Nut-free, Coconut-free Paleo Blueberry Muffins (Basic Muffin Recipe)

July 4, 2013 in Categories: , by

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Happy Fourth of July!  I’m actually headed up to Virginia today to spend my evening with Matt and Stacy from and attend their Beyond Bacon Book Release party tomorrow.  So, I thought I’d leave you with a fun recipe that you could bring to a barbecue or maybe whip up for a special breakfast treat this weekend.  This is actually the first muffin recipe that I’ve made that can really be treated as a basic muffin recipe.  You don’t need to add blueberries, but instead can turn these into whatever favorite muffin you have a hankering for.

The inspiration for this recipe came from comments on my Perfect Paleo Pancakes from people who had used that recipe as the base for muffins.   I’ve been meaning to try this for myself for quite a while.  So, when I found myself with a couple cups of blueberries that were getting a bit wrinkly from being in my fridge for a week (I had bought a whole flat at the Farmer’s Market and I guess we’d actually had our fill, which I wouldn’t have thought possible!) and a couple of extra green plantains (I try to always keep green plantains in my home), I felt like it was time to give it a try!

I am in love with plantains, both as a versatile starchy vegetable (mashed, roasted, deep fried) and as a baking ingredient (see here, here, here and here).   It’s more than the fact that cooking with plantains makes for some pretty great nut-free paleo baking (which we all know there is quite a demand for with all the nut allergies and sensitivities out there, including mine!), but that the texture of baking made with plantains is far better (in my humble opinion) than what I can often achieve with nut flours or coconut flour (and even sometimes without eggs like this recipe).

For these muffins, I found the secret to a great muffin texture was to increase the fat compared to the pancake recipe.  I used coconut oil, but you could just as easily use lard, palm shortening, butter or ghee (I’m not sure if a liquid oil like avocado oil would work).  I have used both date sugar and evaporated cane juice to sweeten these muffins (which isn’t necessary if you have very sweet fruit to add or if you’re using something like mini chocolate chips).  If you plan to bring these muffins to a potluck where non-paleo people might enjoy them, you might wish to increase the amount of granulated sugar to appeal to a less sweet sensitive palate.  This recipe is actually very forgiving both in terms of amount of sweetener and the type (as long as it’s granulated and not a liquid like honey).  You could just as easily use date sugar or muscovado sugar or evaporated cane juice or maple sugar (yum!).  I think whole pitted dates would work too.

Also, think of this as a basic muffin recipe.  You don’t need to add blueberries.  You could add cranberries and white chocolate chips (a brand to look for is VeganSweets or you can make your own).  You could add different berries, maybe raspberries with a little orange zest.  Our you could try chopped apple, walnuts and add a little extra cinnamon (if you were going with something like chopped apple, you probably only need about 1 1/2 cups).  Or you could skimp on the granulated sugar and add mini chocolate chips (I did try this and my kids loved them… I used 2 Tbsp date sugar and 1 cup of mini chocolate chips).  That to me is the most exciting thing about this recipe: it’s a nut-free, coconut-free (if you use lard or palm shortening, etc.), grain-free, dairy-free basic muffin that you can totally make into whatever your favorite muffin is. Yay!!!!

Just a few notes on plantains.  A very large plantain will equal about 1 cup pureed.  If your plantains are on the smaller size, use 2 1/2.  Many people found success using green bananas instead of plantains with my pancake recipe (you have to use 2-3 per plantain because bananas are smaller) and I see no reason why that wouldn’t work here.  Also, if you use ripe plantains, you will need to adjust the egg ratio since ripe plantains have much more liquid in them.  If your plantains are super ripe, this recipe probably won’t work without other adjustments since your batter will just be too liquidy.  Also, just like my Perfect Paleo Pancake recipe, expect the color of your muffin to vary depending on your plantains.  They might be very pale, dark brown like my photo below, slightly pinkish or even slightly green.  I’m not sure if this is actually different varieties of plantain that we’re getting in the store or why else this might happen, but I’ve seen so many different variations of those colors with my pancake recipe (which I make at least once a week) that nothing surprises me any more.

So, without further ado, here is my Paleo Blueberry (or whatever you want) Muffin recipe.

