Are you looking to increase your protein intake without protein powder? 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, not a great way to start the day. These chocolate banana protein muffins are sweetened with ripe bananas, no sugar added!
Hello, hello! Are you looking to start the morning off right with a protein-packed breakfast? If so, this recipe for low calorie protein muffins 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 low in protein.
As a result, you may notice that breakfast tends not to be as filling 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 healthy banana protein muffin recipe comes in.
These banana bread protein muffins will satisfy your sweet tooth while providing more protein than most muffins. They’re a better-for-you option compared to most baked goods.
Additionally, cocoa powder (or cacao powder) provides a light chocolate flavor with no sugar. You’ll love these chocolate protein muffins if you’re looking for a delicious lower carb and low-calorie muffin!
📋 Calories, Net Carbs, Protein
One serving of protein banana muffins has 102 calories, 7.3 grams net carbs, and 6.6 grams protein (using egg whites). Admittedly, these likely aren’t the ideal macros for bodybuilding. However, you're getting over twice the protein for your 100 calories compared to typical banana muffins.
There are a lot of recipes for high protein muffins on the web. Often, these are protein powder muffins with 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. They may provide no more protein than a regular muffin.
A muffin may contain protein powder, but that doesn't mean it’s a protein-dense 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, but I think this muffin has a lot going for it! Here are some of the benefits of this protein muffin recipe:
- No sugar added: Unlike most muffin recipes, these chocolate banana protein muffins are low sugar. As long as you use unsweetened peanut flour, all the sweetness here comes from ripe bananas. Brown sugar, white sugar, honey, maple syrup, agave and other added sugars are not included.
- 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.
- Gluten free: This is a protein muffin without gluten, so it works for those with celiac disease and NCGS. It’s also a vegetarian protein muffin.
- Lower carb: Bananas are not a low carb fruit, but these banana muffins are lower carb than most banana muffin recipes. (This is largely because it has no refined sugars.)
- Filling and convenient breakfast option: Make it the night before, and you'll have something you can eat on the go in the morning! So easy and portable!
- Chocolate! (Self-explanatory)
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 whites or whole large eggs
- Peanut flour: Try to choose a flour that is just peanuts, with no added sugar. I use Crazy Richard's Peanut Flour.
- Baking powder
- Dark cocoa powder or cacao powder: Yes, you can use regular cocoa powder as well. However, I really love the deeper chocolate flavor of dark cocoa powder and highly recommend it.
- Swerve granular: You can use your favorite 1-to-1 sugar substitute, such as Lakanto monk fruit, if you’d prefer.
- 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 higher protein muffin!
- Cooking oil spray
If your peeled bananas are a little underripe and difficult to mash, try microwaving them for about 30 seconds. Ripe bananas that were frozen and thawed mash very easily.
If you aren’t digging the banana and chocolate combo I’m using for these protein muffins, you have options! Here are some other fruits and veggie muffin ideas you can use instead of banana:
- Mashed sweet potato
- Shredded carrot
- Grated zucchini
- Pureed dates
Note that you will probably have to increase the Swerve if you use a fruit or vegetable that isn’t very sweet.
There are also a lot of different flours you can substitute for peanut powder. I haven’t tested these, and most are lower in protein than peanut flour:
- Whole wheat flour
- Oat flour
- Almond flour
- Coconut flour (or another favorite gluten-free flour)
- Whey protein powder (vanilla or chocolate protein powder)
- Plant-based protein powder
If experimenting with protein powder in muffins, I’d use it to only partially replace the flour.
Instead of the peanuts, you could use one of these muffin toppings:
- Chocolate chips
- Almonds (or other nuts)
Melted coconut oil or melted butter could probably stand in for the avocado oil.
For an additional protein boost, here are a few more ingredients you could experiment with:
- Blended cottage cheese
- Hemp hearts
- Greek yogurt
- Peanut butter
- Almond butter
This recipe makes a small batch, so if your experiment ends up being a flop, at least you didn’t waste many ingredients. On the other hand, you might come up with the best protein muffin recipe ever!
You’ll need the following kitchen equipment to make this chocolate banana protein muffin recipe:
- Muffin pan
- Muffin pan liners
- Potato masher
- Cooling rack
A hand potato masher is a helpful tool to mash bananas without messing up a blender or food processor. That said, there’s no reason you can’t make blender muffins, blending the ripe bananas instead. A fork can also be used to mash ripe bananas, but it takes a bit longer to get them smooth.
🔪 How to Make
Want to know how to make banana protein muffins? If you've made muffins before, this recipe is going to be no sweat. Since the recipe only makes four muffins, you don't even have to mess up a large mixing bowl!
Here are step-by-step photos of the process:
Simply mix the dry ingredients (minus the chopped peanuts) in one bowl (1). Then mix the wet ingredients in a second bowl (2).
Next, stir your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients (3). Spray four muffin papers (4), fill the muffin cups with batter (5), top with peanuts (6), 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! To keep muffins from sticking to the paper, use cooking oil spray on the paper liners.
Ugh, I hate it when my muffins stick to the paper. It's such a waste of an otherwise good muffin.
Fill your sprayed muffin liners to the tip-top with the batter. If you use the weights and volume measures I’ve provided, you should fill four muffin liner papers exactly. After sprinkling the tops of the protein muffins with the chopped peanuts, it’s time to get baking!
️⏲ Cooking Time and Temperature
How long do you bake banana protein muffins for? Bake protein banana muffins for a total of 13-14 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit (218C). Put the muffin tin about one-third of the way from the top of the oven.
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!
The banana muffins will sink in the center as they cool if you've undercooked them. This is a cosmetic issue only; the muffins will still taste the same.
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. Frozen and thawed overripe bananas tend to be more watery than fresh mashed bananas.
