Paleo Protein Banana Muffins
Updated: Oct 1, 2022
I love to have my cake and eat it too and with these healthy banana chocolate chip muffins I win breakfast in both taste and nutrients! Sweetened only with ripe bananas and a few Paleo chocolate chips, these protein packed, whole food, moist and delicious muffins are perfect for busy families. Try these and you will see just how wonderful healthy tastes!
For these muffins I chose to use more whole food ingredients like fresh pumpkin seed (pepita) flour, made in my blender, instead of a processed protein powder that is full of other ingredients that I find less desirable, and a whole food chocolate chunk instead of chocolate chips.
Pumpkin seeds are a powerhouse of nutrients, are one of my favorite sources of plant protein, and are a fantastic source of magnesium, fiber and good fats!
Chocolate chips are a staple in so many homes, but most of the ones found in the store are full of inflammatory and toxic ingredients (soy lecithin, milk fat, sugar, soy, natural flavors) used to flavor, emulsify and stabilize the chocolate in helping it keep its shape while baking. And as a side note, natural flavors aren't that different from artificial flavors and can contain synthetic chemicals , which is why I try to avoid them.
Your health is rooted in your diet so be sure that when you are looking for foods and ingredients for your family, you are investigating the ingredients and know what you are eating.
Why Bananas are So Good For You!
Bananas originated in Southeast Asia and are grown in tropical climates around the world. Banana plants aren't actually trees but are part of the Musa family of plants that also contains plantains. The bananas that we know and love to eat and bake with are Cavendish bananas while plantains are a cooking variety that are starchier and less sweet.
Bananas are full of nutrients and fiber making them a great part of a whole food diet providing a great source of low-glycemic carbohydrates to keep you going!
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): Converts carbohydrates to adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which supports energy production .
Vitamin B3 (Niacin): support healthy blood fat levels and blood sugars
Vitamin B9 (Folate): Essential vitamin that supports healthy metabolism, and is key in breaking down homocysteine, and amino acid that is harmful in high concentrations .
Vitamin C: A powerful antioxidant that neutralized free radicals and reduces oxidative stress.
Copper: Essential in the production of red blood cells.
Magnesium: A mineral that is essential in healthy metabolism, nervous system regulation, detoxification, and blood sugar regulation.
Potassium: let's talk about potassium...
One medium banana has about 10% of your daily recommended value in potassium. Potassium plays a key role in may bodily processes and functions, so let's dive into this a little.
Potassium is the third most abundant mineral in your body and functions like an electrolyte (positively charged) once consumed. Electrolytes are important in their role in healthy nerve conduction and muscle contractions.
Potassium also plays a role in your body's hydration and cellular fluid balance, with sodium being the counter balance. By getting enough potassium in your diet you are supporting all the cells in your body and your overall electrolyte balance.
Studies have shown that a potassium rich diet may help support healthy blood pressure, a heart health, and may even help prevent osteoporosis .
There are more benefits to eating bananas, they are full of fiber to support a healthy and optimized digestive tract! They contain both soluble and insoluble fiber:
Insoluble fiber: Works to keep things moving along and helps with toxin and waste elimination.
Soluble fiber : Soluble fiber works to support a healthy microbiome and supports healthy blood sugar regulation.
Resistant Starch: This is a long chain of glucose molecules that is found in starchy produce such as green bananas and potatoes. Resistant starch is beneficial for many reasons:
It feeds the beneficial bacteria in your microbiome
Increases the production of butyrate which improves digestion
Supports blood sugar regulation
So grab some bananas and let's get cooking!
Protein Banana Muffin Ingredients
Makes 12-18 muffins
4 small or 3 medium Very Ripe Bananas, mashed
2 Large Eggs (pasture raised is best!)
3/4 cup Full Fat Coconut Milk*
1/4 cup Unsweetened Raw Almond Butter
2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1 cup Raw Pumpkin Seeds (pepitas), ground into flour
1 cup Almond Flour
1 cup Arrowroot Starch or Tapioca Starch
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Fine Sea Salt
1.5 tsp Baking Soda
1 cup Hu Dark Chocolate Gems or 70% Dark Chocolate Chunks
*I like to use canned full-fat coconut milk. I usually will heat it so the cream and coconut water are more uniform before measuring out for the recipe.
How to Make Protein Banana Muffins
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
2. Add the pumpkin seeds to your blender or food processor and process until a fine flour forms.
3. In a large bowl mash the bananas with a fork. I like to leave mine a little chunky, but you do you!
4. Add in the coconut milk, almond butter, eggs, vanilla and stir well with your fork making sure to incorporate the eggs in really well.
5. In a medium bowl combine the almond flour, pepita flour, starch, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt and cinnamon and mix together with a fork to evenly combine.
6. Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture and mix well with a spatula.
7. Stir in the chocolate chips and fill the muffin tins with 1/3-1/2 of a cup of batter.
8. Bake for 18-22 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
9. Cool completely on a wire cooling rack.
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Q: Can I use peanut butter in place of the almond butter?
A: Absolutely! Just make sure it's an unsweetened natural peanut butter without any hydrogenated oils.
Q: Do these freeze well?
A: Yes! I love to freeze mine to keep them fresh and set them in the fridge or counter the night before to defrost.
Q: Can I use semi-sweet dark chocolate chips?
A: If you are sticking with a Paleo way of eating (WOE), it's recommended to use a 70% or higher dark chocolate bar and chop it up, or try the Hu chocolate gems (my favorite!)
I hope you enjoy this as much as my family does. - Amy
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