This post has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Conagra Brands. All opinions are mine alone. #YouPAMDoIt #PAMInControl #CollectiveBias
Blueberry Lemon Oat Bran Mini Muffins are a great source of fiber and antioxidants that make for a perfectly healthy breakfast. They’re also are convenient and portable so you can have something healthy on hand, even when on the go!
Breakfast has always been one of my favorite meals of all and it’s also one of my favorite meals to try new recipes for. I’ll be honest, I’m a creature of habit, though, so when I get into a groove with a meal I like, I tend to stick with it. I’m also not one of those gals that jumps straight outta the bed for her first meal; I like to give my body time to wake up first, have some hot tea, take a walk and do yoga, perhaps shoot a recipe or two, and then sit down and eat.
And speaking of breakfast and late-rising, there’s the issue of time and convenience. While it would be easier for me to grab something processed like a bagel, a bowl of sugary cereal, or worse, nothing at all, the truth is, I know those options wouldn’t make me feel so hot the rest of the day. That’s why I’m all about starting my day off with a simple and healthy plant-based meal, and these Blueberry Lemon Oat Bran Mini Muffins are a great example of just that!
Blueberry muffins have always been a huge favorite of mine anyway since they’re the first flavor of muffins I can remember my parents ever making me, specifically my late father who first introduced them to me. I don’t eat many baked goods these days for breakfast, but when I do, I always crave something filled with blueberries for this reason.
So I thought I’d share a healthy version of the blueberry muffins I grew up loving as a kid that is still simple to make but also healthy and satisfying too. All you have to do is bake up a batch of these and you’ve got a healthy breakfast (or even afternoon snacks) on hand all week long for an easy grab-and-go option. That means no bowls of sugary cereal or stale bagels are needed meaning you can start your day(s) off on the right foot!
Plus, I think we can all agree that mini muffins are so much more fun than regular muffins, right? Although, if you insist, (or don’t have a mini muffin pan), you can also make these as larger muffins too. Either way, these little gems are jam-packed with nutrition.
Blueberry Lemon Oat Bran Muffins feature fiber-rich oat bran and whole oats which are both such excellent ingredients to use in a healthy breakfast recipe to help keep you full and provide multitudes of benefits. They’re also full of juicy, sweet, and antioxidant-rich wild blueberries which are great for heart health and also for the brain. Instead of sugar, I used natural, pure, and unrefined sweeteners including pure organic maple syrup and unsweetened applesauce along with a natural egg replacement.
Another one of my secret weapons for baking heart-healthy goods like these muffins is to leave out the added oil and butter altogether because you truly don’t need them to make delicious healthy recipes. I am not one for eating strictly low-calorie at all (I don’t count calories and never ever have), but I also believe in being smart about nutrition and not overdoing fat in recipes, especially when baking when it can be easy to overdo it. Doing so also keeps my stomach happy and energy levels up without feeling bogged down.
So one way I like to lower the fat in baked recipes is to use a non-stick spray to coat the pan with very lightly instead of dousing it with oil or butter as many recipes call for. Speaking of oil, as you know, I eat and live by an oil-free diet for the variety of benefits I’ve experienced from it, but sometimes, such as in baking, there comes a need for a classic non-stick spray to coat the pan(s) with to give baked items, such as muffins, that nice slightly browned exterior crust that paper liners just can’t provide.
That’s why the *new* PAM® Spray Pump Olive Oil is such a great product to use anywhere you need a great non-stick spray without using regular oil, butter, or regular aerosol-based non-stick spray products. Why so? Because it’s FREE of propellants like most non-stick sprays have and is also free of artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives! There’s no funny business going on in this product at all, and it’s a great way to give muffins and other baked goods that perfectly browned crust without adding high amounts of calories from oil or artificial ingredients that none of us want in our food.
What’s nice about PAM® Spray Pump Olive Oil is that it provides the complete control what goes into a recipe which is one of the best benefits of making meals from scratch. Unlike butter and free-pouring oil, the new PAM Spray Pumps let you control how much you use so you can avoid overpouring and can easily manage added fat and calories in all your recipes.
PAM Spray Pump Olive Oil is not oil in a spray bottle; it’s a non-stick spray that’s designed to spray lightly and evenly providing complete pump control for optimal spray coverage and control over the amount you use. It also has no aerosol or propellants (i.e. no funny chemicals), and it’s in a transparent bottle so you can easily see how much is left and when you are running low which I find very convenient.
Handy Baking Tip for Better Baked Goods:
Here’s one of my favorite secret tips to use when baking healthy recipes without lots of oil…
When I coat my pans for baked goods, especially mini muffins pans which can be a little finicky, I use a fool-proof tip to help my muffins release right out of the pan so they don’t stick without dousing them in oil or butter. First, I use a non-stick spray product such, as PAM® Spray Pump Olive Oil, very lightly across the whole pan instead of spraying heavy amounts of the spray over each individual muffin cup. This automatically controls the amount of oil and calories but also prevents the muffins from being oily or greasy after cooking.
Then, very lightly (using just a couple teaspoons for a whole pan), I sprinkle just a touch of raw date sugar, raw turbinado sugar, or pure maple sugar over the cups on top of the spray. This helps the muffins brown correctly and helps them pop right of the pan after baking without adding additional calories or sugar to each individual muffin. It’s a great trick that never lets me down!