After removing them from the oven, let your muffins cool for a few minutes before taking them out of the muffin pan. I like to let my muffins come to room temperature on a cooling rack before putting them in the fridge.
For the best texture, I highly recommend letting your muffins chill completely before eating. They tasted a bit too eggy and were a little too mushy for my tastes before they completely cooled.
How long do banana protein muffins last? These protein banana muffins are best eaten the same day. However, if you wrap them individually in plastic wrap, leftover protein muffins will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Can you freeze banana protein muffins? To freeze banana muffins with protein, remove them from their paper liners and wrap them individually in plastic wrap. Then put the wrapped muffins in a freezer bag with the air pressed out. After freezing, you can thaw the muffins in the refrigerator whenever you want a snack.
🥗 Side Dishes
What to serve with chocolate banana protein muffins? Try one (or more) of these:
- Fresh fruit (Strawberries, blueberries, or cherries are nice)
- Cottage cheese (Store-bought or learn to Make Your Own Cottage Cheese at Home)
- Yogurt (Store-bought or try Homemade Yogurt Without Fancy Equipment or this Instant Pot Yogurt Recipe)
- Banana Split Fruit and Yogurt Bowls
💭 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’d consider these chocolate banana protein muffins to be a better muffin for weight watchers than most muffins.
I packed as much protein density as possible into this muffin with these ingredients specifically:
- Egg white (or eggs)
- Peanut flour
- Flax meal
- Chopped peanuts
- Instant milk powder
Also, at only around 100 calories per muffin, this muffin is far lower in calories than most store-bought muffins. You can eat two or three of these muffins and still (likely) be under the calories of a single bakery muffin. These chocolate banana protein muffins will fit easier into low-carb diets than your typical banana muffin as well.
I prefer the taste of these protein muffins with whole eggs versus egg whites. The disadvantage of using whole eggs is that protein decreases a little, while fat and calories increase. The change is minimal enough to be worth it, IMO.
Aside from using whole eggs, you can use a spread to add more fat and calories to these protein muffins. Peanut butter, almond butter, and dairy butter are my top picks for protein muffin spreads.
Are muffins an unhealthy breakfast choice?
In short, most muffins are not a great breakfast choice. Muffins are convenient, cheap, and tasty. However, nutritionally, most muffins are not much better than having cake for breakfast.
Many 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 things like protein and fiber that will help fill you up.
If you want a muffin as part of your meal, I have some recipes on this site that are better options. My recipes are lower calorie, higher fiber, higher protein, or all of the above! Check out my list of healthy muffin recipes below!
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 generally 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.
How to make banana protein muffins vegan?
To make vegan banana protein muffins, you’ll need to figure out ways to make them with no egg and dairy free. The egg provides some leavening in the recipe. I tried making these protein muffins with less egg, and they did not rise as well.
If you use a plant-based egg substitute (such as a flax gel “egg”), you’ll probably need to add additional baking powder. You should be able to substitute the dairy milk powder for soy milk powder with no issues.
How to make banana protein muffins keto?
To make a keto banana protein muffin, you need to get rid of the banana! What I’d do is take my favorite plain keto protein muffin recipe and add some banana extract to it. That way, you’ll get the banana flavor but keep it very low carb.
👩🏻🍳 Other Healthy Muffin Recipes
Want more healthy recipes for muffins? I’ve got you covered! Check these out:
- Blueberry Protein Muffins (Made with Kodiak Cakes mix)
- Small Batch Banana Muffin (No Butter)
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Muffins (Grain-Free)
🍳 Other Protein Recipes
If you want more high protein breakfast recipes, you’re in luck! Don't miss out on these:
- High Protein Banana Bread
- Proats Recipe: Egg White Oatmeal
- Baked Protein Oatmeal (with a Secret Ingredient!)
- High Protein Frittata
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 my overnight oats no sugar post. Let's get cooking!
Chocolate Banana Protein Muffins
- 1 medium mashed banana, very ripe (5-6 tablespoons of banana)
- 6 tablespoons peanut flour (30 grams; choose one with no added sugar)
- 1 tablespoon Swerve, granular
- 1 tablespoon instant dry milk powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon dark cocoa powder (17 grams; cacao powder may also be used)
- ½ tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 2 large eggs (or 6 tablespoons egg whites)
- ½ tablespoon avocado oil
- 3 tablespoons chopped peanuts (for topping)
- cooking oil spray
- Preheat the oven to 425°F (218°C). Put muffin papers in four compartments of a muffin tin and mist them with cooking spray.
- Mash the banana until completely smooth with a potato masher or fork.
- Combine the peanut flour, Swerve, milk powder, baking powder, cocoa powder, and ground flax in a medium-sized bowl. Combine the banana, eggs (or egg whites), and oil in a second bowl. Dump your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients, and stir until combined.
- Put the muffin batter into the oiled muffin papers that are in your muffin tin. If the ingredients were weighed and measured correctly, the paper liners should be filled to the top.
- Top the muffins with the chopped peanuts, pressing them into the batter slightly.
- Bake for 13-14 minutes about ⅓ of the way from the top of the oven. When finished baking, a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin will come out clean or with crumbs. If you undercook the muffins, the middles will sink as they cool.
- After removing them from the oven, let the muffins cool for a few minutes before carefully taking them out of the muffin pan. Let them come to room temperature on a cooling rack before putting them in the fridge. For the best texture, let the muffins chill completely 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 higher protein content. I’d consider these chocolate banana protein muffins to be a better muffin for weight watchers than most muffins. I packed as much protein density as possible into this muffin with these ingredients specifically:
- Egg white (or eggs)
- Peanut flour
- Flax meal
- Chopped peanuts
- Instant milk powder
This is a recipe revamp that features new photos, a new recipe video, and more nutrition information. Enjoy!