Cookbook Giveaway #3: Sweet Freedom and Orange-Oat Muffins


Today’s recipe is from one of my favorite recipe creators, Ricki Heller. She has been the voice behind Diet, Dessert, and Dogs for a few years now, but she added author to her title with her new cookbook release, Sweet Freedom. I simply love the whole-grain treats in this cookbook. Today, we’re talking about the Orange-Oat Muffins!

Orange-Oat Muffins - Whole Grain Dairy-Free Muffins

So far I have barely made it past the breakfast section, enjoying two of the Spelt Pancake recipes, these Orange-Oat Muffins, and a slight alteration of the Banana-Oat Bars to enjoy some holiday-friendly Sweet Potato and Cranberry Oat Bars. I have yet to reach the pies, cakes, cupcakes, cookies, candies, puddings, and no bake treats … all of which are vegan (egg-free and dairy-free), wheat-free (there are several gluten-free options too), and most of which are easy to adapt to soy-free diets too.

These orange-oat muffins are not only vegan and wheat-free, but they are low in fat and high in fiber. They come together so simply – all you do is toss the ingredients in a food processor (or blender)! Not to mention – there’s no waste involved with these hearty muffins. You use the entire orange! Peel, seeds, and all.

Special Diet Notes: Orange-Oat Muffins

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

Cookbook Giveaway #3: Sweet Freedom and Orange-Oat Muffins
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 9-12
  • 1 whole medium organic seedless orange, washed, whole and with skin*
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) finely ground flax seeds
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) water
  • ½ cup (60 g) chopped dried pitted dates (they should be soft)
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) sunflower or other light-tasting oil [I used grapeseed]
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) blackstrap molasses
  • ½ cup (120 ml) plain or vanilla soy or almond milk
  • 1 cup (140 g) whole spelt flour
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon (1 ml) sea salt
  • 1 cup (100 g) old-fashioned, whole rolled oats (not instant)
  1. Preheat your oven to 375F (190C). Line a muffin tin with 12 paper liners for small muffins or 9 liners for large muffins, or spray with nonstick coating.
  2. In the bowl of a food processor, process the orange segments until almost smooth. Add the flax seeds, water, dates. oil, maple syrup, molasses, and milk alternative and process almost to a smooth puree (you can leave a few small flecks of date and/or orange, but none should be larger than sunflower seeds). Set aside for a few minutes to rest, while you prepare the dry ingredients.
  3. In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt. Add the oats and stir to mix.
  4. Pour the wet mixture over the dry mixture in the bowl and stir just until combined (it’s okay if a few dry spots remain, you just don’t want to overmix!). Spoon the batter into your prepared muffin cups or tins – they will be quite full.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes, rotating the pan about half-way through [I skipped the rotation], until a tester inserted into one of the muffins comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pans before removing to a rack to cool completely. These taste even better the next day, as flavors meld [I can vouch for that!]. These muffins freeze beautifully [I can’t vouch for this, since we devoured them all while fresh].
* This is one time when you want to spring on that organic orange, since you will be using the peel too.

No Food Processor? I simply added the orange sections through the milk alternative to my little old blender, and let ‘er rip until it was well blended, with a few tiny date and orange bits left for interest.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food 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, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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