These gluten-free, vegan sweet potato bran muffins are studded with raisins for a healthy, hearty and nutrient dense breakfast or snack.
I used to love bran muffins as a kid. Weird muffin for a kid to like, right?
Not really though when you think about it…
Store bought bran muffins vs. homemade bran muffins
Most see the word “bran” and immediately think “healthy” but when it comes to store bought muffins, that’s hardly the case.
Typical store bought bran muffins are filled with sugar and usually a total calorie bomb (think 400-600 calories a muffin which would be fine if it was balanced across macronutrients and had some fiber or other micronutrient benefits but sadly, that’s just not reality).
So as a kid, bran muffins tasted like a treat and that’s because they essentially were!
I’d still call these homemade sweet potato bran muffins a treat as well, just a much more balanced, healthy and nutrient-dense one.
How are these bran muffins healthy?
With oat bran as the base, these sweet potato bran muffins are packed with nutritious fiber and protein right off the bat. That’s one of the benefits of using oat bran instead of traditional wheat bran.
Oat bran is also gluten-free which helps make these sweet potato raisin bran muffins more accessible for all.
Also included in these healthy bran muffins are these ingredients:
- gluten-free flour blend (I use this one which is a blend of rice flours, sorghum and tapioca)
- sweet potato puree (this is sold canned just like pumpkin!)
- spices like (cinnamon, nutmeg & allspice)
- flaxseed (to make flax eggs which keeps the bran muffin recipe vegan)
Along with coconut sugar, coconut oil, vanilla and non-dairy almond milk, you can see how the ingredients in these easy bran muffins are a lot more whole food and health oriented than what you’d find on the label in the bakery section of your grocery store.
They’re also just over 100 calories versus a likely 400+ calorie bran muffin from the store!
Using sweet potato in baked goods
I’ve made whole wheat sweet potato banana muffins and sweet potato oat bars before. In fact, these bran muffins are basically the muffin version of those sweet potato oat bars. I think sweet potato is an underrated baking ingredient skirting around behind the overwhelming shadow of pumpkin.
Sweet potato puree comes canned just like pumpkin does. Look for it in your baking section and if you’re having trouble finding it, try a natural foods store as they tend to stock it more often than traditional grocery chains.
I love how sweet potato puree brings a little bit of extra heartiness and sweetness to baked goods that pumpkin doesn’t have.
The great raisin debate
I realize people either love or hate raisins. I love them in baked goods when I’m expecting them. An oatmeal raisin cookie is one of my favorite things (so long as it’s soft and chewy!) just don’t make me think it’s a chocolate chip cookie instead, that’s the ultimate disappointment upon first bite!
I think sweet potato and raisins are a classic combination and along with the cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice in these oat bran muffins, they’re perfect.
If you don’t love raisins, however, that’s totally fine.
Here are some ideas of other things to add instead:
- dried cranberries
- dried cherries
- dried blueberries
- sunflower seeds
- cacao nibs
- chocolate chips
Can I meal prep these muffins?
Yes! These are the perfect meal prep muffin recipe.
Check out the recipe notes where I explain the times these bran muffins will last at all temperatures. The good news is these can be eaten right away, stored in the fridge for a week or even frozen.
I love being able to freeze half the batch of this recipe so I don’t feel obligated to eat 12 muffins in a week. If you do freeze them, thaw in the refrigerator and then pop into the toaster oven to warm and crisp up.
These make a great addition to breakfast – maybe alongside a smoothie or crumbled over a yogurt bowl or even oatmeal. They also make a great snack – think 3pm with a cup of tea or afternoon coffee if that’s your thing.
Try them with a slather of nut butter for some extra fat to sustain you until your next meal.
More healthy muffin recipes to try:
- 1 1/4 cup oat bran
- 3/4 cup gluten-free flour (*see note)
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup sweet potato puree
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds + 6 tablespoons water
- 1/3 cup raisins
- Preheat oven to 400°F and grease a muffin tin.
- In a small bowl, combine flaxseeds and water, stir and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the oat bran, gluten-free flour, coconut sugar, salt, baking powder and spices.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, vanilla, sweet potato puree and almond milk.
- Add the flaxseed mixture (which should be thickened into a gel) to the wet ingredients and whisk again until incorporated.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir until just incorporated.
- Gently fold in the raisins.
- Scoop batter evenly into 12 greased muffin tins. Add a few more raisins on top of each muffin if desired.
- Bake for 18-22 minutes until muffins are set (toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean).
- Cool for a few minutes in the tin before transferring the muffins to a cooling rack.
- Store in an airtight container. At room temperature, muffins will last for 1-2 days. In the refrigerator, for about a week. In the freezer, for 1-2 months.
*If using a gluten-free flour that isn't labeled as a 1:1 baking mix, add 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum to the dry ingredients.