Healthy oatmeal muffins are a convenient and nutritious breakfast the whole family will love. These delicious gluten-free muffins are made with whole-grain oats (no special gluten free flours needed) and contain no refined sugar, no flour, and no oil!
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A Healthy Muffin Recipe was Needed
Let me paint you a maddening picture of sleep, chaos, and junk food breakfasts…
I have a child who HATES to get up in the morning (she's a natural night owl like her mother) but HAS to be on the bus ready for a productive day of school at 7:30.
This undesirable combination has led to a lot of stomping, a good deal of nagging, and more than a few pre-packaged breakfasts snatched from the pantry at the last possible second to gobble on the way to the bus stop.
After one too many chocolate chip granola bar breakfasts I decided that we needed a healthier option for last minute breakfasts.
Healthy Oatmeal Muffins Recipe
Muffins are an easy, portable breakfast choice (just grab and go)… but the amount of sugar and oil found in most muffin recipes puts them firmly in the junk food category.
This healthy oatmeal muffins recipe outshines traditional muffin recipes in three ways:
- Toasted oatmeal replaces bleached white flour. (Use oats labeled gluten-free for healthy gluten-free muffins.)
- Bananas keep the muffins moist without oil or butter.
- A bit of honey sweetens the recipe instead of refined white sugar.
If these substitutions sound like a recipe for cardboard, don’t be alarmed! Toasting and grinding the oats results in a smooth muffin with a slightly nutty favor while the fruit and honey provide enough sweetness to tempt even picky taste buds.
Want to customize your healthy oatmeal muffins? It's easy! Add 1/2 cup of fresh, dried or frozen fruit or 1/2 cut of chopped nuts to the batter. You can also customize the spices: add an extra teaspoon of cinnamon, some nutmeg, or even pumpkin pie spice.
A few popular add ins:
- fresh or frozen blueberries
- fresh or frozen raspberries
- diced fresh apple
- dried cranberries, mixed berries or apricots (diced)
- walnuts or pecans (chopped)
- ground flax seed
- unsweetened coconut (shredded)
Check out the comments section for even more great ideas from readers!
More Healthy Muffin Recipes to Try
3 – Apple Cinnamon Blender Muffins – This easy recipe mixes in the blender for less mess with lots of apple cinnamon flavor. These muffins are sweetened with dates and still free of flour, refined sugar and oil.
This gluten-free healthy muffins recipe uses no flour, no sugar, and no oil but still produces moist, delicious muffins. Customize to make your favorite muffin flavors.
- 2 ½ cups old-fashioned oats ( 1.5 cups ground, 1 cup whole)
- 2 Tbsp old-fashioned oats for muffin tops
- 2-3 large overripe bananas (1 cup mashed or or 1 cup applesauce)
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten (can use flax eggs)
- 1/3 cup honey
- 3/4 cup milk (or non-dairy milk)
- 2 tsp real vanilla
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- muffin tin
Preheat oven to 325°F to toast oats.
Place oats on a baking sheet and toast until lightly browned, stirring once (about 4 to 6 minutes). Let cool to room temperature. (If you are in a hurry you can skip the toasting step, however the toasting adds flavor!)
- Divide oats into portions of 1.5 cups, 1 cup and 2 Tbsp
Turn oven heat up to 350°F degrees to bake the muffins.
- Place 1.5 cups of oats in a food processor and blend/pulse until they reach a rough, flour like consistency.
- Mash bananas well, they should have no lumps. I use my mixer to mash them before adding the other wet ingredients.
- Add eggs, honey, milk and vanilla. Mix to combine.
- Add dry ingredients (including the ground oats and 1 cup whole oats) to wet ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Allow these to sit for 10 minutes to soak the oats.
Optional: Fold in 1/2 cup fruit, raisins, or nuts.
Scoop into muffin tin, well greased or lined with parchment muffin wrappers (makes 14 muffins).
- Sprinkle muffin tops with the 2 Tbsp of reserved oats, press lightly to make sure they stick.
