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Healthy Apple Oatmeal Muffins

Healthy Apple Oatmeal Muffins with no added sweetener! Gluten-free, dairy-free, easy to make and such a lovely healthy treat for apple season!

Plate of healthy apple muffins with a napkin and apple to the side

My partner and I joke that muffins are basically cake because they often contain just as much sugar and oil or butter as dessert.

With that in mind, I designed these muffins to truly be health-conscious. They contain no added sugar, are dairy-free, and are a great source of complex carbohydrates. 

In this sense, these healthy apple oatmeal muffins are much lower in sugar and fat than your standard muffin.

Recipe Highlights:

Ripe bananas are used as the main sweetener in this healthy oatmeal muffins recipe! In fact, there is no need to add any additional sweetener as long as you’re like me and prefer your treats less sweet.

For those who can’t eat bananas, they can easily be swapped for unsweetened applesauce. And for folks who prefer sweeter muffins, you can use pure maple syrup instead of bananas for the sweetener. 

I love that the recipe uses all healthy ingredients and rolled oats instead of flour for a great infusion of whole grains and complex carbohydrates.

As is the case with all of my recipes made with oats, I use gluten-free sprouted oats, which are glyphosate-free. 

The sprouting process unlocks the nutrients contained within the oats, thus making them bioavailable (easily absorbed) and easier to digest.

When all is said and done, we’re left with fun little muffin cups for a quick breakfast.

Plate of muffins with one sliced in half so you can see the center.

Let’s discuss the simple ingredients used to make these apple cinnamon oatmeal muffins.

Ingredients for Healthy Apple Oatmeal Muffins:

Apples: One Granny Smith apple gets chopped up and stirred into the muffin batter to provide those amazing soft chunks of apple deliciousness.

I’ve tested this recipe using Gala apples instead of Granny Smith and found that for the best apple flavor, it is best to stick with the tangy granny smiths. Nevertheless, any kind of apples works, including pink lady, fuji apples, etc.

Oats: Old fashioned rolled oats get blended up in the blender to serve as the flour portion of the recipe. Quick oats or instant oats can also be used to make these apple oatmeal muffins, but steel cut oats won’t work.

If you would rather use gluten-free all purpose flour or almond flour, use 1 2/3 cups to start and add more if the batter looks too thin.

Ripe Bananas: Ripe bananas are used as the main sweetener here! You can replace it with apple sauce if you can’t eat bananas, or pure maple syrup, coconut sugar, or brown sugar if you’re wanting a sweeter treat.

Eggs: A couple of room temperature eggs make the muffins nice and fluffy. If you’re vegan or if you can’t eat eggs, feel free to use flax egg instead of chicken eggs. Do note that the muffins will turn out much denser when using flax eggs.

Avocado Oil: In order to ensure the muffins don’t stick to the muffin papers, we add a little avocado oil. This also brings flavor to the muffins, as we all know – fat is flavor! Feel free to replace it with coconut oil or unsalted butter.

Vanilla Extract: If you have it on hand, a splash of vanilla extract adds warmth to the muffins. If you don’t have it, feel free to skip it!

Baking Soda & Cider Vinegar: The leavening agent here. We use baking soda to help give rise to the muffins so that they turn out fluffy rather than overly dense.

The apple cider vinegar reacts with the baking soda and can easily be replaced with lemon juice or any other type of vinegar.

Salt: While the measurement of salt in the recipe may seem like overkill, trust me: you’re going to want the salt! It helps bring out the natural sweetness in the muffins and without it the muffins will be lacking in flavor.

Ground Cinnamon: A generous amount of ground cinnamon brings all the fall vibes to these muffins. If you have pumpkin spice on hand, you can use it here as well.

Optional Additions:

  • Add ⅔ cup of raisins to add more sweetness to the muffins.
  • Mix in up to ⅔ cup of chopped walnuts or pecans if you love nutty oatmeal muffins.

Now that we’ve covered the list of ingredients for this apple oatmeal muffins recipe, lets make these delicious apple cinnamon muffins.

Plate of healthy apple muffins

How to Make Healthy Apple Oatmeal Muffins:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a muffin tin with muffin liners (this recipe makes 9 muffins).

Blend the oats in a high-speed blender or food processor for 20 to 30 seconds, or until a flour forms.

Mash the bananas in a large bowl, then add the eggs, oil, vanilla extract and vinegar. Beat these ingredients together until well-combined.

Wet ingredients for apple muffins in a mixing bowl

Transfer the dry ingredients (oat flour, baking soda, sea salt, and cinnamon) to the mixing bowl with the wet ingredients. Stir until a thick muffin batter forms.

Apple muffin batter with fresh apples ready to be mixed in

Add the chopped apples and stir well to combine.

Apple muffin batter in a mixing bowl.

Spoon batter into the lined muffin tray, filling the holes almost all the way up.

Muffin batter in a muffin tray, ready to go into the oven.

If you’d like, sprinkle with sliced almonds.

Bake on the center rack of the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the muffins are golden brown and test clean.

Finished apple muffins fresh out of the oven

Allow the muffins to cool completely before you remove them from the muffin pan and peel them. Peeling muffins when they’re still warm will result in them sticking to the muffin papers and a lot of muffin will be lost to the paper.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can also freeze these muffins in a zip lock bag for up to 3 months.

