Are you looking to increase your protein intake without protein powders? Try this recipe for banana protein muffins! I've packed this healthy breakfast muffin with an assortment of high-protein ingredients such as egg whites and peanut flour. Most muffins are loaded with added sugars and refined grains and are not a great way to start the day. This chocolate banana protein muffin is sweetened with ripe bananas, no white sugar needed!
Hello, hello! Are you looking to start the morning off right with a protein-packed breakfast? If so, I've got a recipe for you today that is going to help!
Many of us choose items like sugary cereals and pastries in the morning. These items might be tasty and convenient, but they are typically very low in protein.
As a result, you may notice that breakfast tends not to be as satiating as other meals. I know that when I don't eat enough protein in the morning, I'm more likely to be reaching for mid-morning snacks.
Eggs are a super way to get more protein in, but sometimes I need to eat something that is grab-and-go. That is where this banana protein muffin comes in.
Why is this chocolate banana protein muffin recipe better than most protein muffin recipes?
There are a lot of recipes for protein muffins to be found on the web. Often, these contain expensive (and bad-tasting!) protein powders.
In addition, I've seen muffin recipes with protein powders that contain very little protein! Some of these muffin recipes provide 4 grams of protein or less. That is less than half of the protein you're getting with this muffin!
Just because a muffin contains protein powder, it does not mean that it is a protein-rich muffin. If you want to make sure you're getting a decent amount of protein in a recipe, be sure to check the nutrition information.
I might be biased as the recipe creator, but I think this muffin has a lot going for it! Here are some of the benefits of this protein muffin recipe:
- No added sugar: As long as you use unsweetened peanut flour, all the sweetness here comes from ripe bananas. Brown sugar, white sugar, honey, maple syrup, etc. are all omitted.
- No expensive protein powders: You don't need expensive protein powders to help increase your protein intake. If you are like me and find that many protein powders taste chalky, no worries! There's none here.
- Filling and convenient breakfast option: Make it the night before, and you'll have something you can eat on the go in the morning!
- Fits many special diets: This muffin is gluten-free, vegetarian, lower in carbs… you get the idea.
- Single-serve muffin: This recipe makes a single muffin, so no big deal if you don't like it. You have not wasted an entire batch of ingredients.
- Chocolate! (Self-explanatory)
Ingredients needed for protein muffins
You may already have most of what you need to make these protein muffins in your house! Here's the round-up:
- Ripe, mashed banana: If you have some overripe bananas hanging out in your freezer, put them to good use here!
- Egg white
- Defatted peanut flour: Try to choose a flour that is just peanuts, with no added sugar. I use a small farm brand, but Crazy Richard's Peanut Flour looks like a very similar product. (Also, as a person married to a guy named Richard, I find this brand name hilarious. LOL)
- Baking powder
- Dark cocoa powder: Yes, you can use regular cocoa powder here. However, I really love the deeper chocolate flavor of dark cocoa powder and highly recommend it.
- Ground flax seeds: A rich source of beneficial ALA fatty acids
- Milk powder
- Avocado oil (or olive oil)
- Chopped peanuts: In addition to providing a nice texture and taste, these add a bit more protein to your muffins. Don't skip them if you want a high-protein muffin!
How to Make Chocolate Banana Protein Muffins
If you've made muffins before, this recipe is going to be no sweat. Since it makes a single-serve muffin, you don't even have to mess up a large mixing bowl to make it!
Simply mix the dry ingredients (minus the chopped peanuts) in one bowl. Then mix the wet ingredients in a second bowl. Finally, stir your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients and bake.
My muffin tins are pretty old and scratched up. If you are in a similar situation and aren't up for replacing them yet, use muffin papers! If you mist your papers with a bit of cooking oil spray, your muffin should not stick to the paper.
Ugh, I hate it when my muffins stick to the paper. It's such a waste of an otherwise good muffin. Lol
These muffins are moister than your standard run-of-the-mill muffin made with grains. The banana you use will have an impact on both the moistness of the muffin and the cooking time.
If your mashed banana is very watery, you will likely need to bake your muffin a little longer. I have given you a baking time range to account for this.
I typically use frozen and thawed overripe bananas for this recipe. They are very watery, so I often need to bake longer than if I used a fresh mashed banana.
You can check to see if your muffin is done by sticking a toothpick into the center of it. If the toothpick comes out clean or with some crumbs stuck to it, it is done. If the toothpick comes out with wet batter on it, you're not done baking!
Expert Tips from a Dietitian
This is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). I've given this recipe the bump to level 3 due to the use of flour. However, you may find this muffin recipe far more satiating than most muffins due to its high protein content.
