Vegan Protein Gluten-Free Banana Muffins

These healthy and delicious vegan and gluten free banana muffins are packed with plant-based protein, are subtly sweet, super moist, and perfect for nutritious snacking any day of the week, any time of day! 

three stacked banana muffins

Protein Gluten-Free Banana Muffins for Everyday Snacking

 

Generally speaking, most muffins you’ll find at the grocery store, any fast-food establishment, or even a local bakery (with some exceptions) are about as nutritionally beneficial  as a donut. It’s a sad truth my friends. They are loaded with sugar, often contain refined flours, and usually have enough calories to feed a small army. 

Luckily, in our own kitchens we are able to transform the often deceitful muffin into a delicious and healthy version like these protein-packed gluten free banana muffins that are vegan, naturally sweetened, and incredibly moist. 

Making Muffins Gluten Free

 

When it comes to creating healthy gluten-free muffins at home, I like to consider several aspects. The flour, the allergen-friendly aspect, the sweetener, and adding a little fat and protein for blood sugar balancing and satiety 

I love experimenting with gluten free flours whether it be a nut-based flour like almond or hazelnut, coconut flour, all-purpose blends like the one I used in this recipe, or even totally flour-free! I find if you want the most traditional texture, going with an all-purpose gluten free flour blend is best as you can essentially turn any muffin recipe you find into a gluten free version by simply substituting the flour (so long as it’s a 1-to-1 baking blend!)

stack of three banana muffins

Using Natural Sweetener in Muffin Recipes

 

As I mentioned before, traditional muffins are often loaded with refined sugars, so it’s nice to use an unrefined alternative to prevent blood sugar spikes and prevent sugar cravings. My favourite alternatives are:

  • raw honey
  • coconut nectar
  • pure maple syrup
  • coconut palm sugar
  • dates
  • stevia
  • brown rice syrup

There’s a lot of research that now shows how refined sugars can negatively affect health in many ways so I do my best to limit my own refined sugar intake to every now and then, rather than all the time. It’s also important to pay attention to how your own body reacts to refined sugar intake. For me I often get headaches, moody, and find it makes me crave even more sugar! 

Making The Banana Muffins Vegan & Adding Protein

To keep these gluten free banana muffins vegan friendly I didn’t add egg, as the banana works as a good binder in the recipe so the egg isn’t necessary. Alternatively if you are making muffins that don’t have banana and call for egg, you can make a flax egg using 1 tablespoon of ground flax and 3 tablespoons of water to replace 1 egg in the recipe.

For the protein I went with a plant-based vanilla protein powder, Orgain brand which I prefer because of the fine texture and subtle flavour, but you can choose whichever protein powder you desire. It’s important to remember that all protein powders have a bit of a different taste and texture so the more subtle the taste and finer (less gritty) of a texture in the protein powder you choose, the better. 

It’s also a good idea to choose a plant-based protein powder that does not contain any added artificial sweeteners or flavours. The more natural, the better! Aside from the natural ingredients list in Orgain vanilla protein powder, I also like that the vanilla flavour is not overpowering. In these gluten free banana muffins, the banana flavour shines through just as it should.

Do I Need To Use Protein Powder?

You can always choose to omit the protein powder if you wish but I recommend it because adding protein is a great way to balance out the other macronutrients (carbohydrates and fats) in the muffins.

If you do omit the powder, simply add an extra 1/4 cup of gluten-free flour in it’s place! 

banana muffins on a wood tray with banana slices

What is your favourite flavour of muffin? Do you often get the traditional ones from the store or bakeries, or do you prefer to bake your own homemade muffins? Tell me about it in the comments and be sure to pin the photo below the recipe to save these muffins for later and of course, are the love! 

three stacked banana muffins

Vegan Protein Gluten Free Banana Muffins

Yield: 9
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes

Delicious gluten free muffins that are vegan, packed with protein, naturally sweetened and wonderfully nutritious!

