Blueberry Oat Breakfast Muffins (gluten free, vegan, refined sugar free)

Blueberry Oat Breakfast Muffins are one of my all-time favorite ways to start my day. They’re lightly sweet, satisfying, and healthy — read on, or jump straight to the recipe HERE.

Blueberry Oat Breakfast Muffins (vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar free) | Will Cook For Friends

These muffins are my breakfast soul mates. They’re sweet but not too sweet, dense but not heavy, and healthy but so freakin’ tasty.

What I’m trying to say here, in the nicest possible way, is that they are not at all like the giant pillowy cake muffins you see at coffee shops.

I consider this to be an excellent quality for a breakfast muffin.

Blueberry Oat Breakfast Muffins (vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar free) | Will Cook For Friends
Blueberry Oat Breakfast Muffins (vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar free) | Will Cook For Friends

Don’t get me wrong, I love those giant pillowy cake muffins you see at coffee shops. (Who doesn’t? They’re basically cake in breakfast form.) But if I eat them for my actual breakfast, one of two things is going to happen. Two hours later, I’m either going to feel bloated and awful, or ravenous for some real food. Or both… and you do not want to see me bloated and ravenous.

These muffins don’t do that. I feel good about these muffins. And not just while I’m eating them, but two hours later, too. They’re just the right level of sweetness for me — sweet enough that I enjoy them with a strong cup of tea or coffee, but not so sweet that they feel cloying or desserty — and they have enough fiber and protein to carry me through till lunch.

They also happen to be all kinds of healthy (at least, for a muffin). They’re gluten free (made entirely from oats), vegan (held together with a spoonful of chia seeds) and refined sugar free (sweetened with applesauce and maple syrup). And seriously, chia seeds are the weirdest ingredient on the list, so you can probably just wander into your kitchen and make these. Like, right now.

Blueberry Oat Breakfast Muffins (vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar free) | Will Cook For Friends

These muffins are actually a riff off one of my old breakfast go-to’s, these banana oat breakfast muffins. Between the two of them, they are some of the most-made recipes in my kitchen, because I can make a batch on the weekend and have breakfasts (or snacks, or dessert) ready for the following week.

When I decided to make this month all about healthy recipes, I knew I had to include these… because who wants to be “healthy” without a little sweetness every now and then?

What’s your favorite sweet — but healthy — breakfast option? 

Blueberry Oat Breakfast Muffins (gluten free, vegan, refined sugar free)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
These are not your typical sugary cake muffins -- they are lightly sweetened, moist, and packed with fiber and protein to keep you full till lunch. I like to make a batch (or double batch) on the weekends, and have breakfasts ready all week long!
Recipe type: gluten-free, vegan, refined sugar free
Serves: makes about 9 muffins
  • 2½ cups (10 oz) gluten-free or regular rolled oats, plus extra for sprinkling on top
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. fine grain sea salt
  • ½ cup dairy-free milk (whatever kind you like, or you can use cows milk if you're okay with it)
  • 1 TBSP chia seeds
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ cup plus 1 TBSP pure maple syrup (preferably grade B or dark amber)
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil, melted (plus more for greasing the pan)
  • 1 TBSP fresh lemon juice
  • ¾ cup frozen wild blueberries*
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F., and grease a non-stick muffin tin (or line it with paper liners). I grease mine using melted coconut oil, but you can use a baking spray if you prefer.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk and chia seeds. Let sit for at least 5-10 minutes while you prepare the rest of your ingredients.
  3. In your blender or food processor, add 2 cups (8oz) of the oats. Blend until finely ground and almost flour-like in consistency. Add the remaining oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and pulse once or twice to combine.
  4. In a large bowl, stir together the apple sauce, maple syrup, coconut oil, and lemon juice. (Be sure to stir well as you add the coconut oil, so that it doesn't solidify into a solid chunk if your other ingredients are cold.) Add the chia/milk mixture and stir well, making sure there are no clumps of chia seeds.
  5. Add the dry ingredients from the food processor to the bowl, and mix to combine. At the very end, add the blueberries and fold them into the batter, stirring as little as possible to avoid staining the batter purple (streaks of purple are fine, but if the whole batter gets tinted they will look grey once baked -- still delicious, just not as pretty).
  6. Scoop the batter into your prepared muffin tin. I like to use an ice cream scoop, which does a perfect job evenly dividing the batter, and also gives the muffins a nice rounded top.
  7. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with a pinch more oats, then bake on the center rack for 20-25 minutes, or until the muffins are set and the oats on top have started to toast. If your oven heats unevenly, rotate the pan once during baking.
  8. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Once completely cooled, muffins can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week, or frozen for up to a month. (You can thaw them at room temperature, or pop them, frozen, into the microwave for a few seconds. Just be careful if you do, as the blueberries can turn from icy nuggets to bombs of lava surprisingly quickly.)
*I really like using wild blueberries in these muffins, as they're smaller and a bit sweeter than regular blueberries. Their tiny size means they distribute really well throughout the muffins, and though little, they have a really intense blueberry flavor. If you can't find wild blueberries, you can still make these with regular berries -- they'll still be delicious!

Recipe adapted from my tried and true Banana Oat Breakfast Muffins -- if you like these and want to mix things up, definitely give the banana version a try!


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4 Responses to Blueberry Oat Breakfast Muffins (gluten free, vegan, refined sugar free)

  1. Christine | Vermilion Roots January 12, 2017 at 10:31 am #

    These are my kind of muffins. Breakfast is important to set the tone for the rest of the day and I aim to start right. With all these wonderful ingredients, sugar will not be missed. Blueberry muffins have got to be my favorite!

    • Willow Arlen January 12, 2017 at 12:26 pm #

      Same here — I have had a flavor-crush on blueberry muffins ever since I was a kid! I love having a healthier version to start my day on the right foot. :)

  2. Ruby & Cake January 14, 2017 at 7:41 am #

    I think this is the nicest breakfast muffin recipe I have seen so far! I love blueberries. I like the coffee shop muffins too but in addition to being hungry and bloated I also find they have a funny chemical aftertaste. Don’t imagne any of that with these lovelies!

    • Willow Arlen January 14, 2017 at 9:44 am #

      Thanks, Ruby! You know, I’d totally forgotten about that but there is a weird aftertaste sometimes with coffee shop or grocery store muffins. Makes you wonder what they’re putting in there! Just another reason to make breakfast muffins from scratch. All you taste are oats, berries, and sweetness!

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