When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Oatmeal apple cinnamon mini-muffins (gluten, dairy, egg, and nut-free)

Matt and the boys and I enjoyed a really lovely Thanksgiving dinner here at our home yesterday with family and friends.  All of us feasted on turkey and cranberries, sweet potato casserole, an assortment of roasted veggies, salad, and homemade pumpkin and apple treats for dessert, and the four of us were very glad to have lots of leftovers for our dinner this evening.  You would think I would take advantage of a day of not having to cook after three days of food preparation for Thanksgiving dinner, but this afternoon, I was back in my kitchen happily baking yet again; this time, it was muffins for school snacks for the boys for the coming week. 

I have been trying for the past few years to either find or invent a gluten, dairy, egg, and nut-free recipe that results in a muffin with both great taste and good texture.  Many of the muffins I have baked regularly for Will and I in the past are delicious when they're warm, but once they get packed in a school lunch box and are served cool or at room temperature, they become quite dry and crumbly and not so nice to eat.  I am really happy to say that I've finally come up with a muffin that Will gives a two thumbs up to and actually enjoys eating for a school snack.  Hooray for that! These oatmeal apple cinnamon muffins are full of nutritious ingredients, and their mini size makes them perfect for tucking into little lunch box containers.

Oatmeal Apple Cinnamon Mini-Muffins

1 1/2 cups certified pure rolled oats
1/3 cup ground certified pure rolled oats (I use a Magic Bullet to grind them)
1/3 cup ground quinoa flakes
1/3 cup brown rice flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup unsweetened apple juice
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 tbsp ground chia seeds mixed with 3 tbsp warm water (let this stand for a few minutes to form a gel)
2 tbsp melted coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 apple, peeled, cored, and grated
1 small ripe banana, mashed

Preheat the oven to 375 F.  In a large bowl, combine the oats, ground oats, ground quinoa flakes, brown rice flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and sea salt. 
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the apple juice, maple syrup, chia "gel", coconut oil, and vanilla.  Stir in the grated apple and the mashed banana.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until combined.  Spoon the batter into mini muffin cups, filling each cup right to the top. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins are golden brown.
Let the muffins cool and then serve them.  Makes 18 to 20 mini-muffins.

I hope this recipe will be a big hit with the food-sensitive members of your family, too!

We are heading into the last few days of voting for the Circle of Moms Top 25 Canadian Moms blogging contest.  I'm very excited to say that Pocketfuls is currently still sitting in the #12 spot!  Thanks so much to all of you who keep coming back to vote.  Please click here to submit your vote once every 24 hours until Thursday at 7pm, and spread the word if you can!  With your enthusiasm, a spot in the top 10 might even be within reach! 


  1. Would it work to replace the apple juice with applesauce?

    1. Hi Lauren. I think applesauce would most likely work in place of the apple juice -- please let me know how the muffins turn out if you try it! I hope you enjoy them. :)