Oat Flour Banana Carrot Muffins

I recently stumbled over this recipe for a simple and nutritions blender muffin. I had a carrot in the fridge, and bananas turning brown on the counter so it was almost like it was meant to be! I went to work putting it all together and am glad I did. These muffins turned out delicious; light and moist, full of whole grains, healthy fats, fresh fruit and fresh veggies. How great is that? They are also made with no wheat flour, and no dairy, so if you are avoiding either of those this is another plus. They are not vegan due to the 2 eggs, but you could always try a vegan egg replacement if this is something you care about. 

I followed the original recipe other than decreasing the honey just a bit from 1/4 c to 2 tablespoons and didn't miss it at all. The bananas themselves are nice and sweet. I also had a little freezer jam hanging out that I decided to add to the center of the muffin for a little sweet surprise! You can't see it in the picture, but it's there, I promise! It's a fun addition if you have some extra jam lying around. If you use peanut butter as your nut butter it'll turn these muffins into a "PB&J muffin"! Yum!

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Oat Flour Banana Carrot Muffins
Adapted from Running with Spoons
Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups (120 grams) oats
  • 2 tablespoon (14 grams) flaxseed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6 tbsp (96 grams) almond or peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons (40 grams) honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 medium bananas (200 grams or 1 cup)
  • 1 cup (115 grams) shredded carrot, about 1 medium carrot

Directions
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare a muffin pan by lining the cavities with parchment paper liners or greasing them well with oil. Set aside.

Add all the dry ingredients (oats through salt) to a high-speed blender, and process on high until the oats have broken down into the consistency of a fine flour.

Add all of the remaining ingredients except for the carrots, and process on high until the batter becomes smooth and creamy, about 30 seconds. Periodically stop and scrape down the sides of your blender, if necessary. Transfer the batter to a medium-size mixing bowl and fold in the carrots by hand.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each one about 3/4 of the way full.
Bake for 16 - 18 minutes, until the tops of your muffins begin to turn golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Yields: 10 muffins
Approximate calorie count: 165 calories

Brownie Batter Chocolate Oat Muffins

When it comes to breakfast, I love a good egg sandwich, avocado toast, or a delicious scramble full of peppers, mushrooms, sausage and cheese. However, where my heart truly lies, and what I really want every morning, is with a sweet breakfast. I just have a big old sweet tooth when it comes to breakfast (and really any time), and I will almost always choose a sweet breakfast over a savory one despite how good those savory breakfasts may be. (I usually just end up have a savory "breakfast" for dinner, problem solved!)

I especially love chocolate for breakfast. I don't think I really need to explain it any more than that. Chocolate. Breakfast. Enough said. But even though I love sweets for breakfast, I don't always feel good about eating them. These brownie batter muffins solve that problem. They are sweet and chocolatey, yet have some nutrition in them, and are not just empty calories. Yes, you can have the best of both worlds! 

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These yummy little brownie batter muffins are easy to make. Really just need one bowl and some simple ingredients. I cut down on the maple syrup from the original recipe from 1/2 to 1/4 cup to make them a little healthier and I thought they were just fine. So naturally sweetened with the maple syrup if that's your kind of thing. I'm sure honey would be fine as well, or just regular white or brown sugar if that's all you have, although I have not actually tried this I bet it would be fine. There is some protein and healthy fat from the almond butter (yes peanut butter would work just fine too). And you can go ahead and add in anything else that floats your boat; chocolate chips or chunks, cocoa nibs, any nut you like, even some fresh or frozen berries, or dried fruit. Customize away, and enjoy!

 
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Brownie Batter Chocolate Oat Muffins
Adapted from Running with Spoons
Ingredients

  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) milk
  • 1/4 cup (75 grams) maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup (64 grams) almond butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (160 grams) old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) whole wheat flour or whole wheat rye flour
  • 1/4 cup (20 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • Cocoa nibs (optional)
  • Chopped chocolate (optional)

Directions
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare a muffin pan by spraying the cavities with cooking spray or lining them with parchment paper liners. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, lightly beat the egg. Whisk in the milk, maple syrup, almond butter, and vanilla, mixing until smooth. Add the oats, flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder, and mix until well combined. Add the cocoa nibs and chocolate and give one more good stir to combine. 

