Crunchy Maple-Banana-Pecan Breakfast Muffins

Am I the only weirdo who wakes up and immediately starts thinking of granola?  I mean there are so many drool worthy foods out there to wrap my brain around but I rise from slumber contemplating granola.  Lame I know.

However, here’s the thing, I do not like granola in a bowl with milk.  After two or three spoonfuls I am so done with the all the chewing.  My gosh, it’s so much chewing.  I don’t have that kind of time in the morning.  It’s like twenty chews a bite right?

I need something I can eat while I’m waking up kids, making their breakfast and lunches for school, searching for lost shoes, homework papers and jackets.  You know, all the things my kids should probably be doing for themselves, but hey I’m a masochist.

Anyway, I cannot start my day on a sugar-high.  I need a stick-to-your-ribs breakfast that is not a morning calorie-cow.  I prefer to save the calories for my mayonnaise sandwich at lunch. 

Life for me has also been out-of-control busy and continues to get crazier every day.  The next few months are going to be brutal.  This requires my breakfast to be quick.  Something I can pull out of the freezer and is ready after 30 seconds in the microwave.

As a result, these Crunchy Maple-Banana-Pecan Breakfast Muffins came to fruition.  I have thought about them for a while now, knowing I wanted to incorporate granola together with oat bran.  I have always been in love with Trader Joe’s Raspberry-Oat Bran muffins because they are filling (and taste good)…the oat bran does the trick.

These muffins are hearty and will keep you going in the morning.  These are not your light and airy, skip thru the tulips kind of muffin.  They have girth.  You will not be looking for another food fix after having one of these.  I wrap them up individually and freeze them.  I pull them out in the morning, zap them in the microwave and BREAKFAST IS SERVED.

These are not calorie laden muffins (there is no butter).  If you need a new healthy-morning fix, try these out.

Let’s make these up…

Here’s what you will need:  Whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, oat bran, table salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, light brown sugar, bananas, vanilla extract, canola oil, buttermilk, maple syrup, granola, pecans and mini chocolate chips.

In a large bowl combine 1 cup whole wheat flour, 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 1 cup oat bran, 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon salt.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 eggs, 2/3 cup light brown sugar, 1 cup mashed banana, 1 cup buttermilk, 1/4 cup canola oil, 3 Tablespoons maple syrup and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir together just until both are blended together.

Gently fold in, 1 cup mini chocolate chips, 1/2 cup chopped pecans and 1/2 cup granola.

Prepare muffin cups with cooking spray or by using paper liners.  Divide the batter among standard sized muffin cups and sprinkle the tops with more granola and mini chocolate chips.  Place in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Make sure to keep an eye on them so your granola does not burn.

Let the muffins cool in the pan for 2 minutes.

Remove to a wire rack to finish cooling off.  Wrap them up individually and freeze up to three months.  Pop in the microwave frozen for 30-40 seconds for the perfect breakfast.  Not too sweet and not too fattening. 

These are so good with ice cold milk.

They are also awesome with coffee.  Enjoy them.

Crunchy Banana-Maple-Pecan Breakfast Muffins

1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup oat bran
(I haven’t tried it but I think wheat bran or flaxseed meal would substitute nicely)
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon table salt
2 eggs
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1 cup mashed banana (about 2 medium)
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup canola oil
3 Tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips plus more for topping
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup granola plus more for topping
(I used a maple-pecan granola but any kind will work)

In a large bowl combine whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, oat bran, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, brown sugar, banana, buttermilk, canola oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir together just until both are blended together.

Gently fold in chocolate chips, pecans and granola.

Prepare muffin cups with cooking spray or by using paper liners.  Divide the batter among standard sized muffin cups and sprinkle the tops with more granola and mini chocolate chips.  Place in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Make sure to keep an eye on them so your granola does not burn.

Let the muffins cool in the pan for 2 minutes.

Remove to a wire rack to finish cooling off.  Wrap them up individually and freeze up to three months.  Pop in the microwave frozen for 30-40 seconds for the perfect breakfast.  Not too sweet and not too fattening. 

