Healthy Power Muffins (Gluten-Free and Vegan)


For years I’ve been attempting to replicate the Power Muffins of the former Capers grocery stores in Vancouver B.C. Those very dense muffins were an entire meal, and an indulgence that Tony and I enjoyed once a week with a big mug of hot tea after a leisurely walk. When Whole Foods took them over, they attempted to keep the power muffin legacy, but their version just didn’t measure up. The healthy gluten-free muffin recipe below is by no means identical to those original power muffins (which were made with spelt flour and quite a bit of oil!), but they truly reminded me of them and gave that same comfort food feeling.

Vegan Power Muffins - Healthy Gluten-Free Muffin Recipe

Unlike the original power muffins, this is a vegan (egg-free!) and gluten-free muffin recipe (made with buckwheat flour instead of spelt) that has less oil and less added sweetener, so they can be enjoyed nearly every day, rather than as an occasional indulgence.

However, there are a few special ingredients that make this dairy-free and gluten-free muffin recipe reminiscent of power muffins past. First are the shelled hemp seeds (I use the Hemp Hearts from Manitoba Harvest). These little morsels are a textural delight. If you don’t have any hemp hearts on hand, the muffins will still be good, but not quite as powerful. Second is my husband’s favorite ingredient, dark chocolate chunks. And finally, the hearty whole grains. I was actually a bit surprised at how the buckwheat almost mimicked the earthy flavor of spelt, but sans gluten.

Beyond breakfast, we’ve found these vegan power muffins to be a great portable snack. They go well in lunch boxes or supply packs for a day out hiking or on the ski slopes. I’ve included a few notes on how to adapt these muffins, if desired, but we love them as is. Enjoy!

Vegan Power Muffins - Healthy Gluten-Free Muffin Recipe

Special Diet Notes: Power Gluten-Free Muffins Recipe

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, optionally vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Healthy Gluten-Free Power Muffins
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Cook time
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These are very hearty muffins, just the way we like them. If you prefer healthy muffins that are a touch lighter, and you aren't vegan or allergic to eggs, you can blend in 1 large egg with the wet ingredients. But truthfully, we prefer the egg-free version. For us, wholesome and hearty is what usually hits the spot!
Serves: 9 hearty muffins
  1. Preheat your oven to 375ºF and grease or line 9 muffin cups (unless you are using silicone muffin cups; they work best ungreased).
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the buckwheat, tapioca, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. In a mixing bowl, blend the banana, oil, honey or maple syrup, and vanilla until relatively smooth with just some small banana lumps remaining.
  4. Fold the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, stirring until just combined.
  5. Stir in the hemp seeds and chocolate.
  6. Divide the batter between the 9 muffin cups, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until slightly browned on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean (well, aside from possible a little melted chocolate!).
  7. Serve with hot tea or pack along in lunch boxes.
We use just ¼ cup liquid sweetener in this recipe, which makes them just sweet enough, and not too sweet for enjoying in the morning. If you like muffins a touch sweeter then you can increase the honey or maple syrup to ⅓ cup.
POWER Muffins Recipe - healthy, easy, naturally gluten-free, nut-free and vegan!

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Senior Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


  1. These look great. We have severe nut and seed allergies in our family. Do you know of a good substitution for the hemp seeds in this recipe?

  2. Hi Alisa!
    Thank you so much for this recipe, it really looks delicious, hearty and healthy, which are 3 of my favorite things!
    I just have a couple of questions for you:
    -I don’t have hemp seeds, but hemp flour atm. Do you think it would work anyway?
    -I don’t really like the flavor of banana in baked food, so do you think I could replace the bananas (or maybe half of them) with something else? Maybe applesauce?
    Thank you so much!

    • Hi Martina, if you don’t have hemp seeds, I would either skip them or add in something else that you like as a flavor add-in! The shelled hemp seeds are whole, but tiny, so flour or powder of any kind wouldn’t be a suitable swap. Think other seeds or chopped nuts maybe instead.

      As for the banana, see the other comments on this post. I believe someone swapped in pumpkin with success and applesauce should work, too!

  3. Pingback: Dairy-Free Lunch Box Ideas with Kid-Friendly Recipes

  4. Thank you, these were delicious! I had leftover cranberry sauce with citrus and walnuts so I used that in place of the honey/maple syrup and it was perfect – sweet, tart and rich. I only had buckwheat groats, but it didn’t take long to grind them in my coffee maker. My kids really enjoyed them!

  5. These are the most divine tasting muffins. Every ingredient is spot on. I love the crunch of the hemp seeds. Thanks you.

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