Sometimes you can find inspiration in the unlikeliest of places. Like, a national dairy farmers website. Sometimes there are recipes that spark some ideas and with a few ingredient swaps can turn into quite a delicious vegan and gluten-free recipe.
That’s exactly what happened with this recipe. I was searching high and low for a muffin recipe that included three main ingredients: apples, oatmeal, maple syrup. I don’t know why I wanted these three things, but I did. I also didn’t want an overly sweet recipe because I wanted to be able to pack these in our lunches without too much guilt. This muffin recipe seemed to fit the bill once I adjusted the ingredients.
When it comes to baking without dairy, generally the substitutions aren’t really that difficult. I used unsweetened plain almond milk in place of the dairy milk and I substituted the melted butter with melted coconut oil. I also swapped out the egg with 1/4 cup of applesauce mixed with 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda.
I used Only Oats gluten-free oats in this recipe. The recipe calls for quick-cooking oats but I like the texture of rolled oats too so I used a mixture of quick oats and rolled oats. I quite like the result.
Often times I’m never totally sure what kind of apple to use in a recipe. I know Granny Smith apples remain firm and have a tartness. I know that Macintosh and Spartans get soft and are ideal for making applesauce. I wasn’t totally sure what kind of apples would work best in this recipe but since I had Gala apples on hand I used those. I think they worked out just fine. I chose to leave my apples unpeeled. You’ll want to dice them fairly finely. My first time making these I wished I had diced them more finely.
The sprinkle of maple sugar at the end is completely optional and totally indulgent. I found pure maple sugar at Costco just recently for a fairly reasonable price – I think it was $14.99 for a fairly large shaker – and felt like sprinkling some love on top.
- 1 cup gluten-free quick oats
- ¼ cup gluten-free rolled oats
- 1½ cups unsweetened non-dairy milk
- 1 cup brown rice flour
- ½ cup sorghum flour
- ¼ cup tapioca starch
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup coconut sugar
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce + ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract
- 2 cups apples, unpeeled and finely diced
- 1-2 tablespoons maple sugar, for dusting (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400F. Lightly grease muffin tins with olive oil spray.
- In a medium bowl, combine both types of oats and non-dairy milk. Stir to combine and let sit for at least 5 minutes.
- In a large bowl, sift together brown rice flour, sorghum flour, tapioca starch, cornstarch, xanthan gum, baking powder and salt.
- Add coconut sugar, maple syrup, applesauce mixture, coconut oil and vanilla extract to the milk-oat mixture. Whisk to combine well.
- Pour the wet mixture over the dry mixture and add diced apples. Stir until combined but do not over mix.
- Spoon mixture into prepared muffin tin.
- Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until a pick inserted comes out clean and the tops are firm to the touch.
- Remove from oven. Sprinkle maple sugar over top, if using.
- Let cool in muffin tin for about 10 minutes before turning out to a wire cooling rack to finish cooling completely.