Healthy banana muffins that are safe for diabetics
It took me a while to finally develop a recipe for banana muffins, that tasted delicious and was safe for me to eat, as a recently diagnosed diabetic.
I’m kind’a hard-headed that way. I’ll obsess over a recipe–tweaking this or that, until I’m happy with the final result. This can sometimes take many attempts, but I won’t quit.
Portuguese custard tarts are a perfect example of this type of obsession. It took me eight tries before I finally made “pasteis de nata” I was happy with. Liz would roll her eyes every time I pulled out the custard tart tins again for another attempt 😂. After all these attempts, and finally getting it perfect, I decided I’ll likely continue to buy them from bakeries; but I just needed to prove to myself that I could make them at home.
What makes these banana muffins healthy?
People with diabetes need to avoid processed sugars as well as ingredients that convert to sugars in the body, for example, food made with wheat-based flour, like noodles and bread. That’s because the body converts these to sugar after they’re consumed. So for me it’s become important to avoid them or consume them in very low quantities.
For this recipe, I used almond flour instead of wheat flour, and I used a mixture of monk fruit & erythritol sugar instead of processed sugar. These sugars are derived from fruits and plants and they don’t spike the glycemic index.
I also used raw cocoa nibs to replace chocolate chips. The cocoa nibs are bitter if you taste them on their own, but they add a nice chocolate-like flavour to the muffins.
Was this recipe easy to develop?
Well… it took me a few tries. Originally, my intention was to use my usual banana bread loaf recipe, which I absolutely love, and now replace some of the ingredients with the healthier options. That didn’t really work 😃.
The result of my first attempt was a very undercooked banana bread. The edges were quite tasty, but I quickly figured out that baking with almond flour is different.
For my next attempt, I let the banana bread cook longer. The final result was still a little undercooked and the the edges were now getting too close to burnt.
I tried one more banana bread loaf. This time, I reduced the temperature and increased the baking time. The loaf cooked though completely. I knew I was very close, but unfortunately the banana bread broke apart easily when I cut through it. The flavour was spot-on but it just didn’t work as a loaf.
One more attempt…
For my last attempt, I decided to use the same batter and make muffins instead. A smaller surface would solidify more easily and there was no need to cut through them since they were already portioned.
I kept my fingers crossed while they baked. I was so excited with what I was seeing, as they were baking, that I decided to take a picture of them just before I took them out of the oven. They looked so beautiful and I was feeling very optimistic.
The final result was perfect! Michael and Liz both tried the muffins and told me they tasted like a regular muffin. I was so thrilled! Now I have a dessert that I can eat, as a diabetic, without compromising on flavour or feeling guilty.
I’ll be experimenting a lot more with new foods like this from now on. My goal is to have an inventory of recipes that make me feel like I’m not missing many of the food I’ve given up since my diagnosis. I’m already so excited because I’ve proven to myself that I can manage my diabetes without depriving myself. I can continue to make delicious foods that make me happy, and that are also making positive changes for my whole family.
Whether or not you’re diabetic, give this recipe a try. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the final product.
It’s been an amazing transformation to start leading a life without processed sugars. I’ve lost weight. I feel better. I think more clearly. There’s been nothing but positives. I encourage everyone to give it a go. Start small and see what it can do for you….and always, eat well, friends.
Healthy almond flour banana muffins
- 2 cups fine almond flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp fine salt
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened but not hot
- 1/2 cup monk fruit and erythritol sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
- 2 large over-ripened crushed/mashed bananas
- 3/4 cups + 1/4 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup raw cacao nibs
- Preheat the oven to 325 ºF.
- Line the muffin tin with 12 paper muffin liners.
- In a medium to large bowl, mix together the almond flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
- In a stand mixer bowl or small bowl with a hand mixer, whisk together the soft butter and sugar for about 2 minutes.
- Add one egg at-a-time and continue to mix for about 3 or 4 minutes.
- Add the vanilla and continue to whisk for one minute.
- Add the yogurt and continue to whisk for one more minute.
- Add the liquid mixture, mashed bananas, 3/4 cups pecans and cocoa nibs to the flour mixture.
- Mix the ingredients slowly with a rubber spatula until everything is well incorporated.
- Use a soup spoon to fill each muffin liner with the banana muffin batter. Make sure to go right up to the top of the liner. This batter won't rise as much as batters made with wheat flour.
- Add a few chopped pecans from the last quarter cup over each of the muffin liners and batter.
- Place the muffin tin on the middle rack of the hot oven and bake for 35 minutes.
- Remove the tin from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
- Move all the muffins to a cooling rack and cool for another 15 minutes before eating them. Enjoy!
- If you’re diabetic, always test your blood sugar before and after you introduce new foods. For me personally, these muffins did not cause any large spikes in my blood sugar. Everyone’s body reacts differently, so always use caution.
- If you’re on a strict Keto diet (I’m not on a Keto diet), these muffins are probably not for you. If you, like many people I know, are on a loose version of Keto, these muffins are a good low carb option.
- I’m not a doctor or scientist and I don’y know that much about Keto because I’m not following that diet. I called this Keto friendly because I have friends that follow Keto loosely and they sometimes have a little banana. If you do follow Keto strictly, please do more research on these ingredients before trying our recipe.