Makes about 16 standard sized muffins.

Post a Comment


  1. I will be making these to put in my freezer. I can already picture myself eating one of these and drinking a cup of fresh coffee while I sit on my porch in the morning sunshine….just before i get to work in the garden!

  2. Shawn 2

    Hmm, what would be good to add besides the mini chocolate chips? Extra banana or would that be too wet? Maybe a few raisins?

    They look awesome though.

  3. Those muffins are the kind of madness I want or should I say the madness antidote. Yum. I’ll convert these to gluten free and use some gluten-free oats instead of the oat bran. I’ve got a mad couple of weeks coming up starting today, including a house guest for 6 days. Making some of these will help us all out!

    Thanks once again, Cathy! Hope these muffins continue to keep you sane. ;-)


  4. Donna 4

    Bookmarked. Muffins are one of my favorites and since these are healthy I can have a few, even better. Thank you!AND ya got bananas in there to and I do love baking with bananas.

  5. Pamela Laurijssens 5

    I hate breakfast. No time, too much to do. But these muffins sound great. I will try them. I only hope they don’t taste too good, otherwise they are gone before I can put some in the freezer. :-)

    The Netherlands

  6. Cathy, I completely agree with you on granola. The only other thing I love to have for breakfast is oatmeal with walnuts and diced dried fruit (usually whatever my sister sends me from Trader Joe’s, since I don’t have one down here). I wish this was just a sign of me growing up and being responsible, but I was like this when I was little. No Frosted Flakes for me!

  7. Debbie 7

    Wow…those muffins look fantastic. Love the fact that they have chocolate chips in them. Great breakfast!

  8. Debi 8

    As I am reading this post I am eating a bowl of yogurt with strawberries, bananas, and granola sprinkled on top. I’m a big fan of the granola cereal COSTCO sells…it has pumpkin seeds and flax seeds in the mix. I think it would work well in your muffin recipe. Thanks!

  9. Steph 9

    I think those are the first healthy muffins that actually look good to me. As much as we want to cut down on fat, I can never understand how a muffin with no butter and oil can taste good..hahah. Those look fabulous!

  10. Paula 10

    These muffins look super! Perfect for breakfast. I wish I had one with my coffee right now:)

  11. Love this – and then the crunch factor…LOVE IT!

  12. What do you want in your coffee? I’ll be right over with it;)

  13. I love it! I’ve been watching my calories as of late and as such, I’ve been keeping an eye out for things I can make, eat and not feel guilty about. These might just do the trick. Thank you so much!

  14. Melynda 14

    I just made granola, not it is time to make these muffins. Your right about all that chewing, granola is an aerobic breakfast!

  15. Wow… You made them sound really good. And no butter or oil. You’re onto something here! Yum!

  16. Liz C. 16

    Omigosh! There is nothing I love better than muffins in the morning & these look totally delisioso! Half the time I don’t even eat breakfast because it’s just too much trouble, which I know is not good. So, I could make these up once a week or so & just have one every morning. Thanks for the awesome recipe! You really rock!

  17. Lori E 17

    I like the way you lay out the ingredients for the photo. Different.
    These do sound good. I tend to make a big pot of stone ground oats or Red River cereal and then store it in the fridge. Microwave some with a little milk added, each morning as needed.

  18. dawn 18

    Ummm Cathy, if you wake up thinking granola and then create this, no, that is so NOT lame. I love these types of grab & go breakfast treats.

  19. Katrina 19

    These are SO right up my alley. I LOVE granola. I tend to have oatmeal every morning–allbeit, I never have time to enjoy as I would like. These muffins look awesome. I love a healthy, grainy, nutty, fruity-add a little chocolate kind of muffin! Printing!

  20. I’m just not a breakfast eater, but these yummy muffins would get me off to a good start for the day.

  21. Katrina 21

    These are right up my alley. I love granola! I tend to have oatmeal every morning, but never get to enjoy it like I want to (kids!). Anything with banana, grainy, nuttiness, with a little chocolate thrown it is just what I love! Printing. Can’t wait to make these.