Enjoy these muffins warm with a pat of butter and a drizzle of honey with a cup of coffee or a mug of tea. You can also serve them with peanut butter Instant Pot Apple Butter for an incredible blast of apple!

And that’s it! A healthy muffin recipe that you’ll want to keep on hand for all those times you need a snack or an easy grab and go breakfast on busy mornings.

A great recipe for meal prep or after school snack for any busy week that the whole family can enjoy any time of year.

Horizontal image of plate of muffins

If you’re looking for more apple recipes to enjoy throughout the harvest season, check these out!

Healthy Apple Recipes:

Enjoy these healthy apple muffins the next time you have a bounty of fresh apples on hand.

Plate of muffins with one sliced in half so you can see the center.

Healthy Apple Oatmeal Muffins

Yield: 9 Muffins
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

These healthy apple oatmeal muffins are an ideal breakfast or snack on the go! Loaded with whole grains and no added sweetener, they are wholesome and filling!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rolled oats*
  • 1 cup mashed banana (2 ripe bananas)**
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract, optional
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar***
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, chopped or grated
  • 3 Tbsp sliced almonds for topping, optional

Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a muffin tin with muffin liners (this recipe makes 9 muffins).

    2. Blend the oats in a high-speed blender or food processor for 20 to 30 seconds, or until a flour forms.

    Add the rolled oats to a blender and blend into flour

    3. Mash the bananas in a large bowl, then add the eggs, oil, vanilla extract and vinegar. Beat these ingredients together until well-combined.

    Wet ingredients for apple muffins in a mixing bowl

    4. Transfer the dry ingredients (oat flour, baking soda, sea salt, and cinnamon) to the mixing bowl with the wet ingredients. Stir until a thick muffin batter forms. Add the chopped apples and stir well to combine.

    Apple muffin batter with fresh apples ready to be mixed in

    Apple muffin batter in a mixing bowl.

    5. Transfer the batter to the lined muffin tray, filling the holes almost all the way up. If you’d like, sprinkle with sliced almonds.

    Muffin batter in a muffin tray, ready to go into the oven.

    6. Bake on the center rack of the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the muffins are golden brown and test clean.

    Finished apple muffins fresh out of the oven

    7. Allow the muffins to cool completely before you remove them from the muffin pan and peel them.

    Horizontal image of plate of muffins

    Peeling muffins when they’re still warm will result in them sticking to the muffin papers and a lot of muffin will be lost to the paper.

    8. Enjoy these muffins warm with a pat of butter and a drizzle of honey with a cup of coffee or a mug of tea.

Notes

*You can also use 2 cups of almond flour or 1 ⅔ cup gluten-free all-purpose flour.

**The mashed banana can be replaced with ⅔ cup of applesauce or ½ cup pure maple syrup.

***The cider vinegar can be replaced with any type of vinegar, lemon juice, or lime juice.

These muffins do not taste remarkably sweet. To make them sweeter, add 2 to 5 tablespoons of cane sugar, brown sugar, or coconut sugar.

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. You can also freeze these muffins in a zip lock bag for up to 3 months.

Nutrition Information
Yield 9 Serving Size 1 Muffin (of 9)
Amount Per Serving Calories 181Total Fat 9gCarbohydrates 22gFiber 2gSugar 5gProtein 4g

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Cindy

Monday 17th of October 2022

Made the muffins,they were delicious. I used 1 ripe banana and added 1/2 c maple syrup to the wet mixture. Didn't have Granny Smith, used Northern Spy apples. Making recipe again, definitely hit.

Julia

Tuesday 18th of October 2022

I'm so thrilled to hear it, Cindy! Thanks so much for reporting back! :) xoxox

Esme

Monday 17th of October 2022

Could you bake this in a loaf pan?

Julia

Monday 17th of October 2022

Hi there! I bet you could! I haven't tested it myself, but I would do 350 degrees F for 45 to 55 minutes. Let me know how it turns out!

Katie

Sunday 9th of October 2022

Do they have a banana flavor?

Julia

Monday 10th of October 2022

Very slightly. Oddly enough when I tested the muffins without the ripe bananas, they tasted less apple-y to me...which I found super interesting. So for me, the muffins are best with the ripe bananas, but if you absolutely hate the flavor of bananas, go with applesauce instead. :)

Allison

Saturday 8th of October 2022

If I were to begin with store bought oat flour, how do you think that would change this recipe? How much oat four should I begin with?

Julia

Saturday 8th of October 2022

Hi Allison! I would start with 1 2/3 cup of oat flour and if the batter looks too thin, I would add an additional 1/3 cup. Let me know how they turn out! xoxox

Hana

Saturday 8th of October 2022

The muffins look great, thank you for the recipe. Is there anything I can replace the avocado oil with, please? Canola oil perhaps? Thank you.

Hana

Saturday 8th of October 2022

@Julia, Thank you. I've just found out possible replacements in the text above. Sorry I missed that. I just read the remarks with *s below the recipe.

Julia

Saturday 8th of October 2022

Hi Hana!

The avocado oil can be replaced with canola oil, olive oil, melted butter or melted coconut oil. Basically any oil will work as long as you like the flavor of that oil! Hope you enjoy the muffins!! :) xoxox

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