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Heart Healthy Apple Oat Bran Muffins

You might be wondering why I’m featuring a recipe for apple muffins in February…

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Typically we think of October as the height of apple season, so I was surprised to learn that some apple varieties aren’t available until much later. For example, Pinata apples are harvested in mid-October, but because the flavors intensify in cold storage, they’re not actually packed and shipped to stores until late January.

After sampling Pinata apples for myself, I can say that they’re most definitely worth the wait. Sweet, crisp, and juicy — so juicy that I literally had apple juice running down my chin — these apples are a real treat!

Pinata apples adapt well to cooking temperatures, so I decided to incorporate them into a healthy apple oat bran muffin… It is American Heart Awareness Month after all.

Packed with heart healthy grains and golden raisins and diced Pinata apple chunks, you almost won’t believe that these muffins are good for you!

I’ve made two batches in the last week because my kids keep gobbling them all up. In fact, my nine-year-old told me that I need to sell the recipe to Tim Hortons so they can put my apple muffins on their menu (sweet boy!), but instead I’ll share it with you all for free.

I firmly believe that the real “wow factor” comes from the light sprinkling of streusel topping. Made from brown sugar, ground flaxseed, chopped pecans, and butter, it adds just enough crunch and sweetness without a ton of additional calories. You could always skip this step and still have a moist and flavorful apple oat bran muffin.

Heart Healthy Apple Oat Bran Muffins

Heart Healthy Apple Oat Bran Muffins

Yield: 24 muffins
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 33 minutes


For the muffins:

  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 3/4 cups oat bran
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Pinata apples (or your favorite variety) -- peeled and diced
  • 1 cup golden raisins
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil

For the streusel topping (optional):

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 4 tablespoons chopped pecans
  • 2 tablespoons butter


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Make the streusel topping first by mixing together the brown sugar, ground flaxseed and chopped pecans.Cut in the cold butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Combine flour, oat bran, brown sugar, ground flaxseed, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt well with a whisk. Stir in diced apples and golden raisins.
  4. In another bowl whisk together milk, applesauce, vanilla extract, egg whites and coconut oil.
  5. Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir together until combined.
  6. Spoon three tablespoons of batter into lined or cooking spray coated muffin cups. Sprinkle streusel topping over the batter if desired. Tip: try these parchment paper muffin liners!
  7. Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 18 minutes.

Have you tried this recipe?

Leave a comment below and share a photo on Instagram. Tag it @unsophisticook and hashtag it #unsophisticook!

If you don’t regularly use coconut oil, you could swap it with canola oil or even additional applesauce instead. However, coconut oil has many wonderful health benefits and adds some additional flavor — I’d highly recommend giving it a try. Scrambled eggs are delicious when cooked with a little coconut oil!

Linda Henderson

Friday 23rd of January 2015

One thing I'd like with recipes is their nutritional values.


Wednesday 14th of August 2013

Do you think you could sub the oat bran for regular oats or quick oats???

Tara @ Unsophisticook

Monday 21st of October 2013

Hi Brittni! I don't think I'd recommend using quick oats, but you might give regular oats a try. I'd probably pulse them in a food processor and measure out an amount equal to the oat bran to start.


Tuesday 14th of August 2012

How many calories are these muffins, they look amazing

Sally @ sally's baking addiction

Tuesday 28th of February 2012

i just stumbled upon your blog. these muffins look amazing. i've been searching for a muffin recipe that only uses a little oil. they are hard to find! these will be my next muffin recipe to make!

Tara @ Unsophisticook

Tuesday 28th of February 2012

Glad you stopped by, Sally! I've made them with just applesauce and they're still good, but I definitely prefer them with the coconut oil. Hope your family enjoys them as much as mine does!


Tuesday 28th of February 2012

These look amazing! I love that topping. I'm craving apple muffins now!

Tara @ Unsophisticook

Tuesday 28th of February 2012

Thanks, Aggie -- the topping really does make the difference, with just a little extra fat and calories!

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