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Gluten Free Oat Bran Muffins :: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free

May 9, 2019

Soft and sweet with nutty knobs of bran, these gluten free oat bran muffins will become a weekly breakfast staple!

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A last minute idea, a new recipe, and some love for every teacher

I’m not very much of a last minute person. Oh, sure, I don’t use an elaborate meal plan, but I have an idea or a framework for most weeks. But when it comes to planning something like an event, I’m a details person. Earlier this year I was assigned to “Teacher Appreciation Day” at our school, typically a luncheon at some point during Teacher Appreciation Week. Having all 3 kids in full time school this year has given me some extra hours to help out at school, and last week I had this revelation…1 day of celebrating our teachers simply wasn’t enough. I am in awe every time I help at that school. My village. I wanted to do something each day of the Teacher Appreciation Week. With a tight budget, a couple mom friends, and determined personality, my mind was made up, and we made it happen! We already had the pot luck style luncheon set up, I had a super talented thrift store super shopper friend that found some great gifts for one day, a beautiful gardening friend that brought flowers one day, and…probably the most anticipated day of the week – this Friday, myself and 7 other parents are doing a “recess take-over” giving the staff an extra long lunch while we man the playground duty! Gold!

Muffins and coffee

A simple muffin. A cup of dark coffee. It is so simple, but you guys the day during that Teacher Appreciation Week that we brought in boxes of coffee from a local coffee shop and 4 dozen simple oat bran muffins, you would have thought we brought them the world. These sweet teachers’ faces were priceless. I wish you all could have seen the picture. In fact, I’m challenging you to make your *own* picture. These teachers are capital D.O.N.E for this year, and to surprise them with a simple coffee and muffin on a Tuesday morning would absolutely fuel their hearts to get through one more week.

So let’s talk about these muffins!

Super cost effective (I had a budget to stick to, remember?!), healthy, filling, and the most important thing when you are baking for someone else…they are delicious! Bran muffins should have a warm, molasses-y sweetness to perk them up, and I was so happy with how the coconut sugar brought that warmth and fun flavor without adding a ton of sugar. Those knobby bits of oat bran throughout add a lovely nuttiness as well.

The softness secret, and that beautiful rise though!

Buttermilk. A simple soured milk gives these muffins a soft texture despite the coarse bran, and you can make it yourself if you don’t have access to quality buttermilk. In fact, you can even make it with dairy free milk if you need to be dairy free. I love the fatty richness that coconut milk has, and soaking the grains in that coconut buttermilk made for such a rich, satisfying muffin. A quick whisk of some apple cider vinegar and milk, and that’s it! The acid in the buttermilk also acts as a soaking medium for the grains. If you choose to soak the grains in the buttermilk over night, you’ll be rewarded with an easier food for your digestive system to manage as the phytic acid is broken down.

Add-ins?

Sure thing! Since I was making these muffins for a crowd, I left them as is, because some people aren’t fans of dried fruit. But I made a batch of the oat bran muffins for my girls with chopped dried apricots and the girls thought they hit the jackpot! We made a batch with chopped dried figs as well – my youngest’s favorite by far. You could use raisins, dried blueberries, or chopped dates as well.

Freezer friendly

I made 2 double batches of this muffin recipe for that Teacher Appreciation morning, and they really held up for the 2 days that they sat in a bag on the counter. If you are going to make more than you need, I would recommend putting extras in the freezer right away, however because it will lock in all of the moisture. These muffins will make great grab and go lunchbox add-ins and breakfast on the go with hard boiled eggs!

Print Recipe
5 from 15 votes

Gluten Free Oat Bran Muffins :: Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free

Ingredients

Instructions

  • The night before you want to make the muffins, put the oat bran and GF Flour in a medium mixing bowl. Make “buttermilk” for soaking the oat bran and flour by putting 1 ½ tbsp of ACV in a 2 cup liquid measuring cup and pouring coconut milk in until you reach the 1 ½ cup mark on the measuring cup. Whisk this together – this is “buttermilk.” Pour the buttermilk over the oat bran and GF flour, and mix together. It is thick – do not add more liquid. Cover your bowl and set on the counter overnight, 8-12 hours. This soaking process breaks down the phytic acid in the grain making it easier on digestion over time.
  • The next morning pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees and line a dozen cup muffin tin with silicone muffin liners or unbleached paper liners.
  • In a small mixing bowl beat the eggs, coconut sugar, and vanilla with electric beaters. Add those wet ingredients to the soaking oat bran/flour mixture and blend slowly to combine. The oat bran/flour mixture will feel dry and thick at first, but the liquid will loosen it up. I start with the beaters and finish with my spatula.
  • If you are adding dried fruit to your muffins, you can add them at this time.
  • Scoop the muffin batter into your muffin pan and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. The tops will be golden brown and spring back to touch. Cool the muffins in the pan for 5-10 minutes before turning them out onto a cooling rack to cool completely. You can freeze leftover muffins in freezer bags.

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29 Comments

  • Reply Susannah May 9, 2019 at 7:43 pm

    5 stars
    Love this recipe — and this wonderful story! So thoughtful of you. Looking forward to trying out another of your amazing muffin recipes!

  • Reply Megan Stevens May 13, 2019 at 12:30 pm

    5 stars
    These muffins are picture perfect, Renee — so beautiful and appealing, and they remind me of a bakery … and the muffins we’d get when I was little. LOVELY. and LOVELY that they’re soaked for better digestion! 🙂 <3

  • Reply Amy Sheree May 13, 2019 at 3:04 pm

    5 stars
    These muffins look absolutely delicious!! I love a good muffin for breakfast – definitely going to try these!

