Running Fuel: Nanna’s Spruced-Up Banana Muffins

I have always loved the humble banana. I never really appreciated how good it was for me until I started running. Bananas area stable in my diet- right up there with peanut butter! My food guru, Erika – who happens to be one of my bestest friends AND a registered dietitian (seriously, she’s the bomb. Check her out here) – says they are a runner’s best friend.

Bananas are a great source of easily digestible carbohydrates, which provides energy and fuel for runners. These yellow guys are also loaded with potassium, which helps to keep fluid levels steady, regulate your heartbeat and prevent muscles from cramping.

Back to the main point of this blog though – my Nanna’s banana muffins. It’s one of my childhood favourites. My Nanna would whip it up all the time, then passed the recipe down to my mom and then to my sister and I. However, if my Nanna could see what I have done to her banana muffin recipe, she would be appalled. I have definitely upped the nutritional value of this tried and true muffin. I swapped out oil for apple sauce, cut the sugar in half, and subbed in whole wheat flour for all purpose flour. Since it’s such a simple recipe, you can add whatever you want to these little guys to make them your own. I have added chocolate chips, nuts, dried cranberries, blueberries, and peanut butter chips to these basic beauties with delicious success. Want a banana loaf instead of banana muffins? Just pour the batter into a greased loaf pan and up the cooking time. Want to up the protein factor? Serve with a smear of your favourite nut butter.

My partner is allergic to bananas, so I have to either take some muffins to work or freeze half of the recipe so I don’t devour it all in one sitting (they freeze really well, btw). My dog is also a huge fan.

banana muffins, dog, happy dog

Nanna’s Spruced-Up Banana Muffins

Yields 12 muffins or one large loaf


  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten (or equivalent egg substitute)
  • 3 spotty black bananas, mashed
  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp milk (use whatever kind you like. I typically use dairy)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • Optional add-ins: chocolate chips, blueberries, raspberries, dried cranberries, peanut butter chips, sliced nuts


Mix apple sauce and sugar together. Add beaten eggs and mashed bananas, then mix well. Sift flour, baking soda, and baking powder together, then add to first mixture with milk and vanilla. If using add-ins, mix them into batter now. Pour into muffin tins, fill each up 2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees. If prefer loaf, pour mixture into greased loaf tin and bake for approximately 1 hour.

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