Ingredients

  • 3 medium very ripe bananas
  • 2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coconut nectar or raw honey
  • 1 cup gluten-free all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if this is already in your gluten free flour blend)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup your favourite plant-based vanilla powder (I use Orgain Brand, I cannot vouch for the texture/taste if using other brands in this recipe!)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup naturally sweetened gluten-free granola of choice (optional)
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter for slathering the muffins (optional) 🙂

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Grease a muffin tray using coconut oil or non-stick spray, or use muffin liners (I grease my muffin liners to prevent sticking as well).
  3. Mash bananas in a bowl and add in the coconut palm sugar and coconut nectar (or honey).
  4. In another bowl, add the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, protein powder, cinnamon, and salt and mix well to combine.
  5. Add the wet banana mixture to the flour mixture and fold in until all is well combined. Do not overmix.
  6. Working quickly, fill 9 of the muffin cups in the greased muffin tray about 3/4 full of the muffin batter.
  7. If using, top the batter evenly with the granola, about 1/2 tablespoon over each.
  8. Bake the muffins in oven for 12-13 minutes or until a toothpick pulls clean.
  9. Set aside to cool completely.
  10. Once cooled, slather with peanut butter or other nut butter and enjoy!

Pin me!

 

More of my Favourite Gluten Free Muffin Recipes:

P.S. If you love this recipe you have to try my Best-Ever High Protein Banana Bread recipe!

Have a great day!

Christal // NITK

Author: Christal Sczebel

Christal is the creator of Nutrition in the Kitch. She's a Certified Nutritional Consultant, twice published author, gluten and dairy free recipe developer, food photographer, speaker, wife, and mama. Christal loves good food, all things wellness, and loves to travel. Her wellness philosophy is centred around balance and sustainable health, life's way too short for boring diets and restriction!

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  • Wow these look beautiful! Do you think it would work if you used 1/2 cup protein powder and 1/2 cup spelt flour instead? I just half a cup of spelt left :'(

    Thank you! cant wait to make these for breakfast! haha

  • Hey Christal,

    This recipe looks amazing. I wanted to make a healthy, good tasting vegan dish for my girlfriend, something she can take on the go to class, so I gave this a shot. When I pulled the muffins out the oven, the were still wet and failed the toothpick test. I let the cool, hoping they would cook but that didn’t happen. I couldn’t remove them from the pan, without them falling apart. I don’t know why this happens when I try to make baked goods healthy. Any suggestions?

    • Hey Gotham – some ovens just have different temperatures – or it could be humidity wherever you are from – I’ve found that even from my old house to my new – with different ovens, baking times will differ – my suggestion would be to pull the muffins out, and if the toothpick doesn’t pull clean, then put it back in for a couple more minutes and repeat this until the toothpick pulls clean – your oven might just need the extra time! Also, make sure you are spraying your pan or using muffin cups, without you’ll always have sticking!

  • Hi, I love so many of your recipes! Including this one, its great! I have made it several times. I add some shredded unsweetened coconut to the mix sometimes! I also swapped one of the bananas with pumpkin puree (I had some left that needed to be used up) and it turned out great too! I do not have brown rice protein powder, I have whey, but it still turns out lovely. Thanks a bunch!

  • I’m sorry to hear you’ve learned you’re allergic to dairy. I’ve developed a couple of allergies over the last year I’m starting to get used to and I think dairy might be a new one I’ll have to add to the list. I haven’t done an elimination/rotation program to figure out exactly what dairy is bothering me the most but it sounds very interesting. If you have the time and interest in sharing your experiences with it on your blog, I’ll definitely be all ears! Allergies can be tough — I wish you lots of luck as you start sorting it all out!

    • Thanks Sheelagh – it was a rude awakening but I’ve noticed such an improvement in my digestive health since I’ve stopped eating it, so that makes the world of difference to me!

  • Christal is back! Why hello there, great to read from you again!
    I like how someone who was inspired by you inspired you to make a different take on the recipe that all the inspiration was for in the first place, like a good circle, the circle of the…muffin 😛
    I’m sorry to hear you’re allergic to dairy though, thankfully almond milk and hazelnut milk beats normal dairy milk ANY day, and the yogurts are pretty darn tasty too 🙂 These muffins look delicious! I have those stevia drops too, except they’re called vanilla crême, a lot better than the normal stevia in my humbles of opinions 🙂 I sometimes use two drops in a cup of warm water with a good splash of almond milk so as to lower my caffeune intake (they drink a silly amount of tea here in the UK and I’ve been converted!)
    I hope you have a great weekend ahead Christal 🙂 x

    • Hey hey Julie! Nice of you to stop by again! Yes the no dairy thing kind of sucks but it’s so great that there are so many alternatives out there! 🙂 Hope you have a lovely week!