These gluten free and dairy free Heart Healthy Blueberry Oat Muffins make a great mid-morning or recess snack for kids and adults alike. If your kiddos are in a nut free school, these can easily be made nut free by replacing the almond milk with coconut milk. These muffins are totally plant based, but if you prefer you can use an egg instead of a chia or flax egg. My preference is ground chia egg.
These muffins start with heart healthy whole grain oats that are high in fiber and finish with delicious juicy blueberries. Fresh or frozen blueberries work equally well. If you use frozen blueberries just be sure to add them to the batter while they are still frozen to keep the muffins from becoming too wet from thawing blueberries.
Fluffy, moist and tender, with a burst of blueberries in every tiny bite, you’ll want to eat these as soon as they come out of the oven, but they are better if you let them cool first. This is the case with all gluten free baking.
Blueberries are one of the most antioxidant rich foods available. The vitamin C content makes blueberries a powerful immune supporter, and aid to the lymphatic system. Blueberries promote heart health and can be beneficial for urinary tract infections and eye health, protecting against age-related macular degeneration. Some studies on animals have also shown that the antioxidants in blueberries help protect the brain from oxidative stress and age-related conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Last year we picked 55 pounds of blueberries so we could have berries available for delicious recipes like these Blueberry Oat Muffins as well as Lemon Blueberry Cake, Blueberry Banana Pancakes and Blueberry Smoothie all year long. Our favorite pesticide and spray free local blueberry field has had a difficult season this year and were debating whether or not they’d even open for u-picking. Cathryn, one of the owners, explained to us that some of the berries had been infected with the mummy berry, a disease that turns beautiful berries into white, shriveled up berries that look like miniature gourds. The berries fall to the ground and become a dormant pathogen that, in the spring, turns into spores that spread and infect healthy bushes. The very wet spring we had this year made for an especially bad season for spreading spores.
Conventional farms spray fungicides, voraciously when the spores are plentiful like this year, and still can lose some crops. For farmers that do not use sprays the mummy berry can be absolutely devastating. They could lose their entire crop from the mummy berry disease. Having had this conversation with Cathryn makes me appreciate more than ever the time and energy she and her husband Ed dedicate all year to tending their 3000+ bushes to grow healthy, spray-free, antioxidant rich blueberries.
The blueberries are still amazingly delicious this year, but Cathryn said some bushes are not as abundant and on top of the mummy berry the weather has resulted in a very late and slow to ripen crop, so I was really grateful that they decided to open the u-pick after all.
We have to support our local farmers and growers. I hope locals and folks from away come and pick every ripe blueberry from the bushes at Blueberryland Seville Centreville Farm to help reduce their financial loss as much as possible.
Heart Healthy Blueberry Oat Muffins
- 1 cup gluten-free oats
- 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup minus 1 Tbsp almond milk or coconut milk for nut free muffins
- 1/2 cup sorghum flour
- 1/2 cup brown rice flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1 chia egg (or flax)
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 1 cup blueberries
- Preheat oven to 400ºF.
- Add apple cider vinegar to one cup measure. Fill to one cup mark with almond milk. Mix vinegar and milk. Combine milk with oats in small bowl and stir to mix. Combine ground flax or chia and warm water to small bowl and let sit for 10 minutes.
- Add chia egg and coconut oil to oats and milk and mix well.
- In a separate bowl, combine sorghum flour, brown rice flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and coconut sugar. Add oat mixture to dry ingredients and combine until mixture is wet. Fold in blueberries.
- Fill well-greased or paper-lined muffin cups about 3/4 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes.