Healthy Apple Crisp Muffins- no oil, no sugar, no dairy, no flour!

Healthy Apple Crisp Muffins- oil, sugar, dairy, and flour free!

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Muffins are an easy and highly portable breakfast/snack option but are typically laden with sugar and oil which can make them less than healthy.  I’m always looking for ways to make things a bit more nutritious and try to avoid refined sugar, bleached white flour, and butter when I can.  Don’t get me wrong it’s not that I never make anything with butter, flour, or sugar, heck I love a good ol’ fashioned shortbread cookie and couldn’t live without making some of those around the holidays but I do try to make small changes when I can to ensure that we eat healthy whole foods as a family!

I made these oatmeal muffins without flour, dairy, sugar, or oil and they turned out so well! My family ate the whole batch in 2 days!!!! They are made with apple sauce, whole grain oat flour, almond milk, chunks of apple, and natural honey.

Here is what makes these a little more nutritious:

  • Toasted oatmeal replaces bleached white flour. (Use oats labeled gluten-free for healthy gluten-free muffins.)
  • Bananas/applesauce keep the muffins moist instead of the usual oil or butter.
  • A bit of honey sweetens the recipe instead of refined white sugar.

These can be made using gluten free oats to make them gluten free and the best part, you can customize the batter to make your favourite muffin flavour! I used chopped apple and shredded zucchini for this batch and they were really good!! Zucchini is a great way to sneak in some extra veggies and it also helps to add moisture to the batter without using oil or butter.

I did add a crumb topping to mine which my kids absolutely loved. I mean who doesn’t love a little oat crisp on top?! The extra sweet crunchy oats really add another layer of deliciousness. You can omit this however if you prefer. I love this recipe because you can get creative and add your favourite add ins.  I have used this basic oat muffin recipe a lot and like to swap out what I put in them to switch things up!

Here are some of my favourite add ins and the recipe below:
  • frozen blueberries *Tip-I keep mine in the freezer until the very end when I’m ready to add them to the batter, then I rinse them in cold water and pat dry.  This will keep them from turning your batter blue or purple!
  • chocolate chips
  • 1/2 zucchini and 1/2 apple
  • 1/2 walnuts and 1/2 raisins
  • fresh or frozen raspberries

Muffin Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups old-fashioned oats ( 2 cups ground, 1/2 cup whole)
  • 2 Tbsp old-fashioned oats for muffin tops (unless adding crumb topping-see below for ingredients and recipe)
  • 3 large overripe bananas (1.5 cup mashed or or 1.5 cup applesauce- I used applesauce)
  • 1 cup add ins (1 cup blueberries, raspberries, OR 1/2 cup grated zucchini and 1/2 chopped apple as an example) you can get creative here!  I added 1/2 cup grated zucchini and 1/2 finely chopped apple. *Note- squeeze out excess water from zucchini before adding
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup milk (I used almond milk)
  • 2 tsp real vanilla
  • tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • muffin tin

 

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place oats on a baking sheet and toast until lightly browned, stirring once (about 4 to 6 minutes). Do not let these get too toasted! Then cool to room temperature. *Note-If you are in a hurry you can skip this step, however the toasting adds flavour!)
  2. Divide oats into portions of 1.5 cups, 1 cup and 2 Tbsp
  3. Turn oven heat up to 350 degrees.
  4. Place 1.5 cups of oats in a food processor and blend/pulse until they reach a rough, flour like consistency.
    Healthy Zucchini Muffins contain no oil, no refined sugar, and no flour. The oil and sugar are replaced with ripe bananas and the flour is replaced with whole grain oats. Zucchini and spices give the muffins classic zucchini bread flavor. Enjoy a fall favorites with no gui
  5. Mash bananas well, they should have no lumps. I use my mixer to mash them before adding the other wet ingredients.
  6. Add eggs, honey, milk and vanilla. Mix to combine.
  7. Add dry ingredients (including the ground oats and 1 cup whole oats) to wet ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Allow these to sit for 10 minutes to soak the oats.
  8. Optional: Fold in approximately 1 cup fruit (I like them with lots of fruit!), raisins or nuts.
  9. Scoop into muffin tin, lined with muffin wrappers (makes 12 muffins).
  10. Sprinkle muffin tops with the 2 Tbsp of reserved oats or crumb topping (see recipe below) and press lightly to make sure they stick.
  11. Bake at 350 for about 20 -23 minutes, a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin should come out clean.

Crumb Topping-

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cups coconut oil (in liquid form)- add an extra 1-2 tbsp if your mixture seems too dry once mixed.
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions:

  1. Whisk the coconut oil and honey together until smooth. Place the rolled oats, pecans, almond meal, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Add the coconut oil and honey mixture; stir until combined. Add your mixture to the top of the muffins just before putting them in the oven.

