Hearty Whole Wheat Banana Zucchini Muffins
You’ll love these easy, one-bowl Banana Zucchini Muffins! They’re lightly spiced with cinnamon, made with whole wheat flour, oats, grated zucchini, mashed banana and optional walnuts and chocolate chips. Baked up in 22 minutes, they’re a great healthy breakfast muffin, or a wholesome mid-day snack.
Healthy Banana Zucchini Muffins
Kinda no surprise to my regular readers, but muffins are one of my favorite baked goods to have on hand. They are great for a lazy weekend breakfast. Or perfect for grabbing as you run out the door after hitting the snooze button one too many times on a Monday morning.
Plus, veggie-loaded muffins are fun in lunch boxes as a sandwich alternative, or as a quick snack between errands. Muffins are great and I bake them often and in many variations.
Zucchinis are one of my top vegetables to keep on hand for easy veggie-loading. I literally always have one in my fridge for tossing into pasta dishes, oatmeal, or (you guessed it) muffins! The zucchini almost melts into these healthy breakfast muffins. And combination of zucchini + banana + cinnamon will have you LOVING eating your veggies for breakfast.
Mixed in one bowl and perfect for stocking in your fridge and freezer (hello meal prep!), these healthy muffins are the perfect breakfast to make for your family. Made with whole grains and naturally sweetened with bananas and a little maple syrup or honey, they are done (start to finish) in 30 minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you need to peel zucchini for muffins?
The skin of the zucchini is thin, tender, and totally edible. So, peeling is optional and a step I often skip to save time. However, if you have a selective eater in the house that doesn’t love a little green in their banana muffins, peeling your zucchini will make it invisible in this recipe.
How do you squeeze zucchini dry?
- First, grate the zucchini.
- Then place it in the middle of a paper towel or a clean dish towel.
- Wrap up the zucchini in the towel and press down to draw out the water.
- Flip it and press down again. At this point, it should be good to go into the batter for these healthy breakfast muffins.
Tips for baking with whole wheat flour.
First, it is important to know that whole wheat flour is a much “thirstier” flour than AP flour. Meaning, it absorbs more liquid. If you are replacing APF with whole wheat flour in a recipe, know that your baked good might be a bit dryer or that you will need to add a touch more liquid to get the right consistency.
Whole wheat flour is much denser than APF as well. Because of this, it is VERY important NOT to over mix the batter for these banana muffins. Mixing activates the gluten in the flour. The more mixing you do, the denser these healthy Banana Zucchini Muffins will be. For the fluffiest muffins, be sure to mix until JUST combined.
Substitute for whole wheat flour in baking.
I find using cup-for-cup gluten free flour blends work perfectly as a replacement for whole wheat flour in most baking recipes! Plus, if you need these zucchini muffins to be gluten free…it is the perfect swap!
You can also swap out the whole wheat flour with APF, just know that the muffins might be a little extra moist and they also won’t be made with whole grains.
If you are low on whole wheat flour, you can make “white whole wheat flour” by combining half whole wheat flour + half APF.
While I haven’t tried it in this banana muffin recipe, you can sometimes replace whole wheat flour in baked goods with almond meal. This makes a Paleo + gluten free muffin as well.
How to store these banana muffins
I highly suggest storing these Banana Zucchini Muffins in an airtight container in your refrigerator. Because they are so moist, storing them in the refrigerator will keep them fresher longer and prevent molding.
Or, you can freeze these muffins. They freeze really well, so they are great for stocking up your freezer. I like to store them in a large freezer bag or freezer-safe large container.
To defrost, I like to take them out of the freezer and leave them on the counter to thaw overnight. Or if you want one NOW, you can warm a muffin in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds.
- Make them gluten free by using a cup-for-cup flour blend (I like this one) in place of the whole wheat flour and make sure that the oats you are using are certified gluten free.
- Reduce the sweetener in these muffins to 1/4 cup. The bananas offer up a lot of sweetness on their own, so you might find you don’t need as much maple syrup or honey, depending on your taste preference.
- Make them dairy-free by using your favorite plant based milk.
- Replace the banana with applesauce. If you don’t have bananas on hand or just prefer applesauce, they can be swapped in this muffin recipe.