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each until about 3/4 full. 

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Yields: 10 muffins
Approximate Calorie Count: 190 calories each
 

Banana Rye Muffins

Is there such thing as too many banana bread recipes? Not in my book! Here it is - a perfectly simple and wholesome banana muffin recipe. Not fancy, but oh so good. Perfect with my morning coffee. I decided to switch things up a bit by mixing whole wheat and rye flours, as well as some whole oats for chew. Of course I had to add a little chocolate for a few pockets of sweetness. They baked up beautifully, and I have been enjoying them all week, I'm sure you will too!

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Banana Rye Muffins
Adapted from Broma Bakery
Ingredients

  • 2 extra ripe bananas (approximately 200 grams, or 1-1.25 cups)
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (25 grams) butter
  • 2 tablespoons (25 grams) olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons (25 grams) plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (120 grams) whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 (60 grams) rye flour
  • 1/2 cup (40 grams) old fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4-1/2 cup chocolate chunks

Directions
Preheat oven to 425°F. Line 10 muffin tins with muffin liners, spray with non-stick baking spray, and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, whisk mashed banana, eggs, brown sugar, butter, oil, yogurt and vanilla extract until well combined.

Use a spatula to fold in both flours, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, mixing until combined. Fold chocolate in during the last few strokes of mixing.

Scoop batter into prepared muffin tins, they will be about 3/4 full. Bake for 5 minutes at 425°F, then turn oven down to 375°F and bake for an additional 10-12 minutes, until muffins are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle has a few moist crumbs clinging to it, don't overbake as the end result will be dry. Remove from oven and allow to cool. 

Strawberry Rhubarb Bran Muffins

For the last few weeks I've been resisting the rhubarb at the farmer's market for no particular reason. I didn't have anything specific in mind for what to do with it, so I kept walking right on by. However, this past week I realized that if I didn't pick some up it would soon be gone, and then I would be very sad that I didn't enjoy this lovely spring vegetable (?) when I had the chance. First thing up, some baking with the classic strawberry rhubarb combination. I couldn't resist. Why mess with success? 

I recently ran across this simple bran muffin recipe and thought it looked like a winner. Sweetened with molasses and a little honey as well as a some applesauce, it's definitely more on the healthier side of the muffin spectrum. Since I almost never have applesauce around, I replaced it with mashed banana making these strawberry rhubarb banana bran muffins. Yes, the banana adds some of it's characteristic flavor to the muffin, but with the deep flavor of molasses as well as the strawberry and rhubarb it's really not that noticeable. Plus, I love bananas so it didn't matter that much to me. If you prefer a more neutral flavor, stick with the original applesauce. 

I halved this recipe and ended up making 8 muffins. I was going to make 6 but there was too much batter for that! This may be due to the fact that I just threw in a banana that had been hanging out in my freezer for far too long without measuring it. The batter was likely a little wetter than it was supposed to be, but it all worked out deliciously in the end!

These muffins turned out moist and sticky, strongly flavored with molasses so if you're not such a huge molasses fan just be warned. I'm guessing you can replace some of the molasses with a little more honey, but I haven't tried that yet. However, these muffins were so easy and nutritions that I know I'll be experimenting with them more in the future. 

 
 

Strawberry Rhubarb Bran Muffins
Adapted from Food 52
Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (30 grams) wheat bran
  • 3/4 cup (90 grams) whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2-3/4 cup of a mix of chopped rhubarb and strawberries
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup (85 grams) molasses
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup mashed banana
  • 1 tablespoon oil

Directions
Preheat the oven to 400° F. In a large bowl, whisk together the wheat bran, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the strawberries and rhubarb to the flour mixture.

In a medium bowl, mix together the milk, molasses, honey, egg, banana, and oil. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

Place 12 paper cups in a muffin pan, or grease the cups. Divide the batter evenly between the 12 cups. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Mocha Zucchini Muffins

First things first, Happy Easter!

Christ the Lord is risen today.
All creation join to say. 
Raise you joys and triumphs high.
Sing ye heaven and earth reply. 