Yield: 12 muffins

 Nut-Free Coconut-Free Paleo Blueberry Muffins Basic Muffin Recipe


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease a muffin pan or line with silicone or paper liners (I actually used a silicone muffin pan which makes this super easy).
  2. Peel plantain and place in a food processor or blender with egg, coconut oil, vanilla, sweetener, and salt.
  3. Process for 3-5 minutes, until completely smooth (you might want to scrape the sides once or twice).  Add baking soda and cinnamon and process to fully incorporate.  Fold in blueberries or whatever other goodies you’re using.
  4. Spoon batter into muffin pan (muffin cups should be 70-80% full, depending on how many berries or other add-ons you use).  Bake for 27-30 minutes.  Enjoy!

Watch this video from my YouTube Channel to learn more about green plantains:


SUPER thank you. I only have RIPE plantain recipes. I get so anxious waiting for them to blacken. This will satisfy my “are they ripe enough yet” mantra in my head. Making v-e-r-y soon.

I entered the recipe in MyFitnessPal: see the nutrition facts below. Please note that I calculated the recipe yielded 12 servings, I used 2 cups of blueberries and 4 Tbsp honey (rather than cane juice, etc.). Other than that, all my ingredients are as listed above.

Carbs: 18g
Fat: 8g
Protein: 3g
Sodium: 288g
Sugar: 12g
Calories: 155

THIS IS THE BEST!!! I’m doing AIP AND MY boyfriend is allergic to coconut and this is a spectacular recipe! Thank you so much! I am now going to use green plantains for all of my baking. I was shocked to see it tasted like a real cake. Your video was a huge help too!

I am out of date sugar & evaporated cane juice, any other sweetener that would work? Brown sugar? Not ideal, but I have tons of blueberries and a little boy who needs a muffin! :) lol Thanks!

Tried these once as lemon poppyseed muffins–the texture was unbelievably perfect! Since then, it seems I’m sensitive to eggs, so I’ve been experimenting. Thought I’d try a “tapioca egg” (–basically tapioca starch and water boiled into an eggwhite consistency. Only when I went to make them, the only plantains I had were yellow and brown on the outside, but still very firm inside, and near impossible to peel (like very green plantains usually are for me).

This time, they didn’t rise very high, and totally sunk in the middle–so I’m trying to decide if it was the extra moisture in the yellow plantains, or my egg sub that failed. If I use yellow, would I be better off just adding tapioca flour, like the aip pizza crust recipe posted here the end of june? Or do I just really need to stick to the green plantains and try the tapioca egg again?
Anyone else experiment and have a good egg sub that works with these?

Mine were liquidy and did not rise up properly, the blueberries all sunk. Any ideas. The only replacement was olive oil, coconut allergy and honestly forgot to use shortening since the coconut was melted. I was a regular baker so I am confused, the plantains were green too.

Sarah does recommend making her recipes exactly as written for the best results. Ghee, lard, palm oil, or palm shortening are better coconut oil substitutes. – Christina, Sarah’s assistant

I am so allergic to coconut and look for coconut free recipes, but I understood palm ingredients are from the same family and my allergies have improved greatly since staying away from anything with palm(anything) in it, as well. Just wanted to mention in case anyone else has not made the connection.

This recipe claims to be coconut free because Sarah gives us a list of substitutes to the coconut oil. I specifically look for Paleo, nut and coconut free recipes for my kids lunch box. They go to a nut free school and there are sesame and coconut allergies in my eldest a class. Make Paleo a tricky choice. But thanks to the wonderful work Sarah does it’s not hopeless.
I have a batch in the oven right now. They look and smell great.

This is a nice recipe. Thank you. I didn’t think I’d ever enjoy a blueberry muffin again, or any muffin, after going grain-free a few years ago.
I made these into blueberry mini-loaves (6 loaves are about the same as 12 muffins). I added 1 T soaked chia to the mix. They rose very well. I found the taste of baking soda to be very strong and distracting however, so will reduce it next time. I also feel they needed more coconut palm sugar (used about 4T) so will increase that. OTOH I liked the way this batter turned out as pancakes better than the mini-loaves, with a little coconut oil or cream and maple syrup, they were great.

