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Healthy Banana Carrot Muffins with Whole Grains

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These delightfully fluffy and healthy banana carrot muffins are made with whole grains and healthy fats, and are lower in sugar than typical muffins. Packed with lots of warm spices for a rich carrot cake flavor, these muffins are perfect to enjoy with a great breakfast or as a healthy snack the whole family will go crazy for.

These are muffins on a cooling rack.

I don’t know about you, but we always have a couple of bananas that are past their prime around here. It’s hard to buy the right amount of bananas–if I only buy four, then all of a sudden everyone is a banana fiend! But then if I buy 8, no one is interested in them anymore. Can’t get it right!

Or perhaps this is strategic on my kids’ part–you see, brown bananas mean MUFFINS! And they go crazy for muffins.

Being that I have an ongoing mission to get a few more veggies into everything we eat, I decided to try adding some veggies to our typical banana muffin recipe. Being that it was spring and carrot cake was everywhere, I thought–why not carrot cake-style muffins?

This is the important recipe info including major ingredients & baking time--full info available in the recipe card at the bottom.

This recipe required a few tweaks and re-tweaks to achieve the combination of fluffy texture, moist crumb, and rich flavor that I was going for, but we made it! These are a new favorite around here, and I’ve even made batches to give to friends and family.

If you’re into milling your own flour, this recipe works perfectly for that, too, and fresh milled flour is what we use ourselves most of the time. I recommend using soft white wheat berries to replicate the pastry flour.

These are banana carrot muffins on a cooling rack.

Ingredients & Equipment

To make these banana carrot muffins, you need the following wholesome ingredients:

Grated Carrot – I recommend a box grater to shred fresh carrots. Pre-shredded carrots from the grocery store are dried out. You can also use a food processor to shred them, but you only need 1 cup of shredded carrot and it can be done so quickly with the box grater that I don’t think it’s worth getting that thing out and washing all the pieces!

Overripe Bananas – This recipe uses two spotted bananas. The more brown spots, the sweeter they will be!

Whole Wheat Pastry Flour ​- Whole wheat pastry flour is a lower-gluten flour that allows for light & soft baked goods. It’s less dense than a typical whole wheat flour, but it’s still 100% whole grain. It’s usually not too hard to find in any natural grocery store, but you can use regular whole wheat flour if needed–they will just be denser.

Light Sour Cream – This gives the muffins an incredible texture. Regular sour cream or yogurt is fine to substitute if needed.

Avocado Oil – Avocado oil is considered heart-healthy and is a great substitute for seed oils and vegetable oil in baking where a lighter flavor is appreciated. However, make sure you choose a high-quality avocado oil. Unfortunately, cheaper brands are often rancid or not 100% avocado oil, despite what their labels say.

Dark Brown Sugar – This recipe just uses 1/2 cup, so it’s great for people looking to avoid a high amount of added sugar.

Vanilla & Spices – Cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ground ginger.

Chopped Walnuts ​- Optional

These are the ingredients for the muffins arranged on a white wooden background.

You will also need:

A muffin tin & papers for baking. This recipe makes 14 muffins–yes, a bit inconvenient to be over 12 because you’ll either need two tins or will have to bake in batches, but I don’t think anyone has ever been mad about extra muffins!

Mixing bowls, whisk, & spoon— No need to get the mixer out for this–it comes together easily by hand.

Instructions

This is a measuring cup of grated carrot next to a box grater.

1. Prep Carrot & Banana

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Prep the carrot by washing, drying, and grating on the small side of a box grater. You can also use a food processor, but you may want to chop the grated carrot roughly with a knife to get smaller bits.

Peel the bananas and use a fork to mask them in a small bowl. Set these ingredients aside.

This is a glass mixing bowl with flour and a whisk.

2. Whisk Dry Ingredients

Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and sea salt into a large mixing bowl. Whisk together and set aside.

This is a white mixing bowl with the wet ingredients and rubber spatula.

3. Mix Wet Ingredients

In a separate bowl, add the mashed banana, grated carrot, light sour cream, avocado oil, dark brown sugar, vanilla extract, and egg. Stir together until evenly mixed.

This is the glass mixing bowl with the wet and dry ingredients being mixed together.

4. Combine Wet & Dry

Add the bowl of wet ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients. Stir until everything is evenly combined and there are no dry bits of flour left but do not over-mix. Add the walnuts (if using) and gently fold them in.

This is the muffin batter portioned into the muffin tin about to go into the oven.

5. Portion Muffins

Line a muffin tin with muffin liners. Evenly divide the muffin batter between 12-14 muffin cups. Using a standard-sized cookie scoop can help–give 2 scoops per muffin cup.

These are the carrot cake banana muffins out of the oven on the cooling rack.

6. Bake

Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool 5-10 minutes in the muffin pan, then remove to finish cooling on a cooling rack.