2. Enjoy!!

xo Chelsea

Healthy Berry Oat Muffins

Healthy Berry Oat Muffins

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These simple, healthy berry muffins are a perfect example of how I don’t like to overcomplicate things when I bake.  I like fresh food that is easy to make and doesn’t take up a lot of my time.   I’m busy and I’m sure you are too.  So as with most of my recipes, my philosophy is good food in a short amount of time.  Simple dishes that are easy to re-create but packed with good nutrition and healthy ingredients.

These muffins are soft and fluffy, made with whole wheat, contain as many blueberries/raspberries as I could squeeze into the batter, and are basically everything an oatmeal muffin should be. No more. No less.

There is absolutely nothing fancy about them, which, as it turns out, is what makes them perfect in every way.  You’ll find them equally comfortable beside a cup of black coffee as they are with yogurt for an afternoon snack. The light amount of butter makes the blueberry muffins rich but not too rich to deserve their “healthy” designation, and a handful of oatmeal gives them a more satisfying texture.

They are low-calorie but packed with whole wheat and oats for a good boost of fibre.  They are perfect for a healthy breakfast or as a snack.  You can also use dairy free milk, coconut oil instead of butter, and coconut sugar instead of brown sugar to fit your dietary preferences!  The true star of these healthy muffins, however, is the berries themselves. They’re snuggled into every bite, with the tender, buttery muffin batter enhancing, not overpowering, their juicy taste.

 

YIELD: 12 muffins                                                                                                                        PREP TIME: 10 minutes                                                                                                               COOK TIME: 20 minutes

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon white whole wheat flour, divided
3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup lightly packed light brown sugar or coconut sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder (I prefer aluminum free)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk or almond milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled, or coconut oil
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup fresh blueberries or raspberries or a combo.  I did half and half!

 

Directions

  1. Place a rack in the center of your oven and pre-heat to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat a standard muffin tin with nonstick spray or line with paper liners, then coat the liners with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, butter, eggs, and vanilla. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, add the wet ingredients to the well, then carefully stir with a wooden spoon, just until blended.
  4. Gently toss the blueberries with the remaining 1 tablespoon flour, then fold them into the batter, discarding any excess flour that doesn’t stick to the blueberries. (This will prevent the blueberries from sinking to the bottom of the muffins.)
  5. Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Remove from oven, and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

 

Store leftover healthy blueberry muffins in the fridge or wrap individually in plastic, place in a ziplock bag, and freeze for up to 2 months.

Xo Chelsea

Healthy Carrot Cake Granola Bars

Carrot Cake Granola Bars

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I’m always looking for healthy snack ideas for my kids and for different ways I can sneak in veggies that they won’t oppose.  I found this recipe from Pinterest and absolutely love it!  It’s from the girls at Super Healthy Kids and they have some great recipes for picky eaters.  The recipe and all the photos are theirs and not mine but it was too good not to share!!

I don’t know about you but my kids can be picky especially my toddler.  If he even spots a veggie these days he immediately puts up his hand and says ‘gross’.  Like how did he even learn that??!  While I love his funny little personality his picky eating habits drive me crazy.   I’m always worrying that he is not getting enough nutrients and eating enough nourishing food when he needs it the most.  That’s where I have to get creative and try to make things that secretly contain veggies.

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My kids love granola bars so I just had to try these carrot ones.  They are full of healthy ingredients and use natural honey rather than processed white sugar so I feel good about them eating them.  The flax, nuts, oats, and almond Butter add protein, healthy fat, good fibre, to help keep the kids full without all the junk you can find in some store bought bars.

They are also made with flax egg instead of real eggs to help the ingredients bind so it’s great for anyone who may be allergic to eggs.  These remind me of those crunchy Nature Valley bars I used to have as a kid.  These are similar in crunch but are a healthier version and are really easy to make.  I hope you like them as much as I do!!

Ingredients
1 tablespoon – flaxseed, ground
2 1/2 tablespoon – water
1 3/4 cup – oats, dry
1/2 cup – pecans, chopped
2/3 cup – raisins, seedless
1 medium – carrot
1/3 cup – coconut flakes
2 teaspoon – cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon – salt
1/2 cup – honey
1/4 cup – almond butter

Directions
1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and line a 3 quart baking dish with parchment paper.

2. Combine ground flaxseed and water in a small bowl to make a flaxseed “egg.” Allow to sit for 10 minutes to congeal.

3. Pulse oats and nuts in a food processor until semi-finely chopped but not powdery. (This helps them to bind into a bar better than when they are left whole or chunky).

4. In a medium-sized bowl, combine pulsed oats and nuts, raisins, grated carrot, coconut, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

5. In a microwave safe bowl, heat honey and almond butter for 20 seconds, or until easy to stir together.

6. Add the honey/almond butter mixture and flaxseed egg to the medium bowl with oat mixture. Stir until fully mixed.

7. Pour mixture into lined baking dish and spread out until it is even and about 1/2 inch thick (mixture likely will not cover the entire length of the baking dish).
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until edges slightly brown.