  • Reply Kari - Get Inspired Everyday! May 14, 2019 at 7:48 pm

    5 stars
    These definitely look perfect just as they are, but I love your idea of adding some berries in as well!

  • Reply Tessa Simpson May 15, 2019 at 8:46 am

    5 stars
    Love oaty-licious muffins….so filling and hearty!

  • Reply Raia Todd May 15, 2019 at 3:35 pm

    5 stars
    These look like they have a wonderful texture! Oat muffins are a great way to start the day!

  • Reply STACEY CRAWFORD May 16, 2019 at 12:56 pm

    5 stars
    Thees are big, fluffy but hearty, satisfying muffins. Would rather have these than a bowl of oatmeal any day!

  • Reply jennifer May 16, 2019 at 9:41 pm

    5 stars
    love that they are budget friendly AND gluten free (those are usually two mutually exclusive terms)!

  • Reply chihyu May 18, 2019 at 8:33 pm

    5 stars
    I can taste all the delicious flavor from here. So fabulous!

  • Reply Hope May 19, 2019 at 2:06 am

    5 stars
    These look so healthy and satisfying! My little boy would love these. Perfect for busy mornings

  • Reply Zuzana May 19, 2019 at 8:36 am

    5 stars
    Those are the best looking Muffins, I have seen so far. Can not wait to bake them soon

  • Reply Carol Little R.H. @studiobotanica May 20, 2019 at 9:54 am

    5 stars
    Your instructions make this entire process so do-able. I love all the choices possible to change these up too!
    Need to go get me some oat bran– and get busy! Thanks Renee! I can only imagine how thrilled the teachers were.. So kind.

  • Reply Lori June 8, 2019 at 4:04 pm

    5 stars
    Love this recipe. Thank you so much for sharing! It’s so great to find great gluten free options.

  • Reply Courtney L August 15, 2019 at 3:00 am

    5 stars
    I love you for this recipe. It is so hard to find cheap, easy, tasty gf breakfast foods and snacks that my whole family will enjoy, but this hit the nail on the head.

    • Reply Renee Kohley August 15, 2019 at 5:40 pm

      I’m so glad they are a hit for your family Courtney! Yay!

  • Reply Lori November 12, 2019 at 8:52 am

    5 stars
    My husband loves these muffins! I have been thinking he has a little gluten allergy so when I found this recipe I thought I would test my theory. It seemed to have worked! He says that every other muffin he eats, even though they say they are “healthy”, always makes him feel bloated. These did not!The only thing I will say is that your recipe does not say when you add the baking soda, baking powder and salt. I assumed it was with the flour and oat bran mixture that sets overnight. Also, is there anyway to get the tops of the muffins a little flatter and more spread out like a big muffin top? Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply Renee Kohley December 4, 2019 at 10:55 am

      Hi Lori! So glad these muffins worked out well! I would fill the muffin cups up a bit more if you would like the tops bigger. Thank you for catching the baking soda/powder, and salt – they go in the next day with the rest of the ingredients but in the soaking mixture won’t hurt either.

  • Reply Amy December 6, 2019 at 11:22 am

    I just made these – swapped maple syrup for the coconut sugar and added raisins. We are devouring them! Keep these delicious, simple, healthy recipes coming! I can’t wait for the next book! 🙂

  • Reply Juli December 24, 2019 at 2:55 pm

    This looks amazing – but I’m confused about how this recipe can be labeled dairy free and nut free – you use coconut milk and coconut sugar (coconuts are tree nuts). The alternative suggested for coconut milk is raw milk or buttermilk (dairy). Still looking for bran muffin recipe with no wheat, dairy, or nuts – perhaps you’ve tested other options that work well with this recipe?

    • Reply Renee Kohley January 14, 2020 at 11:14 am

      Hi Juli! Coconuts are in the palm family – they are not nuts at all. So the coconut milk and sugar are dairy and nut free 🙂

  • Reply Birdbrain January 14, 2020 at 9:18 pm

    Both of you are correct!!! The FDA classifies coconuts as tree nuts, and botanists classify them as fruit. Nut allergies are much more common than a coconut allergy, which still tends to be very rar.

  • Reply Holly May 17, 2020 at 2:06 pm

    Hi, can you swap out the coconut milk for almond milk or other nut milk?

  • Reply Katie May 30, 2020 at 5:49 pm

    Love these muffins! They are a staple in my freezer and so easy to make any flavor variation! I want to make them into banana muffins. What adaptations would I need to make to the recipe when adding fresh mashed bananas? Thank you!

    • Reply Renee Kohley July 22, 2020 at 2:49 pm

      Hi Katie! So glad you enjoyed these muffins! I’m not sure how I would do that! Possibly take some of the coconut milk out for mashed banana, but they might be more dense.

  • Reply Annie May 30, 2020 at 7:01 pm

    Hi! I haven’t made these yet but am planning to. I’m wondering how this recipe works without using a small amount of oil, like organic coconut oil for instance? Thanks! Hope to receive a reply!

    • Reply Renee Kohley July 22, 2020 at 2:48 pm

      Hi Annie! I wouldn’t add any oil to the recipe, but you could spread some coconut oil on the muffin if you wish!

  • Reply Lexi June 6, 2020 at 9:38 pm

    I am excited to try this recipe but I do not have the Namaste Gluten Free Flour Blend. I am wondering if the muffins would work if I swapped it out with a different gluten free flour? I was thinking of using the Bobs 1-to-1 flour blend.

    • Reply Renee Kohley July 22, 2020 at 2:44 pm

      Hi Lexi! Yes Bob’s GF blend should work fine!

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