Whenever I come home after a semester away at college, I return to a fully-stocked pantry of “natural alternatives.” Junk food in my household is a no-go, which usually suits me; however, sometimes I start to crave processed snacks or sugary desserts.

The other day I had the urge to bake banana nut muffins and was stuck rummaging through my kitchen looking for long lost ingredients like processed white sugar and milk chocolate chips to no avail.

That’s when I decided to get creative – instead of giving up on my muffin mission, I found alternatives I could use to substitute for classic baking ingredients, (which often have unhealthy additives or high fructose corn syrup,) like canola oil, sugar, and milk. These improvised all-natural banana nut muffins turned out to be hearty, wholesome, and satisfying.

All-Natural Banana Nut Muffins

  • Prep Time:20 minutes
  • Cook Time:25 minutes
  • Total Time:45 minutes.
  • Servings:12 muffins
  • Medium


  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 ripe or frozen bananas
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon soy or almond milk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
Photo by Emma Boelter
  • Step 1

    Before combining any ingredients remember to do some kitchen prep. Preheat the oven to 375°F and chop walnuts coarsely.

    Photo by Emma Boelter
  • Step 2

    Then combine flour, coconut sugar, chopped walnuts, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and stir.

  • Step 3

    Next if your bananas are frozen, stick them in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds to soften them up. Once they are soft mash them in a bowl. If your bananas are ready to go and ripe, no need to microwave them – start the smashing ASAP.

    Photo by Emma Boelter
  • Step 4

    Add vanilla to the banana mixture and set aside.

    Photo by Emma Boelter
  • Step 5

    Typically, these muffins call for buttermilk; however, as a substitute you can use a combination of sour cream and milk because it creates a similar consistency. Mix together equal parts of sour cream and soy milk in a bowl. In total you only need three tablespoons of this mixture, but you may want to add generously and experiment as you go to attain the perfect creamy texture.

    Photo by Emma Boelter
  • Step 6

    Now it’s time to combine all of the wet ingredients. Whisk together the coconut oil, egg, mashed banana mixture, and buttermilk substitute together.

    Photo by Emma Boelter
  • Step 7

    Combine the wet and dry mixtures in a large bowl. Stir well until a smooth consistency is achieved.

  • Step 8

    Spoon batter into a standard muffin tray.

    #SpoonTip: Use cupcake holders so that once the muffins cook they don’t stick to the pan. Plus, the cupcake holders give this healthy snack a cute and finished look.

    Photo by Emma Boelter
  • Step 9

    Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until golden and fluffy. Be sure to let these lil guys cool off before digging into this wholesome, all na-tu-ral snack.

    Photo by Emma Boelter