Lemon zest and cardamom give these vegan 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.

By Cathy Fisher,


  • 12 Medjool dates, pitted and chopped (about 1½ cups or 8 ounces)
  • 1 cup unflavored, unsweetened plant milk
  • 1½ 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


  • Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  • In a small bowl, cover the chopped dates with the non-dairy milk and set aside (so the dates may soften).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Gently fold in the blueberries and chopped walnuts. Spoon the batter into a silicone muffin pan or parchment muffin papers in a metal pan, filling each muffin cup about ¾ full. (Since the batter has no oil, I have found that regular cupcake papers tend to stick to the muffins).
  • 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.


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

    If you’ve never used cardamom, I urge you to seek some out. Cardamom is a wonderfully aromatic spice used in India and in South Asian cooking. You can buy it pre-ground or in seed form, but 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.

    If you do not have cardamom, substitute with 1-½ teaspoons cinnamon.

Comments (19)

(5 from 4 votes)

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Hi I want to understand which millet to use for this recipe. Can u please specify the name and also share pic of the millet that u use for this recipe Secondly if you can share applesauce recipe

Lisa, Forks Over Knives Support

Hi Priya, This recipe calls for dried millet, which you can find in the grains section or the bulk bins. It is a small, round, yellowish grain that puffs up once cooked. For more on how to cook millet, check out this guide: https://www.forksoverknives.com/how-tos/cook-millet-instant-pot-stovetop-more-tips-sustainable-whole-grain/ You can find unsweetened applesauce at your local store. However, if you have a stash of apples you'd like to turn into sauce, it's easy to make your own. You peel and slice apples and put them into a pan with a small amount of water. Cook the apples until soft and mushy, stirring so they don't burn. Add more water to give them a saucy consistency; strain through a sieve if you like a smooth sauce (I never bother with this). Note: Whether you peel the apples or leave the skin on is a matter of personal preference. I hope that helps!


Delicious, but it would be great to see/post the nutritional facts. Thank you


Which type millet is used in the recipe?


These were very tasty. I had never used Millet before and it was very similar to quinoa, but always nice to try a new grain. I'm not a fan of lemon, so will leave out next time. Also, will fill each muffin above 3/4 as in the directions. The muffin tops don't expand, so I think if I just fill each one, I will get exactly 12 instead of the 14 that I ended up baking.


I love this recipe. I have a question, if I use pre-ground Millet flour and oat flour, what are the measurements for each? I've made them according to the directions several times, but now I'm having a challenging finding millet that is not already flour.

Mary DiCorpo

If you use oat and millet flour would it work and would the amounts be the same? Mary D.

Megan Edwards

Hi Mary, Using flour instead of the whole grains could significantly change the texture and bake time, so we don't recommend it. We hope you enjoy the recipe!

Eva O'Malley

Great taste and waiting for more of the same.


what if you don't have or cannot get millett?

Karen Kelly

Made these today and they are delicious! The cardamon gives it such a unique taste. I used date paste in place of fresh dates. The texture and flavors are awesome!


Wonderful muffins! While pitting and chopping the dates, I wondered if I could substitute date paste next time.

Karen K

Heather, I used date paste. Guessed on the amount. I think it helped give them a bit more sweetness! They came out great!


Some of my kids can't have apples or pears. Do you think subbing for sweet potato puree would work?


These turned out delicious. I didn't have any dates and substituted dried cherries and cranberries instead. And my lemons weren't great so I used orange zest. I omitted the walnuts. I will definitely be making these again!



Nancy McClendon

Fairly easy to make, and very satisfying! I did not expect them to be sweet, and they weren’t—but just the right amount of sweetness. I recommended them to several friends!


I used quinoa instead of millet, I didn’t use walnuts and spread a light amount of olive oil inside the muffin cases. They had a nice sweet flavour. I will definitely make these again.


My favorite blueberry muffin recipe! Amazing texture for being gluten free and naturally sweetened.

About the Author

Headshot of Cathy Fisher

About the Author

Cathy Fisher

Cathy Fisher is the creator of StraightUpFood.com, a website offering free recipes and information on eating a whole-food, plant-based diet free of salt, oil, and sugar. She is also a cooking instructor, teaching classes at TrueNorth Health Center and the McDougall Program, both in Santa Rosa, CA. Cathy began eating a plant-based diet in 1999, and in 2016 published her first cookbook, Straight Up Food: Delicious and Easy Plant-based Cooking Without Salt, Oil or Sugar. Find her on Instagram and Facebook.
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