Healthy Banana Oat Muffins (no added sugar)

With the French rentrée back-to-school this month, university applications underway and September being Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month, I’m (enfin!) posting these Healthy Banana Oat Muffins to give us a naturally sweet and nutty morning boost this Autumn.

What’s the big deal about these muffins? Mon Dieu, they’re not even French.

Unlike our just-as-healthy Breakfast Oat Bran Muffins or Breakfast Oat Cookies, these have absolutely NO ADDED SUGAR in them.  Instead they rely heavily on the natural fruit sugars using just an overripe banana and moist, dried fruits with a surprise brazil nut to add le crunch.

Why No Added Sugar Oat Muffins?

Thyroid Cancer Awareness Month

You could say I’ve been even more of a ‘Health Nut’ recently, ever since I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in February. It all happened quite by accident: no visible lumps on the neck, no symptoms (no strange change in voice, coughing or trouble swallowing).  Instead I saw a new GP last summer for something different since my usual doc was on holiday.  He asked questions, then felt my neck and asked me to get a deep lump scanned. Two biopsies later, I was told I had cancer.

The following month saw a dizzying thyroidectomy, parathyroidectomy and 3 tumours removed. Recovery time is fast and my scar is hardly even noticeable. Even after radioactive iodine treatment with a few days of surreal quarantine this summer, it’s all good and, luckily, a cancer that’s easiest to treat with follow-up scans and blood tests every 6 months from now on.

So my unasked-for advice? SEE YOUR DOC if you suspect anything on your neck or just get a contrôle technique once in a while (an MOT is not just for the car). CHECK YOUR NECK!

Keeping Healthy with Not Too Much Sugar

If you’re like me and have a sweet tooth at breakfast, then I urge you to try these. As you know, I’m already extremely sensitive to too much sugar in cakes and French patisserie (too much sugar kills flavour) – and muffins are no exception.  In this case, however, I wanted to try making them without any added sugar at all.  Instead, they rely heavily on good quality dried fruits and a banana, making them moist and pleasantly naturally sweet.

As I mentioned in my previous post for sesame tuiles, adding some sesame seeds before baking adds a touch of calcium, if you’re looking for that extra boost (we all need calcium but particularly if you have problems or have lost your parathyroid glands).

5 from 2 votes
Healthy Banana Oat Muffins (no added sugar)
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
35 mins
 

Healthy breakfast muffins with no added sugar: just naturally sweetened with banana, dried fruits and brazil nuts.

Course: Breakfast, Brunch, Snack
Cuisine: British, French
Keyword: baking with oats, healthy muffins, no sugar muffins
Servings: 9 muffins
Calories: 206 kcal
Author: Jill Colonna
Ingredients
  • 1 very ripe banana large
  • 100 g (3.5oz) porridge oats medium oats (or oatmeal)
  • 100 g (3.5oz) wholemeal flour or mix with plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (or pumpkin spice)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • 75 g (3oz) dried apricots finely chopped (or prunes)
  • 75 g (3oz) sultanas
  • 75 ml (3 floz) sunflower oil (or other neutral oil)
  • 1 organic egg large
  • 100 ml (3.5 floz) whole milk
  • 9 brazil nuts (if extra large, cut in half)
  • 1 tbsp oats for sprinkling on top
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F; Gas 6. Either grease a muffin tin or line with 9 paper muffin cases.

  2. In a large bowl, mash the banana and gradually stir in the oats, flour, cinnamon, baking powder and soda. Add the apricots and sultanas, coating in the flour mix. Mix in the oil, egg, and milk until the batter is smooth.

  3. Spoon the mixture into the muffin tin (or directly into silicone muffin moulds). Fill ¾ of the way up and push in a brazil nut into each muffin centre.

  4. Sprinkle each top with a few porridge oats and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted comes out clean.

  5. Leave to cool completely for about 10 minutes before taking out of the tin.

Recipe Notes

Delicious served fresh and still warm from the oven, although once cool can be frozen in sealed packs to enjoy defrosted at any time in the next month.

As no sugar at all is added (not even honey or maple syrup), this recipe relies heavily on the banana and DRIED fruits to give it the natural sweetness for breakfast. If you substitute ingredients, ensure that it is just the dried fruits, such as dates, prunes, currants, dried cranberries or blueberries in place of the apricots.

I like to sprinkle sesame seeds on top with the oats before baking, for added calcium.

 

Jill Colonna

MadAboutMacarons.com

healthy oat banana sugar-free muffins

 

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6 replies
  1. Liz
    Liz says:

    5 stars
    Oh, Jill, I had no idea! How scary, but good to know you were treated and recovered. Whew. I am hypothyroid and have noticed blood sugar spikes when I eat sugary foods on an empty stomach, so recipes like your yummy oat muffins are perfect! xoxo

    Reply
    • Jill Colonna
      Jill Colonna says:

      Gosh, Liz – I’m discovering an overwhelming number of friends around who also have thyroid problems. Hypothyroid isn’t fun and totally understand, as my treatment for life is based on being hypo although it’s all so complicated as I’m currently hyperthyroid. In any case, it doesn’t stop us from looking after our diets and lifestyle and generally just looking after ourselves. Sending hugs to you and the family from Paris!

      Reply
  2. Madonna
    Madonna says:

    Do you suppose I could substitute applesauce to replace the banana? I have developed an allergy to bananas, but I miss them. I am trying to cut down on sugar and it has been messing with my baking success.

    So happy you found your thyroid cancer when you did. My family has all had thyroid issues/surgery, though none with cancer. You are so brave.

    Reply
    • Jill Colonna
      Jill Colonna says:

      Poor you on banana allergies but yes, apple sauce to replace this would be great. Isn’t that funny what you say about cutting down on sugar in your baking? I’m totally with you! I’m also with you on the thyroid issues. I have realised that so many people have had problems with it and it’s not something that we should just take for granted x

      Reply
      • Parisbreakfast
        Parisbreakfast says:

        5 stars
        Wow Jill, I’m so glad tout va bien with you !!!
        I would love these muffins – a nice sub for morning gruel/oatmeal. Living in France I’ve became allergic to too much sucre (I break out in hives). Unless its embedded in tons of cream, pastry and butter. Ha ha
        I should have my neck checked too ?

        Reply
        • Jill Colonna
          Jill Colonna says:

          Unless it’s with cream, pastry, butter? Too funny but I hear you, Carol, on the sugar intake. I’ve always loved sweet for breakfast, though, and realise it’s time to be more careful. Of course you should check your neck if you feel anything a bit different. I think my doc decided to check me out as I’d lost all my body hair (including eyebrows) and symptoms pointing to thyroid…

          Reply

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