Healthy oil-free vegan muffins and other baked goods. Perfect for back-to-school or anytime – recipes also nut-free and with gluten-free options.
During the school year, I have a handful of healthy vegan muffins and baked goods that are in weekly lunchbox rotation.
These baked goods are all nut-free, so perfect for school snacks.
People always ask “what do you pack for lunches?”
To fully answer that question, I included a chapter on packing lunches in Plant-Powered Families, so get all of my tips there.
Top oil-free muffins and baked goods for back-to-school
1) BEST Banana Bread (or muffins): A long-time family fave, and I cannot tell you how many tweets and notes I get saying something like “omg these are oil-free vegan muffins? No one would know!”
BEST Vegan Banana Bread Recipe
- 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour or 1 cup + 3-4 tbsp spelt flour for wheat-free version
- 3/4 cup oat flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup pureed overripe banana see note
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/2 cup plain non-dairy milk
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3-4 tbsp non-dairy mini or regular chocolate chips optional
- Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine pureed banana, maple syrup, milk and vanilla. Add wet mixture to dry, and add in chocolate chips (if using), and stir through until just well combined (don’t overmix). Wipe a loaf pan lightly with oil (or use a silicone loaf pan). Pour batter into pan and bake for 43-48 minutes, until golden and a toothpick or skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Makes 1 quick bread.
2) Apple-Hemp Muffins: A family favorite here, and you guys can’t get enough of them either!
These pack a good dose of nutrtient-dense hemp seeds in a fragrant, tender oil-free vegan muffin. Kids can be a little fussy about eating hemp seeds, yet they won’t even know they’re in these muffins!
3) Pumpkin Seed Chocolate Chip Oat Bars I make these bars when I want a snack that will “hold up” well (ex: won’t get squished in a pocket during a field trip).
These are dense, chewy, bars that are a much healthier alternative to storebought granola bars – and far more satisfying. They keep in the fridge for over a week, and can also be frozen.
4) Oat Snackles and Pumpkin Oat Snackles
These are what I bake when I feel like I have literally 10 minutes to get something in the oven. When you make them regularly, they are that quick. The kids love them, and you can customize with dried fruit, chocolate chips, seeds, etc.
The Pumpkin Oat Snackles offer a fall twist on the classic, flip to page 59 of PPF!
Wholesome Oat Snackles
- 1 cup rolled oats use certified gluten-free for that option
- 1 cup oat flour use certified gluten-free for that option
- 1/3 cup raisins or cranberries, or combination of both
- 1/4 cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut or hemp seeds
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp lemon or orange zest optional, but adds beautiful essence
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- few pinches freshly grated nutmeg optional, but adds extra flavor if not using zest
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce see note for substitution
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup see note
- 2-3 tbsp non-dairy chocolate chips optional if needing sugar-free
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine the oats, oat flour, raisins, hemp seeds, baking powder, cinnamon, zest, salt and nutmeg, stirring to mix well. Add the applesauce, maple syrup, and chocolate chips. Stir until well incorporated. Use a cookie scoop (or take spoonfuls, about 1 1⁄2 tablespoons in size) to transfer mounds of the batter to the baking sheet. Bake for 14 to 15 minutes, remove from the oven, and let cool on the pan for about a minute, then transfer to a cooling rack. Makes 12-14 snackles!
5) Power Cookies: More so oil-free cookie treats than oil-free vegan muffins, but still healthy and chock with good stuff! I’ll be putting this new cookie in rotation this year.
6) BF Blueberry Muffins: These I make less often just because the prep is a wee bit longer (not much, just slightly).
Also because we have one girl that doesn’t like berries. Hence the “BF”! With or without blueberries, they are delicious and quite a treat for oil-free vegan muffins.
BF Blueberry Muffins
- 1 1/4 cups oat flour
- 3/4 cup spelt flour
- 1/3 cup unrefined sugar (light best for color, but any can be used)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp lemon zest (amazing, don’t omit!)
