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Healthy Oatmeal Carrot Muffins

Healthy Oatmeal Carrot Muffins made with whole grain oats instead of flour, and sweetened with fruit! This wholesome muffin recipe is marvelous for eating with breakfast or as a healthy snack.

Plate of carrot muffins sprinkled with flaked coconut.

These flourless carrot muffins are loaded with fresh ingredients for a healthier muffin recipe that you’ll want to keep on constant rotation for weekday snacks or grab-and-go breakfasts.

While I confess I do love muffins that taste like actual cake, I try to keep my baked goods mindful in spite of temptation. 

Which is what we’re getting into with these healthy carrot muffins. 

All of the classic ingredients for carrot cake are included in these whole grain muffins, but we’re keeping it lower in sugar and fat. 

Ideal for those who enjoy cooking and baking with whole foods, these muffins are not designed to taste like actual cake, but they do make a lovely wholesome treat.

The sweetness of the muffins comes entirely from fruit, although I have included an added sweetener option for those who enjoy sweeter muffins.

If you follow a grain-free diet, make my Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins, which are made with almond flour.

Also be sure to check out my Healthy Oatmeal Chocolate Banana Muffins if you enjoy health-conscious baked goods made with oats.

Plate of carrot muffins with fresh carrots and an apple in the background.

Let’s discuss the simple ingredients for this healthy carrot cake muffin recipe.

Ingredients for Healthy Carrot Muffins:

Quick Oats: Rather than using regular all purpose flour, we infuse these healthier muffins with complex carbs from oats. Use quick cooking oats, instant oats or old fashioned rolled oats. They get pulverized in a blender to make flour.

Unsweetened Applesauce or Ripe Bananas: Used to add natural sweetness and moisture to the muffins, we need either unsweetened applesauce or ripe bananas.

I have a slight preference for the banana version because the muffins turn out sweeter. If you use apple sauce, I recommend also adding some sweetener.

Carrots: The all star ingredient! Fresh carrots get grated up and mixed into these muffins for added texture, sweetness, and fiber.

Because we need two cups of grated carrots, I recommend buying a bag of pre-shredded carrots if you want to save time.

Eggs: We need a couple chicken eggs to help the muffins rise for a fluffy texture.

I haven’t tested the recipe using an egg replacer like flax eggs but I suspect the muffins would turn out very dense unless other changes are made.

If possible, bring the eggs to room temperature prior to starting the recipe.

Avocado Oil: A little avocado oil gives these muffins a moist crumb. You can replace it with melted butter, olive oil, vegetable oil, or coconut oil if you’d prefer. 

Brown Sugar (Optional): Used to sweeten the muffins a touch. Use your favorite granulated sugar, including regular white sugar, coconut sugar, maple sugar, brown sugar, or sugar-free sweetener like monk fruit sweetener.

I make the muffins without any added sweetener, but I have included a sweetener option in the recipe card because I believe most people prefer their muffins sweeter than I do.

Baking Powder: The leavening agent here. Baking powder helps the muffin batter rise and ensures the muffins bake evenly.

Ground Cinnamon, Ground Ginger, Sea Salt: Cinnamon and ginger are warming spices that bring lovely flavor to the muffins. Sea salt enhances all of the flavors. Be sure to include it!

Shredded Coconut, Chopped Walnuts, Raisins: Additional carrot cake goodies that make this treat lots of fun!

If you aren’t into one of these ingredients, feel free to skip it. You won’t need to make any other changes to the recipe. I love the sweet and nutty flavor these three ingredients bring.

Note that leaving out the juicy raisins will decrease the sweetness of the muffins so I’d recommend adding the optional sweetener if you omit the raisins.

Recipe Customizations:

  • For sweeter muffins, use 1/2 cup of brown sugar and 1/4 cup of avocado oil.
  • Frost the muffins with your favorite store bought or homemade cream cheese frosting. Make my Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting for a plant-based option. As an alternative, you can make a powdered sugar glaze.
  • Use 1 3/4 cups of a gluten-free flour blend or regular oat flour rather than using oats.

Now that we’ve covered the basic ingredients for this healthy muffin recipe, let’s make it!

How to Make Healthy Oatmeal Carrot Muffins:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a muffin tin with paper liners. You can also spray the muffin holes with cooking spray.

Transfer the oats to a high powered blender and blend for 60 seconds, or until a flour forms.

Rolled oats in a blender, ready to be blended into a flour.

Add the applesauce (or mashed bananas) to a large bowl along with the eggs, oil, brown sugar (if adding), and vanilla extract. Mix until the wet ingredients are completely combined.

Mixing bowl with mashed banana and eggs

Stir the oat flour, baking powder, sea salt, ground cinnamon, and ground ginger (dry ingredients) into the batter.

Transfer the remaining ingredients (grated carrot, shredded coconut, chopped nuts, and raisins to the mixing bowl and stir everything together.

grated carrots and chopped pecans on top of muffin batter.

Transfer the muffin batter to the muffin pan, filling the holes all the way up. If desired, sprinkle the top of the muffins with extra shredded coconut or chopped nuts.