Holy smokes! I’m totally shocked by this delicious muffin I am eating right now. I tried this recipe twice before – once using REALLY green bananas and once using green bananas, both since I couldn’t find green plantains. Well, I was lucky to score a couple over the weekend and got back in the kitchen. The first time I used mini chocolate chips, but the batter was so warm from the blending that they all melted. The second time I used blueberries but they weren’t really like muffins – more like blueberry omelets (still good though). This time, I used a gingerbread combination of spices, dates instead of sugar for sweetener, and added some walnuts. I still cannot believe how awesome they came out – I would NEVER be able to tell it was made with plantain! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! :-)

my son cannot have any coconut at all, not even the oil- he is allergic and even the refined oil gives him a reaction. I’ve made this recipe before and love it, but in this, and any paleo baking recipes, what do you recommend as the best sub for coconut oil? (He has a dairy allergy too, so no butter either.) What about avocado oil? Or would palm shortening be a good alternative? Thanks!

I am allergic to coconut and I use Spectrum Organic all vegetable shortening which is palm oil. Coconuts and palm oil come from different palm species. I do not react to palm oil, but I get hives and swelling from coconut.

Hi! I’m new to AIP. I’m sensitive to corn and coconut and have a child who’s got a banana sensitivity. Any suggestions for other AIP friendly flours? I was thinking about trying water chestnut flour but can’t seem to find much about how to use it. Any other replacement for the plaintains – maybe sweet potatoes? Thanks so much!

Okay, made these (and the crepes) and we loved them! I didn’t have as many blueberries so added chocolate chips and of course the kids asked no questions at that point! GREAT recipes!

Do these muffins, or anything made with green plantains, have a banana flavor? My daughter is on the SCD, along with nut, coconut, and egg allergies. She would love these if they don’t taste like bananas. Thanks.

I looove plantains. I’m from Puerto Rico and in the Caribbean we use this all the time. When I’m craving for some Carb or Salty stuff I make them… Sorry Sarah, we don’t peel the plantains like that … neither make Plantains chips like that … But is a great idea to make them different … By the way, we usually dip them in a dipping sauce called Mayo-Ketchup … Made with Mayo, Ketchup and Garlic yummmm ….

Just made a carrot-walnut-raisin version of these and I love them! My toddler “helper” likes them too. I was able to use my small 4 cup food processor, but I think a full size would be handy. Instead of blueberries, I added about 1.5 C shredded carrot (squeezed dry), 1/2 C walnuts, 1/2 C raisins, and a bunch of pumpkin pie spice. (And the full 5 tbs sucanat). I think they’d hold even more carrot/walnut/raisin, as well as spice. This is a great go-to! If I had a full size cuisine art, I’d experiment with doubling the recipe.

Nut-free, Coconut-free Paleo Blueberry Muffins (Basic Muffin Recipe)

using coconut in recipe is not coconut free

I will try your recipe with grassfed butter instead of coconut oil

Im allergic to tree nuts, including coconuts

I need a recipe like this that uses coconut flour (nut free otherwise) that I can add different types of fruit or spices to. We have just gone nut free and my kids miss their treats. :( Any suggestions?? I will continue to look on Sarah’s site to see if I find something that works.

I’ve never baked with plantains before and this turned out great! My 4 year old son is GFCF and these were a great alternative to my typical coconut/almond flour snacks. We just learned that he has a bunch of food sensitivities so we have to remove eggs, lots of nuts (not almonds…whew!), coconut….so I’ll be experimenting more with these using egg replacements and different oil. Keep these nut/coconut alternatives coming! I love your recipes!

Just a heads-up: Coconut oil triggers coconut allergies just as easily as the real thing. If you’re deathly allergic, you’ll need a substitution or else risk anaphylactic shock =(

I used to make these fairly often, and then got out of the habit due to wanting to cut down on eating “treats”. I just made a batch and had to come over here to rave. I had forgotten why I liked them so much–they really are quite good! If you miss made-with-wheat-flour muffins these are for sure a worthy substitute. The texture is lovely and they hit the sweet craving notes, too (I definitely add sugar to mine). I don’t recommend eating them all of the time, as they are pretty sweet and I imagine up there in the carbs department. Also, I find them pretty “addictive” and can’t seem to do them in moderation, so if you tend to over-eat sweets, you might binge a bit when you make these. But for a once in a while special treat, they are lovely.

I, personally, up the amount on the cinnamon, or I can’t taste it. Otherwise I stay pretty close to the original recipe, and just use a good blender to make the batter (a cheap Ninja worked fine for me previously, and I made today’s batch in my new Vita-mix–I noticed no major difference in taste or texture between the blenders). I have made these before with fresh berries and with frozen ones, and it works great either way.

Absolutely the single most ‘used-by-me’ recipe for a Paleo treat in my recipe collection. A definite go-to if I am really craving a muffin or cake-like thing.

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