These adorable heart muffins are going to do double duty come this Valentine’s Day! February is American Heart Month as well as home to my favorite love-filled day, February 14. But this year I’m doing things a little differently. Instead of fussing over special restaurants and fancy dresses, I’m dreaming of how I can surprise my littles with something sweet and fun on Valentine morning.
These oat muffins are a tried-and-true recipe of ours that I got from a good friend. They are slightly sweet, filling, full of fiber and free of fat (good things for the heart!). All they needed was a little Valentine flair- a heart shaped cookie cutter, pink sugar for dusting the top and some heart shaped sprinkles just for fun!
If you’ve never done any vegan baking, it’s really not a stretch from regular baking with eggs and milk and oil. Here are some details about the ingredients used in this recipe.
- Oat flour is used exclusively. If you don’t have any, you can grind up whole grain oats in your (cleaned) coffee grinder to make a flour. (Look for gluten-free whole grain oats to make gluten free oat flour).
- 1 mashed ripe banana replaces the 2 eggs usually called for in muffins.
- Unsweetened applesauce replaces the oil. You can easily replace the oil in any recipe with applesauce with a ratio of 1:1.
- Any non-dairy milk replaces cow’s milk. I used soy milk. I like the thickness and creaminess of soy milk as opposed to almond milk. I don’t recommend coconut milk if you are trying to protect your heart. Even though coconut milk is vegan, coconuts are full of saturated fat. (I realize there are quite a bit of disagreement on the healthfulness of saturated fats, but I steer clear of them).
- One half cup of diced strawberries are included. You can omit them, but they add a wonderful pink color and added fruitiness!
- One quarter cup of white sugar is all this recipe calls for. Use whatever kind of sugar or sugar substitute (like honey) you prefer that would replace white sugar.
- Instead of greasing an 8 x 8 pan with oil I lined it with parchment paper and poured the batter right on top. When it’s done cooking and cooling, you can simply lift the parchment paper out of the pan and the muffins come right off.
Strawberry Banana Oat Heart Muffins
Makes about 12 2″ heart muffins
- 2 1/4 cup oat flour
- 1 TB baking powder
- 1/4 cup white sugar or honey
- 1 1/4 cup non-dairy milk
- 1 mashed ripe banana
- 2 TB unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 cup diced fresh strawberries
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line an 8 x 8 baking dish with parchment paper.
2. In one bowl, combine the oat flour and baking powder. In another bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients, except for the strawberries, making sure they are all incorporated well.
3. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients and combine. Fold in the strawberries. Do not over mix.
4. Pour batter into prepared dish. Sprinkle top with pink sugar. Bake about 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
5. When it is finished baking, remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Carefully cut out the muffins with a heart shaped cookie cutter. (Save the scraps- it’s still yummy!) Arrange them on a plate and toss heart shaped sprinkles over them. Enjoy!
What are you baking this Valentine’s Day?