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Muffins meet oatmeal in these moist and tasty grab-and-go oatmeal cups. The nutty flavor of the pecans and the sweetness from fresh blueberries and banana make for an extra-tasty snack or breakfast. Make a batch on the weekend and keep them in your fridge or freezer for quick and easy breakfasts all week. Reheat in the microwave for about 40 seconds. This healthy muffin recipe is a variation on our popular Baked Banana-Nut Oatmeal Cups by Carolyn Casner.

EatingWell.com, March 2021; updated in September 2022

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Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary

active:
15 mins
total:
50 mins
Servings:
12
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Here's how we made over this recipe to be healthy and diabetes-friendly:

1. We know that high amounts of added sugar can have a negative impact on blood sugar. That's why we kept the brown sugar in this recipe to ⅓ cup and used fresh fruit, cinnamon and vanilla extract to sweeten these oatmeal cups. Traditional muffin recipes typically have double the amount of sugar, making them more like dessert than a healthy breakfast or snack option.

2. Rolled oats are an excellent source of fiber, specifically soluble fiber, which can help stabilize blood sugar levels and boost satiety. Each muffin supplies ¼ cup of rolled oats, so you'll be getting a whopping 4 grams of fiber with each serving.

3. The muffin tin is more than a vessel to cook these oatmeal cups, it also doubles-down as a way to have individual portions at the ready. This takes the stress out of measuring, makes snack time or breakfast time easy and helps you avoid over—or under—eating. 

4. Cutting back on added sugar doesn't mean you have to cut back on flavor. For a flavor boost, we added ground cinnamon and vanilla extract as well as blueberries, bananas and pecans. The variety ensures you'll get a naturally sweet and delicious bite every time.

Tips from the EatingWell Test Kitchen

Can I use quick-cooking oats in place of the rolled oats?

Yes, you can use quick oats in place of rolled oats. The two are fairly interchangeable in baked goods recipes. The major difference between them is texture. Rolled oats are a bit thicker and have a larger surface area than quick oats. So if you do use quick-cooking oats, the oatmeal cups won't have the distinctive texture that comes with using rolled oats. But that will be the only noticeable difference, so swap away!

I prefer plant-based milks, can I substitute one for the low-fat milk in this recipe?

We like plant-based milks, too! While we didn't experiment with using them in this recipe, we see no reason why a 1-to-1 substitution wouldn't work here. Our recommendation is to choose a plain, unsweetened plant-based milk. Flavorings and sweeteners will affect not only the nutrition, but also the taste.

Can I use an egg substitute for the eggs?

If you've got a carton of egg replacement in your refrigerator and want to use it up, these oatmeal cups would be a good way to do that. Refer to the package on how much you'll need to replace the two large eggs called for in this recipe. You can also substitute with a flaxseed or chia seed egg: Mix 1 tablespoon chia seed or ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons water and let stand until thickened, about 5 minutes. Note that this will alter the nutritional profile of the recipe a bit.

I love using spices, could others be added here?

Our spice cabinet is our happy place too, and we love incorporating spices into dishes in new, fun ways. Tap into your creative cooking side and add the spices you love! Since spices don't contribute much in the way of nutrition, they're a fun way to add flavor without impacting blood sugar. Dried ground nutmeg, cloves, five-spice powder or ginger would be a great addition here.

If I don't have a muffin pan, could I use something else to bake this?

Since this recipe is similar to baked oatmeal, you could bake the mixture in an 8-inch-square baking dish, using the same time and temperature. Start checking for doneness at about 20 minutes and be sure to cool in the pan before serving.

Would it be possible to use a sugar substitute for the brown sugar?

If you prefer to use a sugar substitute for this recipe, then we say go for it. But keep in mind that a little bit of sugar, especially when paired with other whole foods, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables, is totally fine for people with or without diabetes. If you choose to use a sugar alternative, we recommend using one designed for baking and referencing the package for making the appropriate substitution.

Can I use other fruit in place of the blueberries? 

Great idea! Yes, you can absolutely use other fruit in this recipe. Substitute an equal amount of other berries, such as raspberries or blackberries. Diced strawberries or ripe stone fruits like peaches and cherries would also be delicious here. If you can't find fresh, you can opt for frozen, but thaw and drain well before folding into the batter. If you use canned, choose one that is canned with its juices rather than a syrup, and drain and pat dry before using.

I have a nut allergy, can I omit them? Or use a seed or other nut if I prefer?

Absolutely! The nuts in this recipe are for flavor and aren't crucial to the recipe, so feel free to omit them. However, if you're looking for a bit of extra crunch and don't have an allergy to them, pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds would be a great substitute. No need to chop them; they can just be added directly to the batter. Note that this swap will alter the nutritional profile of the recipe a bit.

How long do these keep for? And can I freeze them?

Yes, indeed! Wrap each oatmeal cup and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Coat a muffin tin with cooking spray.

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  • Combine oats, milk, bananas, brown sugar, eggs, baking powder, cinnamon, vanilla and salt in a large bowl. Fold in blueberries and pecans. Divide the mixture between the muffin cups (about 1/3 cup each). Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Nutrition Facts

1 muffin
181 calories; fat 6g; cholesterol 33mg; sodium 124mg; carbohydrates 28g; dietary fiber 3g; protein 5g; sugars 12g; saturated fat 1g; vitamin a iu 127IU.
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