  22. Oooo, num-yummy. I think I’ll make these up this weekend!

  23. Julie 23

    These really sound good. Maybe the could help break my Mickey D’s breakfast addiction.

  24. They look great, and what i love about them is that they incorporate a little protein into your breakfast. Very nutritious and well balanced – all in just one muffin!

  25. dawn 25

    I love them. I have been looking for a denser muffin that fill me up. I mean let’s face it, the buttery, oil-laden light and airy muffins are delicious but in an hour I’m hungry again.

  26. Scate 26

    I love freezing individual muffins. I always end up sharing baked goods b/c i can’t possibly eat them fast enough. I need to be selfish once in awhile -and this looks like the ticket. Thanks!

  27. Barbie with a T 27

    Those look really plump and tasty. I will have to substitute raisins for the chocolate chips, but I bet those muffins will be super delicious. They seem to do the trick for you. What a treat for me to come home to after a long walk on the beach! Trick and treat. lol

  28. imom 28

    I’m not a fan of granola, but these look delicious!!

  29. Jeff 29

    When I wake up in the morning the first thing I think about is how much longer can I snooze. When I finally get out of bed I start cursing because I am usually already late.

    The muffins look delicious!

  30. elra 30

    Hmmm, what a delicious muffins. Very rear that I make them, when I do, I think I’ll make it just like the way you make it.

  31. Lisa 31

    These sound yummy! I’ve been playing with banana muffin recipes lately and have decided I like them again, it’s just a matter of having the right recipe and a little chocolate in there. This one sounds like a winner!

  32. SnugBug 32

    I’ve been searching for these for years! Perfect and I’ll make them this weekend. I know my running and swimming readers will like them a lot too for the hearty and healthy factors. Thanks Cathy!!

  33. LilSis 33

    PERFECT way to start the day! I love having individually frozen muffins in the freezer. Knowing that a nice warm homemade muffin is only 30 seconds away just makes me happy! I’m making these as soon as I get all the ingredients.

  34. Mary 34

    What a great way to start the day! These look really good.

  35. Pam 35

    Mmm. They look so good. I love granola with yogurt in the morning but I think I would like these beauties even more.

  36. Yum. These muffins look delicious. I don’t normally have whole wheat flour or oat bran around the house, but I might have to go get some so that I can try these out. I’d love to have muffins on hand for weekday morning breakfasts.

  37. Delicious muffins! love the crunchy topping!

  38. Marjie 38

    I like to be able to just grab something in the morning, whenever I decide I’m starved, often not for a couple of hours. Muffins fill the bill, and these look great with the crunchy topping!

  39. Beverly 39

    Oh, those will be next on my list! They look so yum!

  40. Mrs. L 40

    These would go great with my morning bacon :)

  41. Alisa 41

    Yummy muffins! Can’t wait to fix these. The Girl has been on a muffin kick lately.
    Your pictures, which are always gorgeous, are incredibly gorgeous today! Love it.

  42. Shannon W. 42

    Do you happen to have the nutritional information for these muffin? They sound very good.

  43. Libby 43

    Oh my those look like a mouth full of yummy! Who in their right might wouldn’t like them!
    Happy Twirls

  44. KAYOLA 44

    This will be our saturday morning dealio for sure….looks de-lish!

  45. Bob 45

    Heh, I usually wake up in the morning thinking burgers… but those look good too. :)

  46. Noble Pig 46

    Since this is my own recipe, I have no idea.  As far as calories, since there is no butter and only a small amount of canola oil, I can’t imagine these are very fattening. 

