Last autumn, I noticed a peculiar aroma wafting from my neighbor’s house every time I walked past in the mornings, afternoons, and evenings. It smelled warm, cozy, and comforting, just like fall-flavored cooking or baking, yet since it appeared that all of their windows were firmly closed, I had no idea where the delicious food smell was coming from.
Eventually, when we started chatting at our street’s Halloween block party, I finally asked about the enticing aroma. She laughed and revealed, “It’s my cinnamon-scented broom on the porch sitting next to our front door!” So fun and clever!
Of course, I completely forgot all about the broom after Thanksgiving once she redecorated their front porch for Christmas… Until this fall rolled around and she set it out once again in the beginning of October!
Just a couple of weeks after that, I actually spotted similar cinnamon-scented brooms at our local grocery store. I immediately stuck one in my shopping cart, and now my entire downstairs smells like a gigantic jumbo-sized cinnamon stick. It’s one of my favorite fall aromas and flavors!
Yet it’s not the only autumn flavor I love…
I’m also obsessed with the cranberry + orange flavor combination, like in these Healthy Cranberry Orange Oatmeal Muffins! It’s such a lovely pairing of deliciously sweet and bright tartness. (I wish fresh cranberries were available all year round… I love them that much!)
These healthy muffins supremely moist and tender, some of the softest and fluffiest I’ve ever eaten, yet they contain no refined flour or sugar! And they’re simple to make too!
HOW TO MAKE HEALTHY CRANBERRY ORANGE OATMEAL MUFFINS
So let’s go over how to make these healthy cranberry orange oatmeal muffins!
You’ll start with instant oats (like these—or these for gluten-free!). Instant oats are also called “quick cooking” or “one minute” oats. They’re smaller and thinner than traditional old-fashioned rolled oats, which helps make your healthy cranberry orange oatmeal muffins supremely tender because instant oats soften faster!
And you’ll start softening them ahead of time by mixing them with Greek yogurt, milk, and vanilla extract. The oats soak up the liquid in these three while you measure and mix together the rest of the ingredients. By doing this ahead of time, your healthy cranberry orange muffins rise properly and turn our really soft and fluffy!
Because you’re using so much Greek yogurt, you actually just need ½ tablespoon of butter or oil… Compared to the ¼ to ½ cup in traditional muffin recipes. (Yikes!) Greek yogurt adds the same moisture as extra butter or oil, and it also gives your muffins a protein boost, too. That really helps keep these healthy cranberry orange oatmeal muffins low in calories and fat!
Let’s skip over to the dry ingredients for a moment! You’ll whisk white whole wheat flour (like this!) with baking powder, baking soda, salt, and orange zest. The orange zest actually provides the majority of the citrus flavor in these healthy cranberry orange oatmeal muffins, so don’t skip it!
And yes—white whole wheat flour actually exists! It’s not a combination of white (aka “all-purpose”) flour and regular whole wheat flour. Instead, white whole wheat flour is made by finely grinding a special type of soft white wheat (hence the name!), whereas regular whole wheat flour comes from a heartier variety of red wheat. They have the same health benefits (like extra fiber!), but white whole wheat flour has a lighter taste and texture… And that lets the fruit flavor and soft texture of these muffins truly shine!
Like I previously mentioned, the orange zest provides the majority of the citrus flavor because the orange taste is so much more concentrated in the peel than in the juice, but you’ll still add some freshly squeezed orange juice to the batter! It adds a bit more flavor, and it provides these muffins with natural sweetness as well.
Then you’ll also mix in liquid stevia to boost the sweetness level in these healthy cranberry orange oatmeal muffins! Stevia is a plant-based, no-calorie sweetener that contains nothing refined or artificial (aka it’s clean eating friendly!). This is the kind that I use because I don’t notice any strange aftertaste like in some other stevia products, and I buy it online here because that’s the best price that I’ve found. (You’ll use it in all of these recipes of mine, too!)
Time for the other fruit component: the fresh cranberries! I prefer fresh over dried because I love their tart flavor—and because they contain no added refined sugar, like most dried cranberries do! To quickly chop them, I actually pulse them in my food processor. Super easy!
One last thing! Before adding your batter to the muffin tins, you must coat your muffin liners with nonstick cooking spray. Low fat batters, like with these healthy cranberry orange oatmeal muffins, tend to stick to muffin liners like superglue… But misting them with cooking spray first really helps the liners peel away much more easily!
Time for a delicious and healthy breakfast! And when you make your own, remember to snap a picture and share it on Instagram using #amyshealthybaking and tagging @amyshealthybaking IN the photo itself! (That guarantees I’ll see your picture! 🙂 ) I’d love to see your healthy cranberry orange oatmeal muffins!
Healthy Cranberry Orange Oatmeal Muffins
- ¾ cup (75g) instant oats (gluten free if necessary and measured like this)
- ½ cup (120g) plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- ¾ cup (210mL) nonfat milk, divided
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups (240g) white whole wheat flour or gluten free* flour (measured like this)
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 ½ tbsp (17g) freshly grated orange zest (about 2 extra large)
- ½ tbsp (7g) unsalted butter or coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
- 2 large egg whites, room temperature
- 1 ½ tsp liquid stevia
- ½ cup (120mL) freshly squeezed orange juice (about 1 extra large)
- 1 ½ cups (150g) whole fresh cranberries, diced
- Preheat the oven to 350°F, and coat 13 muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray. (If using liners, then line 13 muffins cups with liners and coat them with cooking spray.)
- In a medium bowl, stir together the oats, Greek yogurt, ¼ cup of milk, and vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk in the orange zest. In a third bowl, whisk together the butter, egg whites, and liquid stevia. Stir in the orange juice. Stir in the oat mixture, mixing until no large lumps remain. Alternate between adding the flour mixture and remaining ½ cup of milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture, and stirring just until incorporated. (For best results, add the flour mixture in 3 equal parts.) Gently fold in the cranberries.
- Divide the batter between the prepared muffin cups. Bake at 350°F for 23-26 minutes or until the top feels firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
View Nutrition Information + Weight Watchers Points
You may also like Amy’s other recipes…
♡ The Ultimate Healthy Cranberry Orange Muffins
♡ Healthy Cranberry Orange Scones
♡ Healthy Cranberry Orange Mini Muffins
♡ Healthy Cranberry Orange Oatmeal Scones
♡ Healthy Cranberry Orange Oatmeal Cookies
♡ Healthy Cranberry Orange Pound Cake
♡ Healthy Cranberry Orange Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
♡ …and the rest of Amy’s healthy oatmeal muffin recipes!