Love's redeeming work is done.
Fought the fight, the battle won.
Death in vain forbids him rise.
Christ has opened paradise.

What a glorious day! When I think about all I have in Christ I am continually blown away by what I have been given, not because of anything I have done, I can take credit in no way for my salvation, I believe because God first chose me. How humbling is this truth. 

I this beautiful day, full of celebration and new birth I was inspired to create something new and delicious out of something old. I've had a bag of shredded zucchini floating around in my freezer since last summer. I keep meaning to do something with it, but I always say "next time". Well, not this time! I found a new zucchini muffin recipe, adjusted it for what I wanted, and finished off last years produce, finally! This was the perfect way to do it too. A light and healthy whole grain muffin, lightly sweetened and filled with one of my favorite treats; chocolate covered espresso beans!!

When I saw this recipe I knew I had to make it. I didn't have a go-to zucchini muffin but this one looked promising, and I was right. It's just rich enough to make it special, but not too rich to make it feel overly indulgent. The original recipe calls for a streusel on top which would be marvelous, but I skipped it this time out of laziness, but did chop up a handful of dark chocolate espresso beans for pizzaz. And chocolate. Come on. 

The final product came out as beautiful as I had hoped. Flecked with green from the zucchini, and chocolate from the espresso beans. I added some espresso powder for a little extra mocha flavor, and probably could have added more (I think I'll try 1/2 teaspoon next time!). They turned out light and satisfying. A perfect zucchini muffin. 

 
 


Mocha Zucchini Muffins
Adapted from The Almond Eater
Ingredients

  • 1 cup (120 grams) whole wheat flour
  • 1-2 tablespoons (12-25 grams) brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) olive oil
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) milk
  • 2 tablespoons (37 grams) maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup grated zucchini
  • 1/4 cup chocolate covered espresso beans, roughly chopped

Directions
Preheat oven to 350°. Line a muffin tin with muffin liners, set aside

Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and espresso powder in a bowl and set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg and then add olive oil, milk, syrup and vanilla. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients. Add the zucchini, and stir until combined. 

Transfer the batter to the prepared muffin tin. Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven, wait a few minutes for the muffins to cool before removing them from the tin.

Yields: 6 muffins

Buttery Bran Muffins

Back to basics this morning with a simple yet delicious bran muffin. Nothing fancy, nothing weird.  Start with some wheat bran (obviously) and whole wheat flour for healthy whole grains. Add in some Greek yogurt and butter, a little sugar and an egg and you're basically there. I love experimenting with new grains so I used spelt flour for these muffins but regular old whole wheat would also work. If you have some raisins hanging around go ahead and add those in for a nice raisin bran muffin. I didn't have any in the pantry so I skipped it this time and they were still wonderfully delicious and flavorful. 

These muffins bake up tall and beautiful, just how I like my muffins! They are very light and tender, I couldn't at all tell that they were 100% whole wheat. The flax and coarse sugar on top is just the finishing touch to really make these humble muffins shine. 

 
 

Buttery Bran Muffins
Adapted from Serious Eats
Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (27.5 grams) wheat bran
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) boiling water
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) plain whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 1 egg, cold
  • 1 1/4 cup (170 grams) spelt or whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (75 grams) sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/8 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) butter
  • 1/2 cup (3 ounces) golden raisins, optional
  • Flaxseed and turbinado sugar, for sprinkling (optional)

Directions
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat to 350°F (177°C). In a large measuring cup, combine wheat bran and boiling water. Let stand 5 minutes, then stir in Greek yogurt and egg. Meanwhile, combine whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the butter is incorporated, then add bran mixture and continue only until the batter is well combined. With a flexible spatula, scrape the bowl and fold the batter once or twice to make sure it's well mixed from the bottom up, then fold in the raisins if using.

Divide the batter between 8 lightly greased muffin cups. This is enough to completely fill each cup with a little mountain of batter, but do not be alarmed; it will rise significantly but spread very little overall. If you like, sprinkle with flaxseed and turbinado sugar, and bake until puffed and firm, about 16-18 minutes. 