  47. Brenda S. 'Okie in Colorado' 47

    These look so yummy! Have you ever made Morning Glory Muffins? (apples, carrots, nuts, coconut, raisins, pineapple, cinnamon…yum. They are my favorite. I use the Earthbound Farms recipe. Those raspberry bran muffins from Trader Joe’s sound so good. I miss Trader Joe’s. I lived in Sacramento for 20 years before moving to Colorado. Also miss the great bran muffins from Bel Air Market in Carmichael. I’m not sure if you can get it there, but I worked for a catering/bread/granola company called Udi’s in Denver. They have a fabulous granola. I know they have expanded and ship to lots of stores now and even sell their sandwiches, salads and granola on Frontier Airlines out of Denver.
    The last time I was in Sacramento visiting I bought some oat bran at Trader Joe’s…gotta go now, need to make muffins!

  48. Hilary 48

    The muffins look delicious & such a good idea to have them frozen ready for a fast snack ..
    Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letters

  49. Seriously, someone needs to send me a Trader Joe’s care package. It’s going to be 18 months before the TJ’s here in Maine has even broken ground. Uhg.

    Despite that, I’m sending the hubby to Whole Foods (to be gouged no less) in order to get some more whole wheat organic flour so I can make these. They sound awesome!

  50. Those look awesome…too good to have in the morning but I won’t let that stop me. Thanks for sharing

  51. Leslie 51

    What a yummy morning muffin!

  52. Maureen 52

    These look so good, I think I could even eat them for dessert! You have the most amazing taste in recipes!

  53. Tanya 53

    These look so great! I’m definitely printing this recipe out to make sometime soon.

  54. Bunny 54

    This is a great hearty muffin Cathy, it has everything!

  55. Beaut muffins, eh?

    Ok, who am I kidding? I’m not Canadian. It just sounded like the perfect description for them.

  56. sharon 56

    Why, I just stuffed a handful of granola in mouth right as I opened up your page. These muffins look hearty & yummy!

  57. Yum! These look absolutely perfect! I love anything with granola!

  58. Amy 58

    This looks wonderful. I am always looking for quick breakfasts post workout. This would also make a great snack for my daughter’s preschool!

    I love your photos…

  59. annbb 59

    They look delicious!

  60. Those look like a great way to start the day! Wish I had one right now…

  61. These look so good. Pecans and bananas and buttermilk. Great ingredients.

  62. grace 62

    i don’t necessarily think of granola, but i do think of food. immediately. and these are just swell–a combination of all the right stuff.

  63. These look delish! I am a bad breakfast eater, but I think I am going to try these.

  64. Adding these to favorites right now ’cause man, they look so good! And yes, not so much chewing. Granola can be work!

  65. Sandra 65

    I adore granola and have a killer recipe that’s great by itself or with fruit and yogurt as a break fast meal.

  66. Laura 66

    OMG I actually laughed out loud at the beginning of your post, about chewing the granola. I always eat granola in small servings so I get it.

    Any suggestions for a banana sub? Pumpkin maybe? Sweet potato?

  67. Elyse 67

    You are not the only one who wakes up and thinks: granola!! I love what you’ve done with these muffins. They look amazing!

  68. Kim 68

    I really want to make these very soon! They look delicious! I just love a good muffin for breakfast!

  69. Aubrey 69

    I’ve been enjoying your a blog for awhile now and this is the second recipe I’ve felt compelled to make — and the second smashing success. Thank you. I’m going to enjoy making these for a long time.

  70. I would happily start my day with one (or two!) of these!!

  71. Carol 71

    Two comments:

    1) For the poster who asked about nutritional info, these are 230 calories, 9.5 grams of fat, 34 grams of carbs, and 5.3 grams of protein per muffin.

    2) I see you have baking powder listed twice in the recipe – I assume one of those should be baking soda?

  72. I make muffins every week for a local doctor. Tried these tonight and they ROCK. Love the crunchy texture. Thanks!

  73. Oh my, these look incredible! I must try ’em soon :D

  74. sophie 74

    i’m in the uk, what would be the british equivalent of granola?
    they look fab btw :)

  75. Noble Pig 75

    Good question.  I have no idea.

  76. I made these yesterday and they are amazing! The combination of the cinnamon/banana/chocolate chips is excellent. Thanks for shaing the great recipe!


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