FOOD RECIPES

RECIPE | Blueberry Banana Nut Oat Bran Muffins (gluten-free + sugar-free)

April 16, 2013

Some days call for a little bit of sweetness and a whole lot of comfort. Tax day + the horrific bombing at the Boston Marathon = it was that kind of day. All I wanted to do was stuff the hubs with lots of sweet confections, cuddle with the fuzzies, and watch crappy tv all night long.

We typically limit our sugar intake in part because we aren’t really sweets people and also because we are trying to eat “healthier.” I’m not a nutritionist so I can’t really say for certain if these muffins are even ‘healthy’ but this recipe uses whole ingredients, a limited amount of unprocessed sweeteners, and is generally speaking, gluten-free. If it’s not a healthier version of a muffin, then I’m going to pretend it is anyway because unlike most ‘healthy’ versions of muffins that usually end up tasting like cardboard, these are light, delicious, and so flavorful.

My favorite way to eat these muffins are straight out of the oven when the blueberries are still nuclear hot, but my second favorite way is warmed up in the microwave, sliced in half and with a little bit (ok a lot) of organic whipped margarine spread.

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RECIPE | Blueberry Banana Nut Oat Bran Muffins
(gluten-free + sugar-free)

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 18 minutes
Total time: approx 35 minutes
Yields 12 muffins
(Click here to print recipe)

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 cups oat bran (can buy this in bulk at a natural food store or Bob’s Red Mill can be found in most regular grocery stores)
  • 1 cup plain low fat greek yogurt (non-greek yogurt works too)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup agave syrup /  honey / organic brown rice syrup / coconut palm sugar / sweetener of choice.* If your bananas are super ripe or you are not much into sweets either you can get away with 1/4 cup. I use just a little bit less than 1/2 cup.
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 TBSP ground flax seed
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup of blueberries
  • 1/2 cup of pecans
  • OPTIONAL: I also like to add 2 TBSP of chia seeds and 3 TBSP of unsweetened coconut flakes.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray or line 12 muffin tins with silicone or foil liners.
  2. Add all the ingredients except the blueberries and pecans to a food processor and mix until combined. Make sure the bananas are mixed in well — the batter should be smooth although it will look grainy because of the oat bran. TIP: if you want to gauge the sweetness, mix everything together besides eggs, (and blueberries, and nuts). Add your sweetener of choice, taste, and adjust accordingly, then mix in the eggs.
  3. Transfer the mix to a large bowl and fold in the blueberries and pecans (or use whatever ingredients you want,we just happen to like blueberries and pecans)
  4. Spoon the batter into the muffin tin, dividing evenly. The batter should be pretty thick and pretty much fill to the top of the muffin tin. Don’t worry, the muffins will be much fluffier when baked!
  5. Bake for 18 minutes on the middle rack. Muffins will be done when the tops are slightly golden and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Refrigerate after a couple days to preserve freshness

*  Note: When I think of “sugar-free” I think of recipes that are free of refined sugar, like white sugar. As a reader mentioned, this recipe in fact does have added sugars in the form of bananas and additional sweeteners like honey/agave. If this is a concern, you may be able to get away with adding an extra super ripe banana in place of the sweetener, though I have not yet experimented with doing so. If anyone has tried this or has any additional suggestions, please let me know in the comments below.

**recipe adapted from this recipe, which has a bunch of great variations in the comments section.

click to print recipe

 

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  • dana May 27, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    In reply to your comment – I actually AM a nutritionist, and yes, these are indeed “healthy”
    Thanks
    ; )

    • veronika June 3, 2013 at 6:48 am

      good to know! I guess this means I’ll eat more!

  • pam March 25, 2015 at 9:02 am

    can you make this pinnable? thanks!

    • veronika September 2, 2015 at 1:04 am

      Hi Pam,

      You can pin this recipe by clicking on the green Pinterest icon on the right-hand side at the bottom of the post beside the word “share.” You should see other social media icons there as well.

  • Lauren August 25, 2015 at 5:05 am

    Very good recipe! I wish I could pin it on Pinterest

    • veronika September 2, 2015 at 1:05 am

      Try clicking on the green Pinterest icon at the bottom of the post beside the word “share.” You should see other social media icons there as well. It can be hard to find sometimes!

  • LaLa October 12, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    Hi there! I was searching for a sugar free muffin recipe and saw yours. I’m disappointed that despite the name there is in fact added sugar in the recipe (agave and honey still qualify in my books) I have candita so low sugar is very inportant to my gut health. I’m going to try adding an extra banana for sweetness in lu of the syrup. I will let you know how it goes so perhaps you can offer it as a sugar free alternative in the recipe? I realize bananas are a sweet too but processed differently. Also may I add that coconut palm sugar is also a great natural option as it scores lower on the glycemic index than even agave or honey and bakes one to one when subbing out with granulated sugar in volume. Thanks for posting, I’ve been desperate for baked goods of late! 🙂

    • veronika October 12, 2015 at 7:08 pm

      I’m so sorry you were disappointed! You are correct, I suppose this isn’t truly a sugar free recipe though in my head I was referring to the lack of process and refined sugars which I try to avoid. It’s also not sugar free in the sense that bananas, as you mention, have naturally occurring sugars, as do a lot of natural sweeteners.

      While I have only tried making these muffins with agave, maple syrup, and honey, I do think that they would hold up with other sweetener options, or even without any sugar at all. Let me know how using an extra banana turns out! I haven’t made these muffins for a while but I think I will try to experiment with homemade apples sauce as a sweetener sub. I’ll update this post if they turn out!

      Thanks for your feedback — I will update this recipe to reflect the suggestions you mentioned!

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