Sundays are typically the day when I feature something sweet here on Go Dairy Free, but sweet doesn’t need to be unhealthy, does it now? With so many fitness resolutions and nutritious pursuits this time of year, I thought it was a good time to revisit one of my favorite “healthy sweets” cookbooks, Sweet Freedom. This timeless gem was written by my friend Ricki Heller, and is filled to the brim with treats that use whole grains, natural sweeteners, and “healthy fats.”
The recipe below for oat muffins is one that I’ve enjoyed on many occasions, as I love the whole grain taste and the fact that it is what I would call a “no waste” recipe. The orange flavor in these oat muffins isn’t just juice, it’s the whole orange! As Ricki says, “Unlike many low-fat oat muffins, these taste great: they are moist and flavorful, with an intense orange presence. There’s also substantial fiber from the fruits and whole spelt.”
These oat muffins are also quick and easy to whip up. Ricki recommends using a food processor, but I have just as much luck tossing the ingredients into my wimply little blender.
Special Diet Notes: Orange Oat Muffins
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally nut-fee, peanut-free, soy-free, vegan / plant-based, and vegetarian.
- 1 whole medium organic seedless orange, washed, whole and with skin [This is one time when you want to spring on that organic orange, since you will be using the peel too]
- 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) maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) blackstrap molasses
- ½ cup (120 ml) unsweetened coconut milk beverage or cashew milk (I use So Delicious)
- 1 cup (140 g) whole spelt flour [can sub whole wheat flour in a pinch]
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) baking powder
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon (1 ml) sea salt
- 1 cup (100 g) whole rolled oats (not instant)
- 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.
- 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.
- In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt. Add the oats and stir to mix.
- 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.
- 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).
Diet type: Vegan, Vegetarian, Dairy free, Egg free, Nut free, Peanut free, Soy free, optionally Wheat free, Refined Sugar free, Low Fat.