Blueberry Muffins

Lemon zest and cardamom give these Blueberry Muffins their amazing flavor and aroma. Oat and millet flours produce a muffin that is hearty and filling, and dates and applesauce lend sweetness and moistness without the use of sugar and oil.


12 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped (about 1-1/2 cups or 8 ounces)
1 cup non-dairy milk
1-½ cups old fashioned rolled oats
¾ cup millet
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ cup applesauce
1 teaspoon lemon zest, packed
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (if frozen, do not thaw first)
½ cup roughly chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350. In a small bowl, cover the chopped dates with the non-dairy milk and set aside (so the dates may soften).

2. Grind oats and millet into a flour in your blender (a high-speed blender will do a finer job) and place into a mixing bowl. Add the baking powder and cardamom to this and stir with a fork.

3. Place the dates and non-dairy milk into a blender and blend until smooth. Add this date mixture to the bowl of dry ingredients along with the applesauce and lemon zest, and mix with a spoon until all the dry ingredients have disappeared.

4. Gently fold in the blueberries and chopped walnuts. Spoon the batter into a silicone muffin pan (see photo below) or parchment muffin papers in a metal pan, filling each muffin cup about 3/4 full. (Since the batter has no oil, I have found that regular cupcake papers tend to stick to the muffins).

5. Bake for 30 minutes. The muffins will be done when the tops have begun to brown and cracks appear, and when a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for at least 15 to 20 minutes before removing.

Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking: 30 minutes
Makes: 1 dozen muffins


Berry appeal: The blueberries tend to sink down into the batter during cooking, so I like to push a few blueberries into the top of each cup just before baking (make sure they’re pushed in though, or they will roll off during rising).

Cardamom: If you’ve never used cardamom, I urge you to seek some out; it’s a wonderfully aromatic spice that is used quite a bit in Indian cooking. You can buy it pre-ground or in seed form (the seeds are black). I like to buy the seeds and ground them myself since this results a bigger flavor and aroma. Cardamom can be found wherever spices are sold.

Millet: I do not use any glutinous grains in my recipes, so usually opt for oats and, to a lesser degree, millet when baking. Millet helps balance any gumminess that often results from just using oats alone. Millet also gives baked goods a more cakey and slightly crunchy texture (even when finely ground), which I love. So, as with cardamom above, if you’ve not used millet, give it a try, you will like it.


Above: These muffins are hearty, and ideal to take with you when you want a quick bite that will fill your belly for a while, such as when traveling or hiking.


Above: Silicone bakeware is made from food-grade silicone plastic to withstand the heat of the oven and does not harm food. A silicone muffin pan is especially convenient since oil should be avoided (to grease the muffin cups). To remove the muffins, simply press up from the bottom of the pan to pop each muffin out. They also make single-serve silicone muffin cups (right), as well as silicone muffin papers.


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  1. Chris Wallace says

    Hi Cathy! I just found some parchment paper cupcake liners and decided to make some blueberry muffins so now I will use your recipe. Sounds like a good one. Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Chris, ooh, I didn’t know they made those! Cool! I will look for them. :) Let me know if they worked well and if so, what kind they were.

  2. Kathleen says

    These look wonderful! I need to pick up some millet and will let you know how they come out! I use the Paper Chef brand parchment baking cups. I can get 60 at my local grocer for under $2. Not sure why so pricey on Amazon, but here is the link:
    Lastly, just made your oatmeal lemon pancakes which are a fave of my husband and I :)

  3. Kathleen says

    I made them this a.m. and they came out wonderful! I tweaked the recipe and subbed cinnamon for the cardamon. Not the best at measuring, but was probably 1 tsp. Also used a little more lemon zest.

  4. says

    Ohhh man, these are GOOD! Thanks so much for sharing. :) I used a regular old muffin/cupcake tin “greased” with a bit of coconut oil – no issue getting them out at all. Salud! XO

  5. Liv says

    OMG. These are so good. I love the texture of the ground millet. They have instantly become my favourite muffin! I love cardamom so used 3/4 tsp. instead of 1/2. I had to use about 18 Medjool dates to obtain the 1 1/2 cups. I used kitchen shears to cut them into pieces before covering them with the non-dairy milk. I plan on reworking my previous favourite muffin recipe (Cranberry Banana Oat Muffins) so they are wheat, oil and salt free as well by using millet, applesauce and dates. Thank you so much for your great cooking ideas and your emails. Your Chickpea and Avocado spread has become a favourite as well.

