Banana Protein Muffins with Walnuts
These banana protein muffins are a nutritious twist on a breakfast classic. With 10 grams of protein per serving and wholesome ingredients like whole wheat, flax, and yogurt, these muffins will help you start your day strong. Whip up a batch for an easy grab-and-go breakfast to enjoy all week.
Reasons to love these muffins
Banana bread and banana muffins are classics for a reason. They’re moist, tender, and perfect backdrops for fun additions like nuts, spices, and chocolate chips. These banana walnut muffins are no exception – they’re nutty, fluffy, and flavorful without being too sweet.
If you’re looking for a convenient make-ahead breakfast option, this recipe has you covered. Prepping these muffins is a breeze – just mix, bake, and you’ll have 12 servings ready for grab-and-go.
As an added plus, this recipe has a few secret ingredients that make it higher in key nutrients and way more satisfying than a standard muffin. Goodbye, midmorning slump!
Nutrition fun facts
How do you make muffins high in protein, anyway?
Protein is a key nutrient for building healthy tissues and keeping you full. It’s especially important to get protein at breakfast if you want to stay focused and avoid pre-lunch hangry feelings.
When you hear the word ‘protein’ you may think of things like meat, eggs, or tofu. These absolutely count! You can also get some protein from dairy, soy, peas, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.
This recipe gets its 10 grams of protein per serving from yogurt, whey protein powder, eggs, flaxseeds, and whole wheat flour.
Ingredients you’ll need
The ingredient list might look long, but I promise there’s nothing fancy in here. This is a pretty basic muffin recipe, with a few additions to boost its nutritional value.
- Bananas – the browner, the better!
- Yogurt – This adds some extra protein to your recipe and can act as a replacement for oil. You can use plain yogurt or Greek yogurt, but I do suggest vanilla for a bit of sweetness and added flavor.
- Brown sugar – You can also swap in granulated sugar. (I haven’t tested this with liquid sweeteners like honey or maple syrup yet – if you do, let me know how it goes!)
- Canola oil – You can use any neutral-flavored oil here.
- Eggs – another protein source!
- Whole wheat flour – This adds protein, fiber, and flavor to your muffins.
- Ground flax – Adding a bit of ground flax to your baking recipes boosts their healthy fat and fiber content.
- Whey protein powder – Protein powder is the secret ingredient that makes these muffins high in protein. I enjoy the taste and texture of whey protein, but I haven’t tried alternative protein powders (soy, pea, etc.) in baking. You might have a different result if you use a different type!
- Baking soda – This helps your muffins rise.
- Cinnamon – measure this with your heart!
- Salt – It might sound weird, but adding a pinch of salt helps bring out the sweetness in baked goods.
- Walnuts – these are optional but they add a delicious crunch! You can swap in other chopped nuts like almonds, pecans, or pistachios if you like.
Tips for success
Baking is equal parts art and science. There are endless ways to make muffins and other baked goodies, but you can mess them up if you veer too far from your recipe. Here’s what I do to make sure these muffins come out perfectly every time.
- Mash the bananas with a potato masher. A fork works, but it takes way longer! When you use a potato masher, you’ll get a more consistent mash with fewer lumps.
- Use the muffin method. Do you know the muffin method? (The muffin method… the muffin method. I’m sorry – I had to.) The muffin method is a specific way to mix batter that results in a tender (instead of tough) crumb structure. I’ll walk you through this process in the recipe card, but make sure to mix your dry ingredients and wet ingredients in seperate bowls, then pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones.
- Don’t overmix. Mix the wet and dry ingredients until just combined. It’s okay if you see some flecks of dry flour. Overmixed muffins will be too dense and smooth – we want light and fluffy!
- Full muffin cups = fluffy muffin tops. Don’t be afraid to fill those muffin cups to the top with batter!
Since these muffins are quite moist, they keep best when they’re refrigerated. Store cooled muffins in a sealed container in the fridge for up to about 4 days. You can toast them, microwave them, or eat them cold.
Although these high-protein muffins are full of beneficial nutrients, one muffin is still too low in calories to be called a meal on its own. Pair a muffin with your favorite egg dish and a piece of fruit to make it a meal. You can also add some calories by spreading some peanut butter on your muffin.
- Chocolate version – Add a tablespoon of cocoa powder, chocolate protein powder, and chocolate chips for a chocolate/banana combo.
- Add a hidden veggie – Fold in ¼ cup of shredded zucchini or carrot (with excess water squeezed out) for some extra nutrition.
- Vegan/dairy-free – Use vegan yogurt, a flax egg, and plant-based protein powder. (I haven’t personally tried this variation, so your final product might look different from mine.)
- Gluten-free – Use a 1:1 gluten-free baking flour instead of the whole wheat flour.
- Nut-free – omit the walnuts. You can also swap in pumpkin seeds!
Banana Protein Muffins with Walnuts
- 2 large mixing bowls
- 1 whisk
- 1 spatula (or wooden spoon)
- muffin pan (I used a 12-cup)
- 12 muffin liners
- 3 medium brown bananas
- ½ cup vanilla yogurt
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 6 tbsp canola oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- ½ cup ground flax
- ¾ cup whey protein powder vanilla-flavored
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ cup walnuts chopped, plus more for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Add muffin liners to a 12-cup muffin pan.
- Mix the wet ingredients. In a large bowl, mash the banana. Add vanilla yogurt, brown sugar, canola oil, and eggs. Whisk until mostly smooth (it's okay if you have some lumps of banana).
- Mix the dry ingredients. In another large bowl, combine whole wheat flour, ground flax, whey protein powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk to combine.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. (It's okay if you still see some flecks of dry flour.) Fold in the chopped walnuts.
- Scoop the muffin batter into the prepared muffin pan. Sprinkle some extra walnuts on top for garnish. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool and serve, or store refrigerated in a sealed container for up to 4 days.
- Please note that nutrition facts are an estimate and can vary widely based on amounts and specific types used.
Looking for more high-protein breakfast recipes?
- Berry Protein Smoothie
- Sweet Potato Egg Cups with Feta and Kale
- Strawberry Peanut Butter Smoothie
- Dairy-Free Egg Casserole with Sausage and Veggies
- Berry Overnight Oats with Almond Butter