Not-quite Paleo Banana Muffins

July 29, 2012 at 2:29 pm (breakfast, B_minus (2 stars, okay), Necessarily nonvegan, Website / blog)

A friend sent me an email with a recipe for paleo (i.e., flour-less) banana muffins.   (I’m not sure where the recipe originally comes from.)  I tried them a while ago and thought they weren’t bad, but Derek wouldn’t eat them.  He said the texture was odd and they weren’t sweet enough.  But this week I had some very ripe bananas I wanted to use up, and decided to try something similar again.


  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup flaxseed meal [I used 30g]
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2/3 cup chopped nuts
  • 4 really ripe bananas (mashed well)
  • 2 tbsp local honey
  • 4 eggs [mine totalled 223g]
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Grease a 12-muffin tin pan.
  2. Sift the dry ingredients together in a small bowl.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the mashed bananas, eggs, honey, and vanilla.  Pour in the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
  4. Fill greased muffin tins about 3/4 full. Bake muffins for 23-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  5. Let cool slightly and enjoy with a pat of almond butter, coconut oil or grass-fed butter.

My notes

Last time I followed the recipe exactly, but this time I ended up changing the recipe quite a bit.  I was short on almonds, so instead of 2 cups of almond flour I used 100g of almonds + 111g of hazelnuts, ground and 44g of spelt flour.  (Whoops, I guess my “paleo” muffins are no longer grain- or gluten-free!)  I had only 3 very-ripe bananas, weighing 223g altogether.  And I didn’t add 2/3 cup chopped nuts.  Instead I used sunflower seeds, but only two tablespoons (20g), because the recipe already calls for so many nuts.

I cooked the muffins for 22 minutes and they were very brown on top and a toothpick came out clean, so I took them out of the oven and let them cool a bit in the pan.  When I tried to take the muffins out of the tins, however, they stuck.  I thought I greased the tins pretty well, but I guess the lack of oil in the recipe means that you have to grease the tins really, really well.  Either that, or use parchment paper or muffin papers.

The muffins came out well.  The addition of a small amount of spelt flour seemed to improve the texture, or maybe it was using only three bananas.  In any case, the muffins were less spongy and moist than last time.  Even Derek liked them!  He said they weren’t terribly exciting but they were good.  He said they had a good texture—kind of tasted like bran muffins.

I froze half and took the other half to work as mid-day snacks.  Each muffin has about 200 calories.  They’re not that high in protein (only 13.3%), but they’re very high in fat from all the nuts and seeds, so they’re reasonably filling.  They’re slightly sweet, but not overly so.  I liked the addition of the sunflower seeds quite a bit.  They gave the muffins a nice crunch.  The seeds and nuts also give the muffins a lot of vitamin E (almost a third of the RDA).  The muffins are also a reasonably good source of choline (about 16% of the RDA), mainly from the eggs I think.

Rating: B
Derek: B

A made another sort-of-paleo muffin recently— the cottage cheese muffins from 101cookbooks.  I followed the recipe pretty closely, using chickpea flour for the flour.  Except I forgot to mix some of the parmesan cheese into the batter,  so I just sprinkled it all on top.  I think maybe I didn’t grind my almonds finely enough, because the texture was a bit odd.  And the warm muffins would not come out of the muffin papers, even the tin foil ones.   Once they had cooled down you could kind of peel the tin foil off, but the paper muffins stuck like crazy.  I wasn’t too fond of the flavor of these muffins either.  I never like oil-cured sundried tomatoes all that much, and the basil was pretty subtle.

Update Feb 2013:

I had a bit of cooked pumpkin I wanted to use up, and so decided to try this recipe for pumpkin spice bread made with almond flour.  I started out by doubling the recipe, but then it turned out I didn’t actually have enough pumpkin for two recipes, so I had to make some changes.  Here’s what I ended up doing:


  • 200g almond meal (originally 2 cups)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 tablespoon cinnamon  (originally 4 Tbs.)
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg (originally 4 tsp.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves (originally 2 tsp.)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger (originally 2 tsp.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice (originally 2 tsp.)
  • .6 cups roasted pumpkin or winter squash  (originally 1 cup)
  • 5 eggs (originally 6 eggs)
  • 6 Tbs. honey
  • 4 tsp. xylitol (originally 1/2 tsp. stevia drops)
  • 2 oz. walnuts, roughly chopped

My notes:

I cooked the bread in a greased 8×8 pan for 30 minutes at 170 C.  It came out a bit dry, either because I needed more pumpkin or because I cooked it too long.   But otherwise I liked the recipe pretty well.  It had a reasonable texture and flavor, and was a good way to get my daily allotment of nuts in.   Derek wasn’t too excited about the recipe.  He ate some of it, but only at my urging, and only when he was very hungry and there wasn’t other food around.

I cut the spices substantially because I just couldn’t imagine adding 4 teaspoons! of clove and allspice to any recipe.  In my version the spices weren’t as strong as I expected.  I might bump all the 1/2 tsp. ones up to full tsp. next time.

One serving contains about 200 kcal (59% fat, 27% carbs, 14% protein).  A serving provides 24% of Vitamin E, 15% of magnesium, and 11% of selenium, and about 1/2 gram of omega 3’s (assuming they survive the oven).

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