8. Remove from the over and allow to cool for 10 minutes before cutting bars. Let cool completely before removing and eating bars.

Makes approximately 12-14 bars.

xo Chelsea 

 

Watermelon Popsicles

Watermelon Popsicles 

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How pretty are these watermelon popsicles??!  I just love how colourful they are and my kids love them too.

With the weather getting a little warmer and summer just around the corner I’ve been trying out new popsicle recipes for healthy treats at home.  Using all natural fruit, no processed sugar or preservatives, these are a great option for a guilt free treat.  They are naturally low in calories, are packed full of immune boosting vitamin C, and have a good source of vitamin A.  They also contain potassium which helps to balance fluids in the body and keeps you hydrated.

These popsicles are also dairy free, vegan, and gluten-free if anyone has any dietary restrictions!!

Ingredients

2 cups Watermelon, diced (seeds removed)
1 cup Strawberries
½ cup coconut milk, regular or light
1 cup Kiwi, diced

Instructions

1. In a food processor or blender, puree the watermelon and strawberries until smooth and set aside.

2. Puree the kiwi until smooth and set aside.

3. In your mold, fill ⅔ way with your watermelon puree. Freeze this layer for 30 minutes.

4. For the next layer pour in a layer of coconut milk on top of the frozen watermelon, leaving room for the kiwi layer on top. Pop back in the freezer for another 30 minutes.

5. Pour the pureed kiwi on top of the frozen coconut milk. Freezing in between layers gives you lovely clean layering.

6. Cover mold, add sticks and freeze for at least 5 hours or overnight. They will keep in the freezer for up to 8 weeks.

TIP: Run the molds under warm water to loosen up the popsicles.

xo Chelsea

3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Banana Oat Cookies

3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Banana Oat Cookies

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I call these little treats Mookies!!  They are a super healthy banana cookie with a thick chewy texture.  Made with ripe bananas, oats, and natural peanut butter they are made from whole foods with no added sugar, eggs, flour, or dairy!  They are quick and easy to make and you can add you favourite mix -in like chocolate chips (these obviously add sugar but I like a little dark chocolate in mine!), raisins or a combo of both if you like!

My family loves these for breakfast or as a healthy snack! We hope you like them too!

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Ingredients

2 large mashed bananas

1 cup oatmeal (raw normal Oats or quick Oats)

1 heaping spoonful of natural peanut butter or almond butter (1-2 tbsp)

Dash of cinnamon

Optional:

Chocolate chips, nuts, raisins… 2- 3 tbsp of your favourite add in!

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Mash banana in a mixing bowl.

3. Add peanut butter and mix together.

4. Stir in Oats and cinnamon.

5.  Add chocolate chips, nuts, etc and stir until mixed into batter.

6. Drop by the spoonful onto a baking pan.

7. Bake for 15 mins or until slightly browned and let cool.

8. Enjoy!!

xo Chelsea

 

Healthy 5 Ingredient Peanut Butter Granola

Healthy Peanut Butter Granola

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This healthy peanut butter granola is SUPER easy to make and it’s gluten-free, dairy free, refined sugar-free, and vegan! I like that this recipe isn’t super sweet and is made with nutritious ingredients.

All natural peanut butter, whole grain oats, honey (maple syrup if you are vegan), a little salt is all it takes to make this delicious and crunchy granola.  It’s super versatile and can be used to top your favourite yogurt, breakfast popsicle, or as a snack. My kids love it and often eat it will just a little milk added for breakfast.

It takes just 15 minutes to make and will last for a week when stored in an airtight container.  If you find the granola looses it’s crunch all you do is pop it back in the over to crisp it up again!

Ingredients

2 cups old-fashioned (or quick cooking) oats*
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ cup natural peanut butter
¼ cup honey (or maple syrup for vegan)
½ tsp pure vanilla extract

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a large cookie sheet and set aside.

2. In a small bowl, mix together oats, salt and cinnamon. Set aside

3. Melt the peanut butter and honey (or maple syrup) together until smooth.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

4. Stir in dry ingredients and mix until well combined.

5. Spread mixture on prepared cookie sheet.

6. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until granola is lightly browned, stirring the granola once gently half way through. (A great way to test to see if it is done is to remove a small portion of the granola from the pan and set it on the counter. If it hardens as it cools the rest of the granola is done)! The granola can burn quite quickly so be sure to keep an eye on it in the oven.  It darkens up once removed so best to take it out once it is slightly browned to ensure you don’t over cook it!

7. Remove from oven and let sit until cooled.

8. Once cooled, break apart and enjoy!

xo Chelsea