A recent clean-out of our pantry yielded remainders of random seeds, nuts, dried fruit, and even chocolate chips. So what’s the only logical thing to do? Make trail mix I suppose, but that seemed a little boring. And honestly, I think a bag of trail mix would sit in our snack bowl for even longer than those ingredients had already been in our cupboards. However, baked goods always get devoured quickly around here, and Tony has been hinting around for a new breakfast goodie. It was time to come up with a recipe for some scrumptious, hearty and wholesome trail mix muffins.
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 Enjoy Life.
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.
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I love the idea of trail mix muffins for breakfast – neat and quick, but also nutritious. These look wonderful and I’ll bet they don’t last long once you bring them out of the oven:)
Not long at all! Thanks Laura 🙂
Would lite coconut milk and vanilla substitute well for the So Delicious creamer?
Hi Janet, yes, and no. It should still perform very nicely, but won’t likely be very sweet. I would taste the batter and add sweetener to taste. This will affect the consistency a bit – should make them a bit moister, so they may need a couple more minutes of bake time – so I can’t guarantee results without testing. A better substitute might be a vanilla dairy-free milk beverage that is sweetened.
I was just thinking tonight I wanted to make muffins and these sound easy enough for me! Do you think skim mill and vanilla would work the same? Thanks!
Most likely, but as I commented above, I’d consider adding a touch more oil. Should work though!
Could you use plain almond milk and vanilla in place of the creamer?
Hi Dee, that should work. I might personally add a touch more oil, too.
I always wonder what kind of creations I could come up with from my crazy loaded pantry. I love the idea of trail mix muffins so many goodies to include in these muffins!
Thanks Sandra! Indeed, I think I need to come up with some more pantry goodies as I’ve got more!
These look delicious! I love that the recipe is free of the major allergens – a big deal in my house! I was just looking for new muffins to make with my kids. Thanks for this!
That’s great! I’m working on some variations now, too – yum!
These look delicious! I like that it’s dairy free. I am always on the lookout for good, healthy snacks for my crazy sweet tooth. I’ll let you know if I make it!
Alisa, these look wonderful! I desperately need to clean out the cupboard as well. A new muffin discovery is a great incentive! 😉
i love that you give a nut free version too! i bet these are heavenly with all the options
These look wonderful Alisa! Exactly the kind of snack I love to make! Although I am not sure I would be able to stop! So many healthy goodies in this one, will be a great marathon snack I can make 🙂
Thanks Tina! I hope you do get the chance to make and enjoy, but they are addictive 🙂
I am so in love with these muffins! It would be the perfect quick breakfast loaded up with some nut butter!
Yes! They’d be SUPER filling with nut butter!
Everything I love in one little easy to grab and go food!! I need to spend more time baking, I just have no willpower to not eat in one sitting 🙂
You need to make these Amanda – trust me, you would love them! And honestly, I have no idea how my husband keeps eating so many (heading back to the kitchen to bake again…), they are really filling!
I love all the crazy good additions you added to this muffin!
Breakfast is always difficult this recipe is easy and you can make a day in advance great idea!
In advance if your household doesn’t eat them all! My husband finished 10 of them in 24 hours 🙂 Off to make more…
I have a dedicated cupboard for all of our nuts, dried and freeze dried fruits, seeds… it really is a whole cupboard, when I store my chocolate in there also 😉
Every now and then I go through and organize, and I think these muffins are the perfect reason! I might be adding some bright flavor with apricots… Mmm…
A whole cupboard!? If I didn’t know better, I’d think you were a closet hippie 🙂 Apricots would be delish!
These look awesome, Alisa! I never realized that you can make muffins with only oats and no real flour. This is great! I can’t wait until the next time I see those nearly rotten bananas at the grocery store.
Oh indeed you can 🙂 – you would love these – I promise!
I love any baked good recipe that doesn’t require flour. These look delicious!
You know I love recipes with short ingredient lists! I bet the last crumbs of granola would be good in these, too.
Ooh, yes, granola muffins would be awesome, too!
With track season starting, I’m on the prowl for nutricious snacks that don’t involve nuts, so I’m thinking you created this recipe just for me right? As always, I’m in awe of how you develop recipes to find the right level of flavor, texture and moisture! I truly believe this is your gift. I want to know who gets to eat all of your tests!?!
Aw thanks Caroline! It’s funny, but just as I read your comment, Tony walked by and said “I’m going to get fat eating all of these muffins, they’re so good”. So now you know who eats all of the test batches 🙂
Your crew would love these! If you can do hemp seeds, I highly recommend. If not, just safe chocolate chips and raisins would be awesome!