Banana Bran Muffins

There’s a large bush on our walk to the bus stop that keeps encroaching further and further onto the sidewalk. Normally this isn’t the kind of thing I would comment on as, not being the type to trim my own bushes, who am I to judge. Except this particular bush always has multiple bees busily buzzing in and out, leading me to believe there’s a large and active hive happening in there (probably why they ain’t touchin’ that bush with a 10-foot hedge trimmer).

I don’t like bees, and have yet to determine if two of my kids are allergic, so I’ve been giving this bush a reasonably wide berth on our walks, especially when pushing my double-wide stroller. It must have been bothering me more than I realized, because the other night I had a dream that was SO REAL.  I was in the house puttering in the kitchen while the kids were outside biking.  Suddenly there were blood-curdling screams from down the street and I immediately knew, “Gemma fell into that bush on her bike“.  Sure enough, she had, and was too panicked to run or roll away, but just stayed there screaming, getting stung over and over and over again. I couldn’t do anything, and when she finally got out I had no antihistamine to give her to help with the reaction to all the stings, and thankfully I woke up before her airways completely closed.

The next day I went to the store and bought Benadryl to make myself feel better. As my kids multiply, it becomes increasingly likely that someone will get stung, roll in poison ivy, eat a strange mushroom, be allergic to peanuts, or otherwise run into trouble with nature.  I want to at least feel a little prepared.

Then came evening, and Gemma decided we should all make up a story, as we do from time to time.  Well, stumped on my turn, I turned to my recent dream for story fodder.


Anyone with a six-year-old and four-year-old with vivid imaginations knows exactly how good of an idea THAT was. Now EVERYONE gives that bush a wide berth, and Gemma won’t even bike on the sidewalk beside it anymore, but has to check for cars and take the road instead. This is after a sleepless night and ongoing difficulty falling asleep, followed by her own dream that mirrored mine once she finally DID fall asleep.

Well done, me.

Parenting. It’s not my forte, let me tell you.

Banana muffins, though? I got that.

Banana Bran Muffins

These are still the best ever in the banana muffin field, but if you want something healthier and without that one extra streusel step, these banana bran beauties are your friend. We all really, really like ’em.

Banana Bran Muffins
Total time
A healthy, moist banana muffin that freezes and travels well.
Recipe type: Muffin; Breakfast
Serves: 12
  • 1¼ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup oat bran or wheat bran
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 large or 2 small ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and line a 12-cup muffin pan with papers.
  2. In large bowl, whisk together flour, oat bran, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In medium bowl, whisk together milk, oil, egg, vanilla, and mashed banana.
  4. Add wet ingredients to flour mixture and stir until well combined.
  5. Divide over 12 muffins and bake for 17-18 minutes, until a tester comes out clean and tops are golden. Remove from pan to cool on rack.
  6. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days, or freeze for longer storage.

*Adapted from The Lovin Forkful.




  1. says

    I’ve never been stung, so whenever I see a bee or wasp I pretty much freak out and run away. It becomes awkward when I’m in public and I’m probably not setting a good example for little kids.

    I never thought to make muffins with olive oil! I always have some on hand (along with ripe bananas) so I’ll have to try this recipe!

  2. says

    Hee hee hee! Love your stories, Anna! And I love that Gemma’s taken to biking on the road to avoid that bush – too funny! I can totally imagine my son getting worked up like that, too! :)

  3. says

    I’m smiling here. I have had that experience except with rodents. Rats and mice in particular. I saw a rat on my back deck a few years ago and woke up screaming out loud and absolutely sure a rat was biting my hand.

    The muffins look great – I’m going to try them soon.

  4. Kim says

    I don`t blame Gemma….I would have had bad dreams too :P And I would definitely give that bush a WIDE berth! I
    Muffins looks great. :)

  5. says

    I’ve actually never been stung by a bee, so I’m not even sure if I’m allergic, let alone my little lady! I *always* give bees a wide berth, and I’d be petrified of that bush! In the meantime, those muffins look fabulous. And I think both muffin-making and child-rearing ARE your forte, friend! =) We all make a few parental slip-ups every now and then. =)

  6. Erin says

    Ha. Ooooh dear. Reminds me of how Gemma overheard us talking about terrifying Amazonian ants and became certain the ants in your backyard were fire ants. Little ears and big imaginations!

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