Chunky banana muffins with walnuts and chocolate chips are just what you need to get you started in the morning. The combination of sweet chunks of bananas with the nutty crunch of walnuts and the indulgent richness of chocolate chips is a flavor explosion in every bite. These healthy muffins make for a perfect breakfast or snack and are a great way to use up extra bananas.
Do you have issues with muffins? They’re either too sweet, or dry without any flavor. For breakfast, I want a muffin that’s got texture, is moist, and has an interesting flavor, like sweet potato muffins or mixed berry muffins.
Most banana muffins are moist from the mashed bananas, but the texture is bland. After several attempts, I created a banana nut muffin reicpe which is moist, tastes like bananas and is pretty healthy with the addition of wheat germ.
What is wheat germ
Wheat germ is the part of the wheat berry that is filled with nutrients and adds a slightly nutty flavor to the muffins. Bob’s Red Mill makes a great wheat germ and describes all the healthy benefits.
You can find it in the baking aisle in most grocery stores. Bob’s Red Mill comes in a plastic bag like many of their products but you can also find it in jar. Sometimes I have a hard time finding it and have to order it online.
What type of bananas works best for chunky banana muffins
What makes these better than your average banana muffin, is that instead of mashing an overripe banana into the batter like you do with banana bread, you’ll use bananas that are ready to eat, like you would use in to make banana pudding, and then cut them into small chunks.
The banana will not dissolve into the batter while it bakes and instead you get little chunks of banana flavor throughout. You keep the moisture from the banana but also add a little texture.
What really gives these a nice texture and so much flavor are the walnuts and golden raisins. While I grew up in the South, my parents were from California so walnuts and raisins were thrown into to any muffiins, cookies or desserts.
If you’re not a fan, you can leave them out or substitute pecans or brown raisins. If using brown raisins, I would plump them up a bit by soaking them in warm water for a few minutes.
If you are wondering whether these really need chocolate chips, the answer is no, but adding a little chocolate with the banana is pretty magical. I generally make a few with and a few without.
Reasons to love banana walnut muffins
- You don’t need over-ripe bananas
- They have lots of texture
- Not too sweet
- Chocolate chips make them magical
- Walnuts and raisins are great in muffins
- Wheat germ makes gives them extra nutrients
Ingredients for whole wheat banana muffins
While the ingredient list is long, you’ll probably have most everything in your panty.
- Bananas – they should not be overly ripe or they will turn to mush and you won’t get the chunks of bananas. However, they should be ripe enough to eat, you don’t want green bananas.
- Flour – you will use a combination of all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour, if you use all whole wheat, it will make them too heavy. You can you 100% all purpose flour if you prefer.
- Wheat germ – this adds a nutty flavor and lots of nutrients.
- Buttermilk – the acidity in buttermilk combines with the leavening agents to make the muffins rise. If you don’t have any, here’s how to make your own buttermilk.
- Sweetness – brown sugar, molasses and honey, the combination makes them sweet but not too sweet.
- Orange Zest – this brightens up the flavors, you could leave it out and still have a great muffins, but if I have an orange in the fridge, I like adding a bit of zest.
- Additions – raisins, walnuts and chocolate chips. You can leave them out but I love what they add to these muffins.
- Pantry staples – butter, eggs, baking soda, baking powder and vanilla
How long should you bake muffins
You need to be careful not to cook muffins too long, this is what makes them dry. I use my tried and true muffin method to get tall gorgeous muffins which is to start them at 425º for 5 minutes and then turn the oven to 350º for 15 minutes. My oven is pretty hot, so use the time as a guideline and check them earlier.
The center should be a little sticky when you take them out of the oven. If your toothpick is completely dry, they’ll probably be overcooked.
How do you make a healthy delicious banana muffin
Step 1: soak the wheat germ
Combine wheat germ, whole wheat flour and buttermilk and let it sit while creaming the butter.
Step 2: combine the liquids
Cream butter with brown sugar and then add eggs, molasses, honey, orange zest and vanilla. Add the buttermilk mixture and stir to combine.(it will not look appetizing) Next add the dry ingredients and just mix until combined.
Step 3: barely mix
Fold in raisin, nuts and bananas and bake until a toothpick is still just a little sticky but not wet.
The recipe makes 12 good size muffins, not too sweet, healthy and they taste awesome. Like most muffins, these are best eaten the day they are prepared.
For the best flavor, make sure the bananas are ripe enough to eat.
How to store your chocolate banana muffins
Like most muffins, these are best eaten the day they are prepared. Store the rest at room temperature in an airtight container. If you need to store for more than a day, freeze them and let them come to room temperature when you are ready for a mid-morning snack.
Common questions about muffins
What temperature should be used to bake muffins
To get nice and tall bakery style muffins, bake the muffins at 425º for 5 minutes and then turn down the temperature to 350º for 15 minutes.
Are banana muffins healthy
Muffins can have a lot of hidden sugar and fat, so it can vary. These whole wheat banana muffins have extra nutrients from wheat germ and not as much sugar as some.
What can I use instead of molasses
Molasses adds a unique flavor to these banana walnut muffins, but you can substitute more honey or brown sugar.
More Muffins to love
Looking for more banana recipes
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Chunky Banana and Chocolate Chip Muffins
- ½ cup wheat germ
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 4 tablespoons butter room temp
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs room temp
- 3 tablespoons molasses
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon orange zest
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1½ cups flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 2 cups bananas diced
- ¾ cup walnuts chopped
- 1 cup chocolate chips optional
- Preheat oven to 425º. Place paper liners into a 12 cup muffin pan and spray with cooking spray.
- Combine the wheat germ and whole wheat flour with buttermilk and set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer for about 2-3 minutes, until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add eggs, one at a time. Scrape the bowl and add the molasses, honey, orange zest and vanilla. (The mixture will look curdled) Add the buttermilk mixture and combine.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the batter just until combined. Don’t over mix. Fold in the raisins, bananas, walnuts and chocolate chips.
- Fill the muffin cups to the top and bake for 5 minutes then turn down the oven to 350º adn bake for an additional 15 minutes until a toothpick comes out slightly moist.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- Soaking the wheat germ, helps it incorporate into the batter.
- If you don’t have buttermilk, it’s easy to make your own buttermilk.
- You can leave out the chocolate chips, raisins or walnuts.
- Muffins will dry out in the fridge, so store them on the counter for a day or two and then freeze.