- 2 tbsp non-dairy yogurt (vanilla or plain)
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup or agave nectar
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 cup + 3-4 tbsp plain non-dairy milk
- 1/4 cup applesauce
- 3/4 cup frozen or fresh blueberries (tossed in 1-2 tsp extra oat flour)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, add flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda (sift in the powder/soda), salt, and lemon zest. In another bowl, first combine the yogurt with the maple syrup/agave, lemon juice, and applesauce, stirring well, and then add in the milk and stir through until well combined. Add wet ingredients to the dry, and mix through until just well combined. Then, quickly but gently, fold in the blueberries. Pour mixture into lined muffin tins (filling 10-12). Bake for 20 – 23 minutes (longer for larger muffins, less time if entire 12 muffins are filled), or until muffins are set in the centre (test by inserting a toothpick or skewer in the centre of a muffin). Remove from oven, cool for a couple of minutes in the pan, and then transfer muffins to cool on a cooling rack.
- Add blueberries at the very last moment, to limit the ‘bleeding’ of the blueberries into the batter.
- Chocolate chips are wickedly good with blueberries try adding a few tablespoons to the batter.
- Makes 10-12 muffins.
7) Berry Scuffins: Oil-free vegan muffins meet scones!
When you want a baked berry fix that’s a little quicker, this is your recipe. For the fall and winter, you can use frozen berries or substitute apple or pear – just toss in a little lemon juice first to help prevent discoloring if using these fall fruits.
8) Oatmeal Banana Bites I’ve been making these since my 13 year old was a wee babe!
They are the perfect grab ‘n go snack, for lunches or anytime of the day. Like the snackles, these are quick and like a mini-muffin without the muffin paper. These wee vegan oil-free muffins have been a reader favorite for many years.
Oatmeal Banana Bites
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup oat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 cup pureed overripe banana roughly 2 large bananas; see note
- 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons nondairy chocolate chips (optional can substitute dried fruit; see note
- Preheat oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the oats, oat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, sea salt, and nutmeg.
- Stir through until well combined.
- Add the banana, vanilla extract, and chocolate chips (if using) to the dry mixture, and stir through until combined.
- Using a cookie scoop, place 2-tablespoon mounds of the batter onto the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 13–14 minutes, until just rm to the touch and a light golden on top.
- Remove from oven and let cool on pan for a minute, then transfer to a cooling rack.
10. NO-Bake Granola Bars. Do they hold together? Yes.
Are they easy to make? Yes!
Healthy ingredients? Yes, yes, yes!
Not a muffin, obviously, but these are perfect for school and work lunches so make it on this list!
No-Bake Granola Bars
- 1/2 cup brown rice syrup
- 1/4 cup (packed) coconut butter see note for substitution
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 cup oat flour
- 2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut optional
- 1 1/2 cups natural brown rice crisp cereal
- 3 tablespoons nondairy chocolate chips (optional)
- Line an 8” × 8” pan with parchment paper. In a medium saucepan over medium/medium-low heat, add the brown rice syrup, coconut butter, vanilla extract, sea salt, and cinnamon. Stir until well combined and the coconut butter has melted. Add the rolled oats, and stir through, allowing to cook for 2–3 minutes in the low heat. Add the oat flour and shredded coconut and stir through. Remove the pot from the stove. Then, quickly stir in the cereal, and transfer the mixture to the pan. Press the mixture evenly into the pan (using a nonstick spatula or piece of parchment paper to press the mixture without sticking). Wait just a minute or two, and then sprinkle on the chocolate chips (you can choose to cover whole bars, or just a portion), and press those into the base. Refrigerate until fully chilled (at least 1/2 hour), then cut in squares or bars.
- Coconut Butter Note: Coconut butter works well here because it is so dense and helps bind the bars. Because coconut is not botanically a nut, these are also perfect for school lunches. However, if you want to substitute a nut butter, choose one that is very dense, like cashew butter.
- Idea: Try some of these flavor variations:
- • Raisin-spice: Try substituting raisins for the chocolate chips (and adding them with the coconut and oat flour, rather than at the end), increase the cinnamon to 1/2 teaspoon, and add 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon of allspice.
- • Cranberry–pumpkin seed: Try substituting dried cranberries for the chocolate chips (and adding them at the same time as the oat flour), and substitute 2–3 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds for the coconut.
- • Cocoa-hemp: Substitute 2 tablespoons of hemp seeds for the coconut, and add 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder when mixing in the oat flour and hemp seeds. Keep the chocolate chips, and add in raisins if you like!
There you have it! My favorite healthy vegan muffins and healthy goodies for packing into lunches. All of these recipes freeze well, so if you’re energized to double batches, go for it!
What are your favorite vegan oil-free muffins?