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Healthy Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins (Fruit-sweetened!)

These healthy pumpkin muffins are a delicious Fall treat, made with easy whole food ingredients. I love that they’re naturally sweetened with fruit and don’t require any flour or oil!

healthy pumpkin muffins fruit sweetened

I was inspired to make these muffins because I wanted my son to have something nut-free that he could pack in his school lunchbox. I didn’t want to send him off with something too sugary, so I relied on fruit as the sweetener in these muffins, and blended them together with rolled oats, pumpkin puree, and eggs for filling fiber and protein.

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Date-Sweetened Muffins

As you may know, I’m in love with using dates in my baked goods because I think they are the healthiest sweetener on the planet.

You can read more about why I think they are so good for you in my post on how to make date paste. And if you’re worried about the sugar in fruit, I hope you’ll check out my post on why I don’t limit my fruit intake.

healthy muffin batter in food processor

My 5-year-old is my ultimate “picky eater” right now, so trust that if he thinks these muffins are good… they’re good. Not just good for being a healthy treat, but good because they are delicious. I hope you’ll love them, too!

gluten free healthy pumpkin muffins

Optional Muffin Toppings & Add-Ins

I like to add some pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries into these muffins when serving them to adults, as they add a nice contrast of textures and flavors, but my kids won’t touch them that way, so I usually only sprinkle these additions on top. If you have more adventurous eaters, fold them into the batter– or just leave them out for a simple pumpkin muffin.

This recipe makes 7 full-size muffins, or 20 mini muffins. Feel free to double the recipe if you want to fill a standard 12-cup muffin tin.

healthy mini muffins

I like to make these in a mini muffin tin for my kids, since they don’t eat huge portions as it is, so I’ve included the baking time for that in the recipe notes below.

5 from 6 votes
Healthy Pumpkin Muffins (Gluten-free & Fruit-sweetened)
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

These healthy pumpkin muffins are naturally gluten-free and nut-free, and make the perfect treat for a school lunch. I love that they are sweetened with fruit, and are made without added flour or oil.

Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: fruit sweetened, gluten free, muffin, pumpkin
Servings: 7
Calories: 82 kcal
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup Medjool dates , pitted (6 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Optional Add-Ins
  • 1/3 cup dried fruit (like raisins or cranberries)
  • 1/4 cup hulled pumpkin seeds
Instructions
  1. Line a muffin tin with 7 muffin cups (I use these silicone liners) and preheat your oven to 350ºF. Place the dates in a large food processor fitted with an S blade, and process them until broken down slightly. It's okay if they form a ball.

  2. Use a spatula to break up the dates if they have formed a ball, then add in the pumpkin, water, salt, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla, and egg. Process again until smooth.

  3. Add in the oats and baking soda to the mixture and process again, until a batter is formed. If the batter appears very thick, you can add 1-2 more tablespoons of water to help thin it out a bit. Fold in the dried fruit and seeds, if you want to add them for added texture. (Omit if you have picky kids that don't like texture.)

  4. Use a 1/4 cup to scoop the batter into the lined muffin cups. Bake until the muffins have risen and feel firm when you lightly touch them in the center, about 20 to 22 minutes. Let them cool for at least 20 minutes in the pan before serving.

  5. Muffins can be stored at room temperature for a couple of days, but for best shelf life I recommend storing them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week.

Recipe Notes

Note: I love making these muffins in a mini muffin tin for my kids. This recipe makes about 20 mini muffins, and I bake them at 350ºF for 13 minutes in that case.

Per muffin (without add-ins): Calories: 82, Fat: 1g, Carbohydrates: 17g, Fiber: 2g, Protein: 2g

Recipe Notes:

  • I haven’t tested a vegan version of this recipe yet, but you might be able to use a flax or chia egg instead of the real egg. Please leave a comment below if you try it!
  • If you don’t have enough dates to make this recipe, you can use some banana in their place, but that will change the flavor a bit. As always, if you experiment, please leave a comment below letting us all know what worked for you!

Reader Feedback: Do you have any nut-free recipes to share for school lunches? Please share in the comments below!

These Healthy Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins are gluten-free and naturally-sweetened with fruit. They are oil-free, nut-free, and perfect for school lunches! #nutfree #schoollunchideas #oatmeal #pumpkin #Fallbaking

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Comments

Erin @ Texanerin Baking

I just made these and love them! They were listed under my suggested content on Chrome and I handed over the baby to my husband and made them immediately. 😀 I was hoping to share with my 10-month old, but they were way too sweet for him (I haven’t given him anything sweet yet) so I get them all to myself. 😉 I’ll play with the recipe and see if I can halve the dates but if I can’t get that to work, I’m happy with making them just for me. And I love that there’s no coconut in there! I try not to eat coconut every day but it’s one of the few fats I can have so it’s hard. Thanks for the recipe!

Erin @ Texanerin Baking

I forgot to say that I used a chia egg and it worked great! My muffins were gummy but I’m pretty sure that’s because I used soaked (and dried) oats and I haven’t really figured how to bake with them yet.

Becky Twiford

I have a question about the amount of dates the recipe calls for…6 oz. or 3/4 cup. I used my scale, and 12 oz was about 21 dates (I’m doubling the recipe). If I had used a measuring cup I’m sure I would have used much less for 3/4 cup. What are your thoughts on the amount of dates? Thanks!

    Megan Gilmore

    If you tightly pack the 3/4 cup with the dates the ounces almost always work out to be 6 ounces by weight for me. And in past experience I’ve measured a 1/2 cup to be 4 ounces when it’s a tightly-packed cup, so I would generally guesstimate that each 1/4 cup of tightly packed dates is about 2 ounces. But you don’t have to be super precise about it! I just include the measurements because some people don’t use cups to measure. This recipe is pretty forgiving. If you loosely put them in the measuring cup the recipe will just be slightly less sweet, but still muffin-like!

Paula Ford Amador

Absolutely wonderful! I topped mine with a pinch of light brown sugar, dried cranberries and seeds and pecans and baked in mini muffin tins. This should be on The Best Thing I Ever Ate!! Thanks for sharing!

christine

Well, you know you have hit the jackpot when kids are stealing muffins off the counter!
Thanks, Megan for another yummy recipe.

Lourdes

I have made them twice in 1 week! They became my breakfast with coffee to go! I baked mini muffins for my toddler and he love them too! I used sweet potatoes instead og pumpkin cos i only had very little pumpkin puree left, so i combined both and taste delicious! Where did you get the spoon to scoop them?

Linda Niesner

I cannot believe your son is 5! I have been following along for that many years?!?! Time flies.

P.s. I knew I should have bought pumpkin purée today.

Rachel

Would these work with steel cut oats or rolled oats? I don’t have any quick oats on hand and would love to make these.

    Monica

    I used rolled oats and they came out great.

Jan G

Hi I want to try these muffins but I cannot seem to find Pumpkin Puree. I have canned pumpkin, not pie filling, and it can be used for all types of baking. Is this okay to use?

Monica

I love these! I added frozen raspberries instead of dried cranberries and they came out amazing! I find these they taste even better cold straight from the fridge.

DP

Love these muffins. I added 1/8 cup cocoa powder instead of pumpkin pie spice and chocolate chips instead of dried fruit. I like the oatmeal muffins better than the Paleo Double Chocolate Pumpkin muffins since almond butter does not always agree with my digestion.

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