I’d been wanting to try a “shortcut” recipe idea that I’ve had for a while, and these trail mix muffins seemed like the perfect platform. I wondered, could vanilla dairy-free creamer stand in for the liquid, sweetener, vanilla and some of the fat/richness in a muffin recipe? Indeed it can. With the creamer, we needed just a touch of oil and no additional sweeteners (I’ve included an option though, should you like a sweeter muffin). So the fulfilling base muffin, barring your choice of trail mix add-ins and naturally occurring sugars (in the banana), has just about 3 grams each of fat and added natural sweetener.
As an added bonus, these easy, 8-ingredient trail mix muffins are completely whole grain and naturally gluten-free – made simply with oats and flax seeds. To be clear, they’re not light and fluffy, but they aren’t door stops either! These trail mix muffins are tender, a little moist, and hearty.
As for the trail mix blend, I made a few variations (testing was in order!), but our favorite combination was dairy-free chocolate chips, chopped walnuts and dried cranberries. For nut-free (see note below), we really like hemp seeds in muffins, but almost any seed-fruit blend will go with banana.
Note that I created this recipe for trail mix muffins to satisfy my husband and to highlight the new, tasty, carrageenan-free almond milk creamers from So Delicious Dairy Free. I think it worked out well, don’t you?
Special Diet Notes: Banana-Oat Trail Mix Muffins
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan / plant-based, and vegetarian.
For nut-free trail mix muffins, use vanilla coconut milk creamer and pick a tree nut-free trail mix blend. Also, if using chocolate chips (which Tony says is essential), be sure to use an allergen-safe variety, such as Pascha Chocolate Chips or Enjoy Life. We like the Pascha 55% chips in these, but hardcore chocoholics can use the 100% cacao chips.
For banana-free trail mix muffins, because I know some of you will ask, I would try a combination of applesauce and dairy-free yogurt (vanilla for a sweeter hit!) in place of the banana.
- 2 cups oats (certified gluten-free, if needed)
- 2 tablespoons flax seeds
- 2½ teaspoons baking powder (high altitude: 2 teaspoons over 3000 ft)
- ⅜ teaspoon salt
- 1⅓ cups very ripe, mashed banana (about 3 medium)
- 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil (or baking oil of choice)
- ¾ cup vanilla dairy-free creamer (I used So Delicious French Vanilla Almond Milk Creamer)
- 1 to 1¼ cups trail mix (your choice of chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts and/or seeds)
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF.
- Place the oats and flax seeds in your spice grinder or small food processor and grind into a powder.
- Pour the oat-flax mixture into a medium bowl and whisk in the baking powder and salt.
- Blend the banana and oil in a mixing bowl (I use a hand mixer) until the banana is pureed. Stir in the creamer and the dry oat mixture until combined. Fold in the trail mix.
- Divide the batter between 12 silicone or greased muffin cups, and level out, it will be a little thick.
- Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until the muffins begin to pull away from the sides and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
- Let cool for 10 minutes in the muffin cups, before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.