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by Jaclyn Jecha

If you’ve never heard of this recipe, prepare to be amazed. Countless people have asked for it from my mother for years, and years… and years. It’s always been kept as a revered family secret, until now. I’m not sure how many people will come across this recipe from other places around the web, but I know hundreds (or thousands) of visits will come from those who have already tried these unbelievably delicious and healthy muffins straight from my mom’s kitchen.

The beauty of this recipe is in the flexibility of the ingredients and how simple they are to put together. You could cook these with a child as easily as you do chocolate chip cookies! Some suggestions for which fruits to use are included below, but you can mix and match all kinds to feel like you are eating a completely different muffin with ever batch.

The three characteristics that make these muffins ultra-unique are in being vegan, oil-free, and gluten-free. These treats are packed with nutrition, not fat, cholesterol, or sugar. All the guilt has been taken out of these so that you can live healthy.

Vegan Oil-Free Gluten-Free Fruit Muffins

1½ cup organic Bob’s Red Mill rolled oats
1 cup oat flour or whole wheat flour (see notes below to easily make your own oat flour at home in 60 seconds)
¼ cup gluten-free Bob’s Red Mill white flour
¼ cup packed brown sugar (optional: instead of using sugar, add an extra tbsp of cinnamon and nutmeg)
3 tbsp organic oat bran (optional)
1½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
¾ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
⅓ cup broken organic banana chips (optional)
⅓ cup organic dried fruits, like dried blueberries (optional)
¼ cup pitted dates or figs, chopped (optional)
1 cup non-sweetened almond milk
¼ cup applesauce (no sugar added) or canned pumpkin
1 ripe banana
1 tbsp ground flaxseed
3 tbsp water

Combine 1 tbsp ground flaxseed with 3 tbsp water. Let sit for approximately 15 minutes.

In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients: rolled oats, flours, sugar, oat bran, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt, banana chips, dried berries, and dates.

In a blender, combine ripe banana (break up if necessary), almond milk, applesauce (or pumpkin). Add flaxseed/water mixture to blender- blend for approximately 15 seconds. Add milk mixture to flour, stir just until moistened.

For mini-muffins bake at 400° F for 8 minutes; for regular muffins, bake 18 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool on wire racks. 6-12 servings

Notes

Gluten-Free Oat Flour is super easy to make at home! You’ve already bought gluten-free whole oats (probably a big bag of Bob’s Red Mill) for the muffins. To make 1 cup of flour, just put about 1 1/8 cup of whole oats into a blender or food processor (preferably one with variable speed settings). Keep your blender on low speed and blend for about 1 minute until the consistency looks like oat flour. It’s that simple! We use our Vitamix on speed 1.

Homemade Apple Sauce

If you’re anything like me, you have an inherent distrust for industrialized food (for example–I just found out that cow bone is used to make sugar and almost nobody knows it. Apple sauce is so easy to make at home if you have a good blender. One apple and a lime is all you need to make enough for a batch of muffins. Core the apple and put the pieces in a blender. Cut the lime in half and squeeze the juice on top. Start by blending on low and gradually increase the speed up to medium to make into sauce. You’ll need to use a tamper to press the apple into the blades as they blend (or else they will just sit above the blades). It’s done when it looks like apple sauce!

Stock Up

I always make a double batch, separate my muffins into sandwich bags, and freeze most of them. Then I just take a bag out of the freezer as I need more. I love these things and go through about 18 to 24 per week on my own, so I take a bag of 4 out of the freezer every couple of days. After letting them thaw, I love to pop them in the microwave for 20-30 seconds to soften.

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