- Omit the chocolate chips. Or replace them with raisins!
- Skip the walnuts for a nut-free option.
- Make these Banana Zucchini Muffins egg free by using flax eggs.
Tips and tricks
- Let muffins cool for at least 15 minutes. Muffins (and all baked goods) continue to bake even after they are removed from the oven and will firm up as they sit. Let the muffins sit in the muffin tin for 5 minutes before transferring them to the cooling rack. And then let them cool there for another 10 minutes before enjoying. TIP: If you are not using liners when baking your muffins, let them cool the full 15 minutes in the muffin tin….otherwise they might stick or fall apart.
- Use parchment paper muffin liners. I love this brand and find they are the best for easy peeling muffin liners. Another great (no waste) option is silicone muffin liners. Also a little oil in the muffin tin compartment works great for preventing these healthy zucchini muffins from sticking.
- Make sure the bananas are ripe. For best results in baked goods, bananas should be brown and spotty. As bananas ripen they get sweeter and softer. Ripe muffins also add moisture to these banana muffins. Using bananas that are green or just barely ripe in this recipe may lead to dry, less sweet muffins.
- Don’t over mix your batter! Mixing activates the gluten in the flour and can make for a really heavy, dense muffin. So mix your muffin batter until JUST combined. That is the key to fluffy muffins!
Other veggie-loaded muffin recipes you will love
- Healthy Chocolate Muffins (with veggies!)
- Oatmeal Green Smoothie Muffins
- Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins
- Healthy Zucchini Lemon Muffins
- Wholesome & Fluffy Banana Carrot Muffins
- Healthy Lunch Box Muffins
- Healthy Morning Glory Muffins
Did you try these Banana Zucchini Muffins and now you’re hungry for more?
Hearty Whole Wheat Banana Zucchini Muffins
- 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas
- 1 cup grated zucchini, measure before squeezing moisture out
- ¼ cup avocado oil, or olive oil
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup honey or maple syrup
- ¼ cup milk of choice
- 1 ¼ cups whole wheat flour , or sub cup-for-cup gluten free flour blend
- ½ cup rolled oats
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts, optional
- ¼ cup chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350℉ and line a muffin tin with liners or grease with a little extra oil.
- Take the grated zucchini and place it in the middle of a clean dish towel or large paper towel. Wrap the zucchini in the towel and squeeze out as much of the moisture as you can. Set aside.
- Place very ripe bananas in a medium bowl and mash until smooth.
- Add oil, eggs, vanilla extract, honey/maple syrup, and milk to the bowl with the banana. Mix.
- Add flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon to the bowl with the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined. DO NOT over mix or your muffins might lose their lovely fluffiness.
- Add zucchini, walnuts, and chocolate chips and fold them in, again being careful to not over mix.
- Portion batter into prepared muffin tin. Top with more walnuts and chocolate chips, if desired.
- Bake for 22-24 minutes, or until muffins are golden on top and a toothpick inserted into the middle of one muffin comes out clean. TIP: If you have a kitchen thermometer, bake until your muffins are 200℉ in the center. This will ensure they are cooked through but aren't over baked, which can result in a dry muffin. Allow them to cool in pan for 15 minutes before enjoying.
- Once cooled completely, store in fridge for 4-5 days or in freezer for up to a month.
- 1 cup grated zucchini
- 1 cup mashed banana
- 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 Tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 Tablespoons oil
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350℉ and line a muffin tin with liners or grease with a little extra oil.
Take the grated zucchini and place it in the middle of a clean dish towel or large paper towel. Wrap the zucchini in the towel and squeeze out as much of the moisture as you can. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine oil, eggs, vanilla extract, mashed banana, honey/maple syrup, and milk. Mix.
Add remaining ingredients except zucchini to the bowl. Mix until JUST combined. The secret to fluffy muffins is to not over mix. The batter will be thicker than muffin recipes made with APF, but it should still be easily scoopable.
Add drained zucchini to the batter. Fold it in.
Portion batter into prepared muffin time and top with extra banana slices if desired.
Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until muffins are golden on top and a toothpick inserted into the middle of one muffin comes out clean. Allow them to cool in pan for 5 minutes before enjoying.
Once cool completely, store in fridge for 4-5 days or in freezer for up to a month.