. At least that’s how I see it. There’s a reason why almond buttered bananas are so popular, right?
Regular banana bread is good. Adding walnuts brings it up to a solid 10/10. (Let’s be real: Ain’t nobody got time for banana bread without walnuts.)
Transforming the banana bread to cupcake shapes only adds to the awesomeness scale. These are a spin-off of my 3 Ingredient Cupcake Muffins – the only difference being the addition of walnuts – and I like them infinitely many times better.
Just like with my 4 Ingredient Blueberry Cupcake Muffins, these could easily pass for both cupcakes or muffins. Dress them up with icing/frosting and other decorations. Or keep it simple with just the four required ingredients.
In case you’re wondering, yes you can make this into a loaf too. Any shape you want really. You’re welcome.
Feel free to add in any other nuts. Walnuts are a given, but you can also try chunks of almonds, pecans, cashews, brazil nuts, pistachios, macadamia nuts, or any other nut. Me gusta todos los
cojones nueces. Chestnuts are in season so I’ve been adding the sweet/earthy/autumny nuts to lots of things lately, these 4 ingredient banana nut muffins included. Chestnuts, to me, are the epitome of autumn. The exact missing puzzle piece to this cool weathered season… or so I’ve just recently discovered.
Technically these are Double Nut Muffins since they have both walnuts and almonds. Transforming them into Triple Nut Muffins by adding additional nuts or even Quadruple Nut Muffins is highly encouraged. Or, if you’re a real nut, go balls to the wall and make Quintuple Nut Muffins. That’s right. Five different nuts. How about almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews and macadamia nuts? (You gotta have a lot of nuts to pull this one off…)
Are you seriously entertaining this idea? You’re nuts. But it’s gonna be awesome.
I knew we were all nuts here… but now we have nuts, we are nuts, we eat nuts…
Wait. Does this make us cannibals?
Other great ideas? Chocolate chips, a dash of sea salt, a tablespoon of cocoa powder…
And a dusting of cinnamon, of course, to complete the fall display.
Remember what I said about the cupcake/muffin identification dilemma? This frosting certainly doesn’t make the answer any clearer…
The title may say muffins but these are sweet like cupcakes. Banana nut cupcakes.
Let’s just settle for sweet muffins, okay? Or cupcake muffins. Really I guess it doesn’t matter what they’re called – don’t judge a recipe by its name, right? Especially healthy sweet treats such as these. Paleo banana nut muffins deserve no judgement, inaccurate names aside.
P.S. That frosting? 3 Ingredient Chocolate Avocado Frosting. A healthy icing to complete and compliment your 4 ingredient Paleo banana nut muffins.
Now let’s summarize:
- Easy to make. Simple recipe, simple instructions. Only 4 ingredients.
- Healthy. No bad ingredients like flour, milk, butter, sugar or grains.
- Has nuts. Because we’re all nutty for nuts, amiright?
- Customizable. So many different variations and spices and flavor options. Did you read all the great ideas I gave you?? (a couple paragraphs back for all those scrollers…)
- Pretty. Because people eat with their eyes, you know? (To all the scientist-y people out there with a refute teetering on their lips: I don’t care what biology says. People eat with their eyes. They do. It’s true.)
- Transformers. Yep, these simple sweet little baked goods can be anything you want them to be. Muffins or cupcakes; dessert or breakfast (or even both); frosted or unfrosted; chunky or smooth. Transformers I say!
These 4 ingredient banana nut muffins are the real deal. (In other words, de verdad, which means ‘of the truth’… or for real.)
Tip #1: Pressing a whole walnut into the top of each muffin looks awesome and takes the beauty to a whole new level. You’ll score major cool points, trust yo.
Tip #2: You can eat the batter raw if you omit the egg. I like folding in chocolate chips; voila, healthy raw chocolate chip banana nut batter… and only four ingredients!
- 1 cup almonds (or ¾ cup almond flour)
- 2 large ripe bananas
- 1 egg
- ¼-1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place almonds in blender and blend for a few minutes, until the nuts have turned into something halfway between almond flour and almond butter with no large chunks of almonds left.
- Add banana and blend until the batter is super smooth.
- Add egg and blend until just combined. Don’t run too long; you don’t want the egg cooking just yet.
- Stir in chopped walnuts, reserving a few to press on the top, if desired. If using whole walnuts, you could add them to the blender and pulse briefly. Try not to blend too much after adding the walnuts; you want some chunks in there!
- Pour batter into cupcake molds. Fill almost to the top. These do rise a little (they made an actual muffin top shape last time I baked them).
- Press a whole walnut into the top of each muffin (optional).
- Bake for around 20 minutes, until the tops are firm to the touch. Let them cool at room temperature for a few minutes.
- Admire. Eat. Share if you're feeling generous (but only if you have extras).
As always, the bananas need to be super ripe. Use unripe bananas and your muffins likely won’t be very sweet. The nice soft, brown-skinned bananas give your muffins moisture (but still hold firm) as well as sweetness.
I took raw almonds and soaked/dehydrated/roasted them myself, but any almonds will work.
I used silicone baking molds to cook the muffins. They are non-stick and I didn’t need to use oil or butter. The muffins slid out with ease. Use coconut oil if baking in traditional cupcake molds.
The muffins can be stored in the refrigerator. They become a little denser and sweeter after being chilled and taste equally as good. They’ll stay good for a week or so.
What reminds you of fall? Play this reminiscent dance with me even if it’s not autumn where you live.
For me: rustic colors (deep reds and browns), chestnuts, muffins, soups, wearing hoodies with shorts and the smell of smoke from campfires. Some may try to cling onto the last shreds of summer as they slip away, but I say embrace the new season! Fall brings with it many pleasures.