    • says

      Hi Michelle, I’ve never used date syrup; but maybe do a 1/2 cup of date syrup and a half cup of milk, and then after mixing with the dry, check the sweetness and texture to see if you need to add more of either. :)

  6. charis says

    Hi Cathy, I am very confused. I have Celiac Disease and have learned that all grains have gluten. Can I substitute buckwheat, coconut flour, sweet potatoe flour, or almond flour and get simular baking results? I got better not eating wheat, barley or rye but still did not get well. Just a warning about so called “gluten free”. All grains do have gluten.

  7. Monica says

    Hi Kathy–any suggestions for sub for the millet flour? I have brown rice, sorghum, and spelt (I know not gf). I love the idea of using cardamon in these and use it often in stir frys.

    • says

      Hi Monica, I think any of those would work. The millet gives it a bit of a crunch, so if you want to add some cornmeal, you could also do that along with some other flour. :)

  8. Kathy G says

    Cathy, I can’t wait to try these! I just happen to have millet and cardamom on hand. I like the idea that millet adds crunch.

  9. Linden says

    These turned out MEGA AWESOME. I used fresh cardamon. I ground it myself. I also used silicone muffin liners. I would say I used about 20 dates. I couldn’t find medjool dates so I just used the ones from the bulk bin, then weighed 8 ozs and did it that way. They are really SOO SOO good! I thought the batter was a bit too thick when mixing them but NOPE, You really hit this one out of the ball park. Great recipe! Signed: A Vegan Foodie : L )

  10. Chris Wallace says

    Hi Cathy, I finally made these muffins and they turned out perfect. It was the first time I used the parchment liners and they worked great. I cut the dates with kitchen scissors and used unsweetened almond milk and grated a lemon rind with a microplane for the zest. Love the flavor of these muffins. I wonder if it would work to substitute quinoa for the millet? (just in case). There was enough dough to fill each liner near the brim instead of 3/4 full. The applesauce and blueberries really make these moist and the millet gives them a crunchy texture. Will make them again. Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Chris, that’s wonderful! :) If you grind the quinoa first it would probably work, or put in cooked quinoa like I do in the quinoa-cornbread recipe. Thanks for the feedback! 😉

      • Gaminee says

        I subbed in dry quinoa and used steel cut oats bc that’s what I had. Worked out great. Made a soft moist inner part and still had crunch on the crust. Used my dry bottle with the Vitamix to make the flour.

  11. J Lavin says

    These muffins are super flavorful!! Love the crunchiness of the millet. Have made them twice so far and both times a big hit with family and friends! Thank you Cathy for coming up with yet another delicious plant based – no SOS recipe!!!

  12. Charlotte Martin says

    Loved this recipe. I have been using the FOK Cookbook recipe “Oatberry Yogurt Muffins”, but this may be my new best muffin recipe. I loved your little hints: I have a silicone muffin pan and relegated it to a dark corner of the cabinet. Your hint about leaving the muffins in the pan for 30 minutes and pop them out from the bottom, worked so well! I loved grinding my own flour in my new dry container of my Vitamix. Thank you Cathy!!!!!

  13. Kathy G says

    I made these last night. Wow! I love them. The millet really adds some nice texture and I love the hint of lemon. Best part is they are super easy to make. The date/milk mixture was ambrosia by itself! I scraped every bit out of the blender.
    I did weigh the dates and found I had to use about 6 more to make 8 oz. I was afraid I might be “cheating.” But, oh so good!

  14. Gynetha says

    Cathy, I purchased silicone individual muffin cups because I was unable to find the tin or parchment papers. Do I put them in a regular muffin tin or just out on a baking sheet? I can’t wait to try your blueberry muffins tomorrow!
    A new loyal fan, Gynetha

  15. Pamela says

    I followed the directions to a tee but the muffins didn’t turn out well at all. The date/milk mixture was rather thick, and I think made the mixture heavy. The muffins didn’t rise at all. I can’t imagine what could have gone wrong.