I packed as much protein density as possible into this muffin with these ingredients specifically:
- Egg white
- Peanut flour
- Flax meal
- Chopped peanuts
- Instant milk powder
Also, at only around 130 calories per muffin, this muffin is far lower in calories than most store-bought muffins. You can eat a double or triple the batch of this muffin and still likely be under the calories of a single bakery muffin. These chocolate banana protein muffins will fit much easier into low-carb diets than your typical banana muffin as well.
What should I serve with chocolate protein banana muffins?
As you can see in the photos, I served my muffin with additional fresh fruit, including golden berries, blueberries, and cherries. I also recommend adding something from the dairy group to your meal. You could use store-bought yogurt or cottage cheese, or you could try one of these:
- Make Your Own Cottage Cheese at Home
- Homemade Yogurt Without Fancy Equipment
- Instant Pot Yogurt Recipe
Frequently Asked Questions
Are muffins an unhealthy breakfast choice?
Hey, I get it. Muffins are convenient, cheap, and tasty. However, nutritionally, most muffins are not much better than having cake for breakfast.
Many of the muffins that you can get from the bakery section of the grocery store are 400-500 calories each (or more). They are huge and filled with ingredients like white flour and white sugar. Though they provide a lot of calories, they are lacking components like protein and fiber that will help fill you up.
In short, no, most muffins are not a great breakfast choice. If you want a muffin as part of your meal, I have some recipes on this site that are much better options. My recipes are lower in calories, higher in fiber, higher in protein, or all of the above!
Do bananas have protein?
Yes, bananas (and other fruits) do have protein, but the amount they contain is minimal. Per Cronometer, one medium banana provides 105 calories and 1.3 grams of protein. Bananas are primarily a source of carbohydrate, not protein.
These are protein muffins not because of the banana, but because of the other high-protein ingredients they contain. The banana is there primarily as a source of natural sweetness, for taste, and for other nutritional benefits. For example, bananas are rich in vitamin B6, potassium, and fiber.
Are peanuts a good source of protein?
Peanuts can be considered a good source of protein by the FDA's standards. That said, animal-based proteins are superior in that they provide high-quality protein (and the lean options provide greater protein density per calorie).
Per Cronometer, one ounce of raw peanuts provides 160 calories and 7.3 grams of protein. Peanuts are technically a legume and are part of the MyPlate protein group. I used both peanut flour and chopped peanuts in this banana muffin recipe to really pack in the protein.
Other Recipes You May Enjoy
If you're looking for more high-protein and/or low-calorie breakfast recipes, you are in luck! Don't miss out on these:
- Proats Recipe: Egg White Oatmeal
- Baked Protein Oatmeal (with a Secret Ingredient!)
- Small Batch Banana Muffin (No Butter) This is a single-serve "regular" (not high-protein) banana muffin that runs around 100 calories. I recommend this muffin recipe if your goal is not specifically to increase your protein intake.
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And now for the disclaimer…
All recipes on this website may or may not be appropriate for you, depending on your medical needs and personal preferences. Consult with a registered dietitian or your physician if you need help determining the dietary pattern that may be best for you.
The nutrition information is an estimate provided as a courtesy. It will differ depending on the specific brands and ingredients that you use. Calorie information on food labels may be wildly inaccurate, so please don't sweat the numbers too much.
For more information on how the three recipe levels may help with a weight management goal, refer to this post. Let's get cooking!
Banana Protein Muffins | No Added Sugar!
- 2 tablespoons mashed banana, very ripe
- 2 tablespoons egg white
- 2 tablespoons defatted peanut flour (choose one with no added sugar)
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon dark cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon ground flaxseed
- 1 teaspoon instant dry milk powder
- ½ teaspoon avocado oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped peanuts (for topping)
- cooking oil spray of choice
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Put a muffin paper in one compartment of your muffin tin and mist it with the cooking spray.
- Combine the flour, milk powder, baking powder, cocoa powder, and ground flax in one bowl. Combine the banana, egg white, and oil in a second bowl. Dump your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients, and stir until combined.
- Put the mixture into the oiled muffin paper that is in your muffin tin.
- Top with the chopped peanuts, pressing them into the batter slightly.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes on the top rack of the oven (⅓ down). When finished baking, a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin will come out clean or with crumbs. The exact cooking time will depend on how watery the banana you started with was.
- For the best texture, let your muffin cool to room temperature before eating.
This is a level 3 recipe (weight maintenance and active lifestyles). I've given this recipe the bump to level 3 due to the use of flour. However, you may find this muffin recipe far more satiating than most muffins due to its high protein content. I packed as much protein density as possible into this muffin with these ingredients specifically:
- Egg white
- Peanut flour
- Flax meal
- Chopped peanuts
- Instant milk powder