Gluten-Free Banana Oat Muffins

Oats. For a long time this was a word that I dismissed quickly, casting it aside and throwing it in the “not-for-me” – deep sigh – bucket whenever I heard someone talk about it or whenever it appeared in a recipe. I cringed at how unfair it was that, just because this super-healthy grain contained a small amount of gluten, it was off-limits to me.

Well, not anymore! Ha.

I realize, of course, that I’m a little late in making this triumphant statement. Gluten-free oats have been available on the market for some time now, but I’ve been afraid of trying them. They were off-limits for such a long time that, once they became available, I walked by the packages glancing at their “gluten-free” announcement with a dubious eye…was this a marketing ploy? I mean, how can you extract gluten from something that naturally contains it?

I still don’t know the answer to that question, but I am happy to announce that I took the leap, bought the questionable oats, and tried them. I loved them. And so did my body! I don’t know how they did it, but they got the gluten out. Really.

So, I can now (gleefully) state that oats, dear reader, are back in my kitchen. Along with all their high-fiber, cancer-fighting, heart-promoting, immune-enhancing benefits. Life is good.

Gluten-Free Banana Oat Muffins, adapted from half-baked baker’s recipe

The second I knew oats were back on the table, I found myself experimenting. I started looking around for inspiration and recipes and was thrilled to find a recipe for oat muffins that called for no flour other than oat flour! I am always trying to find ways to bake gluten-free with less highly refined flour, but it’s hard to do since all the very-white very-refined flours (like cornstarch or tapioca starch or potato flour) are what give gluten-free baked goods their light quality.

I immediately tried this recipe and was delighted with the results. You can even make your own oat flour from gluten-free oats by milling them in a food processor (1.5 cups oats equals about 1 cup oat flour).

These banana oat muffins are packed full of nutrients with 4 grams of fiber, 10% of your daily iron requirement, and 9% of your daily need for calcium in each one. I replaced the oil with unsweetened organic applesauce, so there is no saturated fat!

1 1/4 cup gluten-free rolled oats
1/2 cup yogurt, plain low fat
1/2 cup milk, low fat
1 1/2 cups gluten-free oat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 bananas, large, ripe, mashed
1 egg, large, lightly beaten
1/2 cup lightly toasted chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

In a bowl, mix together the gluten-free rolled oats, yogurt, and milk. Let soak 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mix oat flour, salt, spices, baking powder, and baking soda in another bowl. In yet a third bowl, mix brown sugar, applesauce, mashed bananas, and egg. Add egg mixture to dry ingredients and mix well. Add to the rolled oats mixture. Gently fold in the walnuts. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 2/3 full (they may end up being a little more than 2/3 full in order to use up all the batter, which is fine). Bake for 20 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.

Eat warm out of the oven!

These will last about a week if kept in a sealed container and are delicious after a couple days reheated and served with butter and honey. Enjoy!


  1. The answer to your question? Oats - the grains themselves - are ALWAYS gluten-free, and always have been. Theirs is a cross-contamination problem.

    The "marketing" is that they are processed on gluten-free equipment.

    The other "regular" oats are often processed on equipment that has been deliberately dusted with wheat flour to prevent the oats from sticking to the machines!

    Great recipe! will be trying!

  2. Hi Lili, thanks for that clarification! I've read so many articles that say that oats themselves contain gluten that the grain has always made me a little weary. I'm glad to hear it's not the oats themselves, but the way they are processed that is the problem.

    Thanks again for writing. Hope you enjoy the recipe!


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