Another way I like to control what goes into my baked goods to make them as healthy as I can without sacrificing taste is to eliminate the use of all-purpose flours as much as possible since they don’t contain whole grains and are, therefore, less healthy since they’re stripped of nutrients. Instead, I use a mixture of whole oats and finely ground oat bran in place of flour. Using both oats and oat bran together provides a great texture that’s light, yet still hearty and fluffy without being gritty.
Lastly, instead of eggs, I use a go-to combo of baking powder and vinegar. The vinegar cooks off so you won’t taste or smell it, but it reacts with the baking soda and creates that perfect airy, light texture the same way eggs (or egg whites) do without adding any cholesterol or animal products. This combo also helps the recipe ingredients bind together just like eggs through a natural reaction during the cooking process without using any processed ingredients or pre-made egg replacers.
So what are you waiting for? Bake up a batch of these delightful little Blueberry Lemon Oat Bran Mini Muffins! Everyone will love them, plus they’re portable and make a great breakfast, even when on-the-go!
- 1 cup frozen wild blueberries (these are smaller than regular blueberries so they work well for mini muffins)
- 1½ cups quick-cooking oats (or old-fashioned will work as well).
- 1 cup oat bran (or sub with whole grain oat flour if you can't find/don't have oat bran)
- 2 tbsp. cold-milled flax seeds/flax meal
- Juice of 1 lemon (and optionally, up to 1 tsp. fresh lemon zest if you like)
- ¾ cup of non-dairy milk (such as unsweetened almond or soy milk, or light almond or soy milk)
- ¼ cup of pure maple syrup (not pancake syrup) - I prefer "dark" organic pure maple syrup
- 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tsp. baking powder (not baking soda)
- 1 tsp. vinegar
- 1 tsp. good quality vanilla extract
- optional: small dash (less than ¼ tsp.) each of ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom for more flavor
- Room temperature water (see instructions for amount)
- For Coating the Pan (adds negligible calories, fat, and/or sugar): PAM Spray Pump Olive Oil and 2 tsp.of date sugar, pure maple sugar, or raw turbinado sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, Fahrenheit.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the oats, oat bran (or oat flour), flax meal, and optional spices if using, and the baking soda. Sift together with a fork until completely combined, then sit the bowl aside.
- Next, blend together the non-dairy milk, pure maple syrup, applesauce, and vanilla for 20 seconds or so, just to incorporate the ingredients.
- Pour the blended mixture into the bowl with the oat mixture and start stirring together the batter with a spatula or fork. Then begin adding room temp water ¼ cup at a time until it reaches a thick batter. It should still be very thick like muffin batter but be free of dry oat ingredients so that everything is fully combined. I ended up using ¾ cup of water but your amount may vary depending on how thin the applesauce you use is and what type of oats you use. If you use too much water, don't panic; just add ¼ cup more oats or oat bran and stir again to thicken a bit.
- Now fold in the blueberries and vinegar. You'll hear the vinegar start reacting with the baking powder which is good. The batter will turn blue but don't worry, the muffins won't!
- Once the batter is thick and dense like muffin batter but fully incorporated, set the bowl aside.
- Spray a mini muffin pan (or regular muffin pan) with PAM Spray Pump Olive Oil (non-stick spray) very lightly across the pan. Sprinkle date sugar, maple sugar, or raw turbinado sugar very lightly over the tops. This step helps prevent sticking and still helps the muffins' exterior brown without sacrificing nutrition.
- Spoon enough batter into each muffin cup to reach the tops of each cup.
- Bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown on top and a fork or knife comes out clean.
*Feel free to use another small berry variety, such as frozen raspberries, to the batter instead of all blueberries. If you want to use strawberries or blackberries, simply blend those into the non-dairy milk/maple syrup/vanilla/applesauce mixture.
Pair 3 or so of these mini muffins with a whole, fresh piece of fruit for more nutrition. I suggest a fresh navel orange, a juicy apple or pear, or even a simple banana if that’s more your thing. Fruits are a great source of potassium, fiber, and energizing nutrients that are great to pair with whole grain recipes like these muffins for a balanced morning meal. The combination will also keep you fuller longer than just having one or the other. Worried about protein? Don’t be! These muffins are full of natural protein from the oats, along with iron, B vitamins, magnesium, and potassium.
I bought my ingredients at Walmart where you can also find the brand new PAM Spray Pump Olive Oil. PAM also makes a Spray Pump Canola Oil variety as well. You can find both of these at Walmart on the baking aisle where non-stick spray products are sold.
Get this Ibotta offer right now to earn $1.00 cash back with the purchase of the new PAM Spray Pump Olive Oil or PAM Spray Pump Canola Oil. This Ibotta offer started on 12/22/2017 and ends whenever supplies last, so be sure you don’t miss out to earn money back on your purchase if you try it out.
I hope you love the recipe! I have several more healthy recipes coming up for you this month. In the meantime, let me know in the comments what your goals are for breakfast in the new year or what types of breakfast recipes you’re loving lately. I’d love to know!
PIN FOR LATER!