  16. Jeff Sadler says

    Very nice work on this recipe!!! My wife and grandkids love these muffins. (I must confess I enjoy then greatly myself) Thanks for sharing your wonderful talents

  17. Kathy says

    I absolutely think these are the best tasting muffins. They are quite simply Delightful. It is so easy to eat healthy with a bit of effort!

    When I don’t have dates, I use a bit of maple syrup and 1/2 cup more applesauce, and a bit a vanilla extract too.

    Thank you for the wonderful website and recipes.


  18. Emily says

    I’ve made these many times and I think they are great! I don’t have cardamom so I replace with cinnamon and I use a rounded 1/2 cup of applesauce so they are moist. Today I experimented a bit more and used raspberries in place of blueberries and orange zest for lemon. They also turned out great. I can’t make them often because I have a hard time limiting the number I eat. Thanks Cathy!

  19. Pattie says

    Just letting everyone know, these are great. Made them in a silcone pan and barely had a problem removing them. Of course, that way, you don’t have to add any oils. I think next time a few more dates, maybe mine were smaller, but will make these over and over again in the future. Oh I when my peach trees produce, I want to make these with peach instead of blueberries.

  20. Megan says

    Is there a different fruit that would taste good in them? I don’t have blueberries on hand. I have oranges, bananas, apples. In fact my kids just finished all the strawberries :) thanks!

  21. Sandy says

    Hi Cathy, found this recipe on the Forks over Knives website and the muffins are great! Since that day,I have tried many of your recipes and they are all fantastic. Thanks for your inspiring website-enjoying cooking again!

  22. JS says

    These muffins turned out very well. I halved the recipe and was able to get 20 mini muffins. I greased my metal muffin tin, and they slid right out of the tray. I used about 10 dates since I like my muffins sweet.

  23. Diann McMillen says

    I am eating my second piece. I had everything mixed up and didn’t have any muffin papers so I put the mixture into a 8×8 cake pan lined with parchment paper. I cooked the 12 extra minutes and feel they still may be a tiny bit soft in the middle. I will certainly try them again with muffin papers. The taste is very good and the texture is great. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  24. Deborah says

    Can’t wait to make this especially after reading all the comments! I had to buy the oats and millet pre-ground as I have no means to do so myself. Do you happen to have measurements available for the oats and millet in a ground state? or even weight measurements in their pre-ground state? Thank you so much

  25. says

    Late to the party but we’ve made these twice already; we love them! My husband took some to work and one of the random people walking by tracked him down to say how much she loved them.

  26. Lisa says

    Just made these. They are excellent!! The only thing I substituted was quinoa for the millet. I had a slight panicky moment when I tossed the quinoa in and realized I hadn’t washed it. Since quinoa tends to be bitter, I was concerned, but they taste great. Everyone in the family loves them!

  27. JCB says

    These are by far the best no fat muffins I have tried. I subbed almond meal because I was out of rolled oats and used ordinary paper (not parchment) muffin liners from WF and had no trouble with sticking. I heated them gently before removing paper liners and they came right off. Having just replenished my rolled oats, I will give that version a try.
    Thanks for another great recipe.

  28. F&K says

    I made this with my daughter, but since we didn’t have millet, we used FLAXSEED FLOUR instead (good source of Omega-3 & fiber) We added a teaspoon of HONEY to the whole mixture (pp w/ diabetes can use “Agave Nectar”), and they came out DELICIOUS !! :-)

  29. Jennifer says

    These are wonderful. I made them last night for my family and they got rave reviews! I didn’t do muffins however because I didn’t have any liners that would work so I just lined a 9 x 11 glass pan with parchment paper and baked it like bars for 35 minutes at 350. Cut them once cooled for 20 minutes. Turned out great. My daughter wants me to make them again. Thanks for all the great recipes. I just found your website about 2 weeks ago and am having a blast trying the new recipes – such a help for me on the road to healthy eating!

  30. Brian says

    Tweaked this slightly by adding 1/4 cup more applesauce, reducing some dates, adding a handful of organic raisins, subbing cardamom for cinnamon and two drops of vanilla to take away the raw taste of the flours. The result is more delicious than I can say. Thanks for the recipe.!

  31. Laurel says

    I have the muffins in the oven right now, o-m-g! My house has never smelled so good.
    Thanks so much!

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