Carrot, Apple & Cranberry Vegan & Gluten-Free Muffins

Vegan and gluten-free muffins are tricky if – like many of us – you grew up in a just-add-milk-and-eggs-to-flour kind of world. Choosing a different food path for yourself is not an easy walk. Especially when, along the way, you encounter unpronounceable ingredients, expensive kitchen flops, and desperate cravings for soft fluffy muffins.

And dull choices. Way back in 1997 I decided to be a vegetarian. For the next decade eating out or buying take away pretty much guaranteed me a spinach- or butternut-and-feta-something.

I’m still recovering from that.

These days one can go out and choose from an amazing array of vegan, vegetarian, raw, sprouted, banting, gluten-free, superfood-filled, etceraaah, etceteraah… food. But it doesn’t detract from the enjoyment of baking your own fluffy muffins that you can proudly say are refined-sugar- and gluten-free.

For me, the best part is sharing them with my kid, knowing she is essentially eating carrot, apple, banana, almonds, and oats in muffin form, and I’m hopefully laying the foundation for her future cravings. Although, by the time she’s grown up, the world might have decided that vegetables are out and white flour is in…

*rolls eyes and grins mischievously*


P.S. This lovely one-bowl muffin recipe is by Minimalist Baker, just tweaked a little. (Her recipes are great!)

Carrot, Apple & Cranberry Vegan & Gluten-Free Muffins


  • 1 ½ Tbsp ground organic chia seeds
  • 3 ½ Tbsp water
  • 1/3 cup heaped mashed very ripe banana
  • ¾ cup grated apple (if organic, grate the peel, too)
  • 1 ¼ cup of grated carrot
  • ½ cup oat or almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup natural maple syrup (or honey if not vegan)
  • ¼ cup olive oil (good quality, like Rio Largo)
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries
  • ½ cup ground almonds (I ground my own – it was nut-butter-esque but it worked!)
  • 2/3 cup gluten-free oats
  • ½ cup organic coconut sugar
  • 1 heaped cup gluten-free flour (I used Health Connection Whole Foods)
  • 1 ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp desert salt (unrefined, like Oryx Desert Salt)
  • ¼ cup broken walnuts (optional)



  1. Preheat oven to 190°C and grease or line a 12-cup muffin tray.
  2. Stir the ground chia and water together in a large mixing bowl and allow to set for 5 minutes.
  3. Add mashed banana, grated apple, grated carrot, oat milk and vanilla, and combine.
  4. Add maple syrup, olive oil, dried cranberries, ground almonds, and oats and combine.
  5. Add coconut sugar, gluten-free flour, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, and salt, and whisk until combined.
  6. Scoop into muffin cups, dividing the mixture evenly. It should fill each cup to the brim. Sprinkle with walnuts if using them.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean*.
  8. Remove from oven and set aside until cool to touch. Then turn them out onto a grid or chopping board to cool completely.
  9. Store in a sealed container at room temperature for 2-3 days. Or freeze for a month (or probably longer).

* TIP from Minimalist Baker: When you press on the top it shouldn’t feel too spongey, so don’t be afraid of over baking! The GF blend just takes longer to bake.

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