Almost Vegan Banana Walnut Muffins – Dr. Plastic Picker

Almost Vegan Banana Walnut Muffins

| Posted in Vegan Dreams - Less plastic, More plants, More Fiber

My almost vegan banana walnut muffin. It was DELICIOUS! Appropriate portion size. Mostly organic. Food waste project as the bananas were overripe! Would have been $3.15 at Starbucks. Plus avoided plastic trash.

October 16, 2020

by drplasticpicker

It’s Friday and 550AM. It’s still pitch dark outside. My circadian rhythm is definitely in tune with the sun and moon, because I had noticed I had been up at 4am recently. I realized that the time change is coming, and the clocks will reset and it will be 5am again when I now wake up at “4am.” So I’ve really been getting up at the same “time.” Maybe the world should just set the clocks according to my sleep schedule? LOL. Whatever the real time is, it’s in the early morning and the best time of the day.

There is a batch of almost vegan banana walnut muffins in the oven. I think our daughter is going to be suitably impressed. She herself is an excellent chef. She told me that I have been on vegan muffin overload and I usually make muffins on Mondays or Tuesdays, but not on Thursdays or Fridays. But today is Friday, and I made muffins! Plus I made a new kind of muffin I’ve never made before. We had three overripe bananas in the fridge, and they were calling to me. I don’t fear over ripe ingredients now because it gives me a reason to be creative. Muffins are such a great way to use overripe ingredients. The three brownish bananas were calling, and they met up with some dried ingredients we always have in the pantry since we are trying to cook more at home. I always have organic bulk walnuts, almonds and sometimes cashews. The recipe below is from Spruce Street, and it called for walnuts and I had walnuts. So this morning I made my first ever batch of banana walnut muffins, and chopped walnuts for the first time in my life. I used these pretty red metal mixing bowels I recently purchased at the Goodwill which match my pretty red tea kettle. I’ve always wanted matching mixing bowls but never thought I cooked enough to deserve them. Well, when I saw them at Goodwill secondhand and they matched my tea kettle for $7.99 a set – I knew they were meant for me.


  • 3 to 4 bananas (depending on the size, very ripe)
  • 1/4 cup oil (or softened vegan margarine)
  • 1 cup organic granulated sugar (Dr. Plastic Picker put it 3/4 cup of sugar, you could probably even go less )
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Optional: 1 cup chopped walnuts

Steps to Make It


  1. Gather the ingredients.
  2. Preheat the oven to 360 F and prepare a 12-cup muffin tin either with liners or by lightly coating it with nonstick spray.
  3. In a large bowl, mash the bananas with a fork until soft.
  4. Add the oil or vegan margarine and sugar; mix until creamy.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking soda until well mixed. Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture, stirring gently just to combine. Don’t overmix. The batter will be thick.
  6. If you’re using the walnuts, now is the time to gently fold them in. Alternatively, you can sprinkle them on top of each individual muffin before baking.
  7. Carefully spoon the batter into the muffin tins, filling each well about 2/3 full. If desired, sprinkle the organic sugar on top just before baking.
  8. Bake the muffins for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool a few minutes and enjoy while still warm or cool completely for longer storage.

I love making vegan muffins or almost vegan muffins. These are almost vegan muffins because is called for vegan butter. Vegan butter is just margarine and isn’t necessarily good for the earth, because it is made from palm oil (poor orangatangs) and has a lot of trans saturated fat. We had butter already that needed to be used. I figured this morning is also partially a food waste project.

I always like to think of how much money I saved by doing something at home, and Starbucks has an equivalent item.

Starbucks Banana Nut Bread420Cal$3.15

It’s $3.15 at Starbucks! I’ve definitely bought Vegan muffins for about $1.50 a piece at Sprouts. Instead I made a batch at home and it’s so fun and easy for me now. What I’ve realized that baking is relaxing when it’s quiet. Everything is better when there is quiet. I enjoyed the soft crunching sound of the walnuts as I chopped them. I realized a certain hand motion works better than just hacking at them. I like the sound of the silicone spatula gently scraping my Goodwill new-to-me beautiful red mixing bowls. I enjoyed the mooshing sound of the bananas softened by my own hand. And in the dark, I enjoy the clicking sound of the keyboard and the smell of the baking muffins. Wow, only 3 more minutes and there will be fresh muffins by 6:10AM for the family.

Twelve muffins. I’ll eat one. Two each for our two children. One for the 3rd year UCSD medical student Tanner. Two for my office clinic buddies including Dr. Dear Friend. Two for myself for breakfast this weekend. One for my in-laws (my mother in law has diabetes so I have to be mindful). And one maybe if Mr. Plastic Picker will eat one. If I tell him it’s vegan, he tends to try it. He really loves bananas in general so I think he’ll like it. Plus there are walnuts! Walnuts for some reason seem so fancy. So at least I saved $20 and maybe even $40 this morning making my own muffins for the people in my life.

Did I tell you Aerobin 400 replied to my email “Can Dr. Plastic Picker get a discount?” ???!!!! I am so excited! The VP of Marking contacted me and told me they’d sell me one unit at the Costco price $224 because I’m an environmental advocate and they wanted to support my efforts. Score! I am so so so happy. I just saved $142 compared to the amazon price! I 100% promise I’m trying to save the world. And Aerobin 400 believed me because it’s true! See. You just need to be honest and there are some people who still believe in the goodness of others. I believe in your Aerobin 400!!!! I’m so exicted. I’m going to tell everyone, and I mean everyone. I know a lot of people LOL.

Muffins portioned out to everyone in my life this today. Also for Tanner our 3rd year UCSD PRIME HEq student. I hope he likes it!
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6 thoughts on “Almost Vegan Banana Walnut Muffins”

  1. Luz de Maria Uzzell says:

    Dear Dr. XXX,

    I have just recently begun to read your blog. I think it’s amazing!! I am super proud to have you as my kids’ pediatrician, and will be sad when I no longer can come to you for medical advice as they turn into adults. However, there are a few years ahead before that happens…..but I digress! I was wanting to congratulate you for your wonderful contribution in the minds and spirit of San Diegans, as well as their fellow neighbors around this vast southern californian community and beyond. The magic of the internet will carry your spirit far and wide around the globe, I’m sure. Please continue your good work. Please let me know when you’ll be out there doing this therapeutic work, as my kids and I want to join you.


    Luz U. (mom of Nathan and Brian U)

    1. drplasticpicker says:

      Dear Luz. I am so touched you stopped by the blog and enjoying some of the articles! All my families including your two ones have been inspiring. I think Nathan was one of the first to tell me about Ecosia!

  2. Hi! I love how informative and great your articles are. Can you recommend any other Food Blog Names or blogs that go over the same topics? Thanks a lot!

    1. Dr Plastic Picker says:

      Hello! Just checked out your site. Wow, it’s gorgeous and I downloaded your salad cookbook and will try. We have a work instagram account @kpkidsgoodfoodgoodearth where we talk about plant-based recipes! I’m kind of all over the place with food blogs since I’m really just trying to save the earth. But a lot of doctors are going to minimalist baker and I have an MD environmentalist friend who is @flavors4wellness . honestly, we need more chefs in this space for sure!

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