Yields: 8 muffins

Zucchini Greek Yogurt Muffins

It's that time of year again, zucchini season. The summer squash are exploding from every stand at the farmer's market, dark green, light green, yellow. Every year I hear people groaning about their excess of summer squash but to be honest I've never felt like I had too much of this mild vegetable. I honestly think I could eat grilled zucchini all day, every day of August. It is so good. A little olive oil, a pinch or two of salt, +/- some chili powder or smoked paprika, I never get tired of this simple preparation. And then there's summer squash's sweeter side, the magic of zucchini bread and muffins. 

I whipped up these muffins last weekend to keep in my freezer all week, easy to pull out for a mid-morning snack or to tide me over in the late afternoon before dinner. They ended up being the perfect choice. Nothing flashy, mildly flavored, not overly sweet. A true snack. Each one is on the smaller side, good for a quick bite when you need something fast! 

These muffins are full of wholesome ingredients, the zucchini obviously, whole grain oats,  whole wheat flour, and Greek yogurt. Naturally sweetened for the most part with a little honey (plus just a bit of brown sugar), and lightly spiced with cinnamon. They may not win any beauty contests, but they will give you something tasty and nutritions to sink your teeth into when that craving strikes. 

 
 

Greek Yogurt Zucchini Muffins
Adapted from Running with Spoons
Ingredients

  • 1 cup (120 g) whole wheat or spelt flour
  • 1 cup (80 g) old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup (225 g) plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup (80g) honey
  • 2 tbsp (25 g) brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (115 g) shredded zucchini, squeezed of excess liquid

Directions
Preheat your oven to 350F (176C) and prepare a muffin pan by lining the cavities with paper liners or greasing them with oil or cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, oats, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg until it becomes slightly frothy. Whisk in the yogurt, honey, sugar, and vanilla, mixing until well combined. Fold in the shredded zucchini.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing gently until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips, if using.

Divide the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups, filling them almost to the top.

Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins begin to turn golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow the muffins to cool in the pan for ~15 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Store them in an airtight container 

Yields: 12 small muffins

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

As I type this, the sun is streaming in the window, blinding me as I sit. I love spring. :) The birds are singing, the buds are just starting to burst out in light green leaves, and the flowering trees are gracing gardens and yards with fragrant and beautiful blooms. Morning runs are warming up, making it easier for me to haul myself out of bed and out the door into the not quite as frigid conditions. Thankfully I can stop worrying about sliding around on icy sidewalks for many months. 

While I'm on the topic of things I love, I also love banana bread; almost as exciting as spring! For these banana muffins I adapted my favorite Greek yogurt banana bread , turning them into muffins with the scrumptious addition of some nice dark chocolate chips.  They baked up tall and fluffy with a moist and tender crumb. Easy to whip up on a lovely spring morning to enjoy with a cup of steaming coffee on your sunny porch. Happy baking!

Like I said, I took one of my favorite banana bread recipes and turned them into muffins. I started by cutting the recipe in half because I just wanted a small batch, so the final recipe makes 6 nice muffins. I increased the oven temperature to 375 degrees and baked them for 18 minutes. For a little extra flavor and fun I added some cardamom along with the chocolate chips, but you could also try adding a little cinnamon for that extra spice. A light and delicious breakfast muffin, perfect for spring!

 
 

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins
Adapted from Greek Yogurt Banana Bread
Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 very ripe bananas (approximately 7.5 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (3/4 ounce) butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (2 1/4 ounces) plain Greek yogurt
  • 2-3 tablespoons (about 1 ounce) sugar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 cup (4 1/2 ounces) all purpose flour, or a mix of all purpose and whole wheat flours
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips (I did 35 grams, but you can do a bit more if you like your muffins bursting with chocolate!)

Directions
In a large bowl, mash bananas with a whisk. Add butter, yogurt and sugar and whisk until combined and somewhat smooth. If it's still a little chunky, don't worry. Add the vanilla and egg and stir until combined.

Add salt, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom and flour and stir just until almost combined. Add the chocolate chips mix until just combined (don’t overmix).

Spoon batter evenly into 6 muffin cups that are either greased or lined with muffin liners. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out almost clean with a few moist crumbs. Remove muffins from pan and let cool on a wire rack.