Bake at 350°F for 20 -23 minutes. (Tops should spring back when lightly pressed and/or a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin should come out clean.)
Need more nutrition details? Here's the complete breakdown:
Tips for Making Perfect Oatmeal Muffins
These helpful pointers will help you get the most out of the healthy muffin recipe with banana:
- Use parchment baking cups. Healthy muffins have a habit of sticking to the baking cups and muffin tins. Parchment baking cups will prevent them from sticking, no greasing needed.
- Let the muffin batter rest. Allow the batter to rest for 10 to 20 minutes before scooping it into the baking cups. This allows the oats to soften for more fluffy muffin.
- Overfill the baking cups. Want your muffins to look as fluffy as mine? Fill the baking cups 3/4 full (muffin tins are usually filled 1/2-2/3). Gluten-free muffins do not rise as much as traditional muffins so overfilling the tins will make them look taller.
- Use the “press test” or cut one open. These muffins are quite moist due to the mashed bananas. It can be hard to tell when they are finished baking with the toothpick test. Try pressing gently in the center of to see if it holds it's shape / springs back. If the muffin stays indented give them a few more minutes to bake. You can also cut a muffin one in half to see if the center is fully baked.
- How to store the muffins. Keep the muffins for 3-4 days in a sealed container on the counter, 7-10 days in a sealed container in the refrigerator, or for several months well wrapped in the freezer (defrost in the fridge overnight). I keep mine in the fridge and heat for a few seconds in the microwave or cut in half and warm in the oven.
Recipe Substitutions & FAQ
I get lots of questions about this recipe. Here are a few substitutions and frequently asked questions:
- Can I replace the eggs with flax eggs? Yes. To make the flax eggs stir together 2 tablespoon ground flax seed (flaxseed meal) with 5 tablespoon warm water in a small dish and let rest for 5 minutes to thicken. Add to recipes in place of eggs.
- Can I replace the banana? Yes. Use 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce in place of the mashed banana. Add an extra tablespoon of honey to the batter if needed (ripe bananas are often sweeter than natural applesauce).
- Can I use maple syrup / molasses / agave, in place of honey? Yes. Most liquid sweeteners can be substituted for the honey. Keep in mind that sweeteners vary in intensity , so you may need to adjust to taste. I have substituted 1/3 cup pure maple syrup with great results.
- Can I use steel cut oats / Scottish oats / oat bran instead of old-fashioned oats? No. I would not recommend this substitution.
- Can I use quick oats instead of old-fashioned oats? Yes. Substitute equal amounts.
- Can I use oat flour instead of old-fashioned oats? Yes, it takes approximately 1.25 cups of old-fashioned oats to make 1 cup oat flour so add 2 cups of oat flour in place of the old-fashioned oats in this recipe. Add an extra 1/4 cup of oat flour if the batter is too thin.
- Can I add cocoa to make chocolate muffins? Please follow my Healthy Chocolate Muffin Recipe for best results. They are also no sugar, no flour, no fat!
- Can I add protein powder to the muffins? Readers have successfully added protein powder to the batter. Since protein powders vary greatly I cannot specify an amount or promise good results. My Healthy Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins get extra protein from your nut butter of choice.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I skip the toasting step? Yes, it is not necessary to toast the oats, but I recommend toasting because it adds flavor to the recipe.
- Is the temperature 325°F or 350°F, the recipe says both. Toast the oats at 325°F then turn the oven up to 350°F to bake the muffins.
- Can I make these into nursing muffins (lactation muffins)? Yes, add 2 tbsp ground flaxseed, 2 tbsp brewer’s yeast, and 1/2 cup add in of your choice (I recommend chopped nuts for extra protein).
- Can I make vegan muffins? Yes, use flax seed eggs and maple syrup in place of the eggs and honey.
Can't get enough healthy baked goods? Check out these healthy cookies with no flour, no dairy, no eggs, and no added sugar. My kids love them for breakfast!
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Tip: Have over ripe bananas but aren’t ready to bake? Peel and freeze the bananas. Defrost and use when convenient.