Muffin tray with muffin batter inside, sprinkled with flaked coconut.

Bake on the center rack of the preheated oven for 22 to 28 minutes, or until muffins are golden brown on top and test clean.

Muffins in a muffin tray, ready to eat.

A great way of telling whether or not muffins are fully cooked is by taking the internal temperature.

To do so, insert a digital thermometer into the center of a muffin and wait until the numbers stop moving. The muffin is fully cooked if it has reached 190 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. 

Allow the muffins to cool completely before attempting to peel off a muffin paper to eat for the best results. If you try peeling off the muffin papers before the muffins have cooled, you’ll lose a decent amount of muffin to the paper.

Muffin tin with baked carrot muffins inside, fresh out of the oven.

Store muffins in a large zip lock bag or airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

You can freeze muffins in a freezer bag for up to 3 months.

The muffin form of traditional carrot cake? Let’s go!

These healthy muffins are a great source of whole grains, fruit, and dietary fiber. 

Stack of carrot muffins on a white plate, ready to eat.

This carrot muffin recipe is the perfect healthy breakfast alongside some form of protein like Greek yogurt, or afternoon snack. It is one of those great recipes you’ll want to put on repeat due to its lovely taste and healthier ingredients.

The next time you’re craving a tasty treat without refined sugars, bake a batch of these gluten-free carrot muffins!

If you enjoy healthy muffin recipes, also try out these favorites.

More Healthy Muffin Recipes:

Have your carrot cake muffins and eat them too!

Plate of carrot muffins sprinkled with flaked coconut.

Healthy Oatmeal Carrot Muffins

Whole grain carrot muffins made with all healthy ingredients! Lower in sugar and fat than regular muffins and a great source of complex carbs and fiber.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
12 Muffins

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a muffin tin with paper liners. You can also spray the muffin holes with cooking spray.
  • Transfer the oats to a high powered blender and blend for 60 seconds, or until a flour forms.
  • Add the applesauce (or mashed bananas) to a large bowl along with the eggs, oil, brown sugar (if adding), and vanilla extract. Mix until the wet ingredients are completely combined.
  • Stir the oat flour, baking powder, sea salt, ground cinnamon, and ground ginger (dry ingredients) into the batter.
  • Transfer the remaining ingredients (grated carrot, shredded coconut, chopped nuts, and raisins to the mixing bowl and stir everything together.
  • Transfer the muffin batter to the muffin pan, filling the holes all the way up. If desired, sprinkle the top of the muffins with extra shredded coconut or chopped nuts.
  • Bake on the center rack of the preheated oven for 22 to 28 minutes, or until muffins are golden brown on top and test clean.
  • A great way of telling whether or not muffins are fully cooked is by taking the internal temperature. To do so, insert a digital thermometer into the center of a muffin and wait until the numbers stop moving. The muffin is fully cooked if it has reached 190 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
  • Allow the muffins to cool completely before attempting to peel off a muffin paper to eat for the best results. If you try peeling off the muffin papers before the muffins have cooled, you’ll lose a decent amount of muffin to the paper.

Notes

*You can also use two large ripe bananas (mashed), which should be about 1 cup of mashed banana. As an alternative, blend up 1 cup of pineapple chunks and use pineapple puree.
**I typically leave out the brown sugar. Use up to ½ cup of sugar for sweeter muffins.

Nutrition

Serving: 1muffin (of 12)Calories: 224kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 6gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 263mgFiber: 4gSugar: 8g
Course: Breakfast, Muffins
Cuisine: American
Keyword: gluten free muffins, healthy breakfast, healthy carrot muffins, healthy muffin recipes, healthy oatmeal recipe, healthy snack, oats
Servings: 12 Muffins
Calories: 224kcal
Author: Julia

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Recipe Rating




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Miriam

Tuesday 5th of March 2024

Super yummy! Lightly sweet and deliciously spiced. My one comment is that I feel like I can taste a bit of bitterness from the baking powder. Would it be okay to reduce it?

Julia

Thursday 7th of March 2024

Hi Miriam! You can reduce the baking powder to 1 teaspoon :) The muffins may not be quite as fluffy but they will still have a lovely texture. I would also recommend increasing the sweetener if you're okay with it - Just a couple tablespoons of brown sugar will help liven up the flavor and cover the bitterness. xo

Karra

Friday 16th of February 2024

Could you please send me the receipt. Thank you

Julia

Friday 16th of February 2024

Hi Karra! The recipe is just above this comments section. For easy access, you can click the "Jump To Recipe" button at the top of the page, and you'll be taken right there. Let me know if you have any other questions! xo

Bug

Thursday 15th of February 2024

Could I use coconut oil instead of avocado?

Julia

Friday 16th of February 2024

Hi there! Yes, melted coconut oil works great! You can also use melted butter, olive oil, or vegetable oil. I mentioned this in the post because I assumed some folks would want replacement options :) Happy baking! xo

Kathy Banjavcic

Friday 16th of February 2024

@Bug, I googled this and it looks like you can use them interchangeably in baking :) Smoke point and taste are the differences. (Smoke point more important when frying/cooking).

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