A grab-n-go, healthy muffin for those crazy mornings or for a mid-afternoon snack. Naturally sweetened Blueberry-Oat Flax Muffins (gluten-free + vegan) are simple to pull together and are freezer friendly too! Time below does not include time to rest the muffins (30 minutes).
In a medium mixing bowl, mash the banana until smooth and there are little to no chunks left. Stir in the maple syrup, coconut oil, nut milk, vinegar, and extract. Whisk thoroughly to incorporate and create an emulsion. If the coconut oil solidifies, gently warm the mixture 10 seconds at a time in the microwave until melted again. Set aside.
Scoop one tablespoon of oat flour out and set it aside (we'll use this to mix into the blueberries later). Into the wet ingredients, add the oat flour, almond flour, tapioca flour, flaxseeds, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk thoroughly, for at least a minute insuring no clumps remain. The batter will be thin and you'll notice bubbles right away from the leavening. Lay a dry tea towel over the top of the bowl and rest the mixture at room temperature for 30 minutes (do not skip this rest). The batter will thicken as it sets. Now is a good time to make the tulip muffin cup liners if not using purchased liners.
While the batter is resting, preheat the oven to 375F (190C). Set the oven rack in the center. Line the muffin pan with tulip muffin liners. Spray the liners with pan spray (I've made this recipe with two types of liners - one released easily without the spray, the other did not - use spray just to be sure.). Just before adding the batter to the muffin cups, in a small bowl, mix the blueberries (frozen or fresh) with one tablespoon of oat flour set aside earlier. Spoon the blueberries and any remaining oat flour into the batter and gently fold the blueberries into the mixture.
Use a #20 spring-loaded cookie scoop or about 4 Tbs each, scoop a heaping scoop of batter into the muffin cups/pan to distribute the batter evenly among cups. Add a few more fresh blueberries each to the tops of the muffins, gently nudging them into the batter and sprinkle a bit of whole rolled oats on the top if desired.
Bake at 375F (190C) for 30-32 minutes or until golden on top and tops spring back under gentle pressure. Rest in pan for 10 minutes, then remove muffins from pan and onto a cooling rack to cool completely. Remove the muffin cup gently from around the muffin to enjoy.
Store in a lidded container at room temperature for up to three days. After muffins are completely cooled they may be frozen on a sheet pan, then moved to a covered container for up to two weeks. Thaw at room temperature. These are fabulous reheated in a toaster oven at 350F for about 10 minutes.
I recommend tulip style muffin cups for Blueberry-Oat Flax Muffins. Taller cups provide structure and enable the muffins to rise just a bit higher and seem to produce more evenly baked muffins; my preference. I use The Kitchn's DIY tulip cup tutorial to make my muffin cups, or you can purchase them.
**If using frozen blueberries, just before adding them to the oat flour, rinse them to rid any freezer burn and strain thoroughly.
In baking, weighing ingredients is important for an optimal outcome. I find that especially true in gluten-free baking. If you feel you'll be baking with GF flours regularly, I recommend investing in a good digital kitchen scale. I use one like this and have had it for about five years. It's been reliable.
I enthusiastically recommend an oven thermometer! I’ve baked in commercial bakery and home ovens, old, lightly used and brand new ovens – they all have their own personalities with temperature variations and fluctuations. Knowing the temperature of your oven is important for the best outcome, and evenly baked goods; super important in baking. I keep a close eye on my oven thermometers (I use two just to be sure) when testing/making recipes for the blog so that I am as accurate as possible with including the proper baking temperatures in my recipes.