Variations & Substitutions

If you need to tweak these healthy muffins for any reason, here are a few suggestions for simple swaps:

Flour: If needed, you can use regular white whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, or a 50/50 mix of both. If you prefer to mill your own grains, use soft white wheat berries.

Light sour cream: You can use regular if needed. Plain or vanilla yogurt is also a good option.

Avocado Oil: You can use melted (and slightly cooled) butter or coconut oil. Olive oil would work, but some find the flavor strong in baked goods. Coconut oil would also add a strong flavor, but it would be delightful. Light olive oil would be a good choice.

Walnuts: These are optional–feel free to omit them or swap them out for another nut, seed, or even chocolate chips.

Dark brown sugar: You can use light brown sugar. Coconut sugar or white sugar can be used in a pinch, but these sugars offer a little less moisture.

Other Delicious Whole Grain Baked Goods

Try some of my other amazing whole grain recipes! My banana pumpkin muffins are delicious and perfect for fall. My health(ier) molasses oatmeal cookies are great for when you need a sweet treat, and my dairy-free cornbread is perfect as a dinner side!

You will also love my low-calorie protein balls for a wholesome snack.

If you love making breads, try my Cranberry Wild Rice Bread recipe!

This is a stack of banana carrot muffins on a cooling rack.

Nutrition Information

The macros for this banana carrot muffin recipe are based on my chosen ingredients and calculated by my macro-tracking app of choice. Your macros may vary. If you omit the nuts, the calories are around 147 a piece.

These are the macros for the muffins--also written under this picture.
  • Calories: 175
  • Protein: 3g
  • Fat: 8g
  • Carbs: 23g
  • Fiber: 3g

Recipe Notes & Storage

Store leftover muffins at room temperature for up to 4 days. If you do not think you can finish them within the first 3-4 days, I recommend freezing them for up to 6 months.

You’ll Love These Carrot Cake Banana Muffins!

Bake these carrot cake-inspired banana carrot muffins today! They are SO good–a perfectly wholesome snack without *too* much sugar.

If you make these, let me know how it goes in the comments!

This is a stack of banana carrot muffins on a cooling rack.
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Banana Carrot Muffins

Fluffy, moist, and perfectly sweetened–these nutritious banana carrot muffins are perfect for breakfasts or snack time!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time13 minutes
Total Time23 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: banana carrot muffins, carrot banana muffins, whole wheat carrot muffins
Servings: 14
Calories: 178kcal
Author: Holly Lee
Cost: $5

Equipment

  • box grater
  • muffin pan
  • muffin wrappers

Ingredients

  • 1 cup grated carrot 105 grams
  • 2 medium bananas mashed
  • 200 grams white whole wheat pastry flour about 1 1/2 cups
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup light sour cream (or regular)
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts optional

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Prep the carrot by washing, drying, and grating on the small side of a box grater. You can also use a food processor, but you may want to chop the grated carrot roughly with a knife to get smaller bits. Peel the banans and use a fork to mask them in a small bowl. Set these ingredients aside.
    200 grams white whole wheat pastry flour, 2 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 3/4 tsp ground ginger, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1/4 tsp ground cloves, 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and sea salt into a medium mixing bowl. Whisk together and set aside.
  • Into another medium bowl, add the mashed bananas, grated carrot, light sour cream, avocado oil, dark brown sugar, vanilla, and the egg. Stir together until evenly mixed.
    1 cup grated carrot, 2 medium bananas, 1/3 cup light sour cream, 1/4 cup avocado oil, 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, 1 egg, 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Add the bowl of wet ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients. Stir until everything is evenly combined and there are no dry bits of flour left, but do not over mix. Add the walnuts (if using) and gently fold them in.
    1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • Line a muffin tin with muffin wrappers. Evenly divide the batter between 12-14 muffin cups. Using a standard-sized cookie scoop can help–give 2 scoops per muffin cup.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 12-13 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool 5-10 minutes in the muffin pan, then remove to finish cooling on a cooling rack.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

Store leftover muffins at room temperature for up to 4 days. If you do not think you can finish them within the first 3-4 days, I recommend freezing them for up to 6 months.
If you need to tweak these healthy muffins for any reason, here are a few suggestions for simple swaps:
Flour: If needed, you can use regular white whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, or a 50/50 mix of both. If you prefer to mill your own grains, use soft white wheat berries.
Light sour cream: You can use regular if needed. Plain or vanilla yogurt is also a good option.
Avocado Oil: You can use melted (and slightly cooled) butter or coconut oil. Olive oil would work, but some find the flavor strong in baked goods. Coconut oil would also add a strong flavor, but it would be delightful. Light olive oil would be a good choice.
Walnuts: These are optional–feel free to omit them or swap them out for another nut, seed, or even chocolate chips.
Dark brown sugar: You can use light brown sugar. Coconut sugar or white sugar can be used in a pinch, but these sugars offer a little less moisture.

Nutrition

Calories: 178kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.001g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 177mg | Potassium: 190mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 1576IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 73mg | Iron: 1mg

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