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 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.