Muffins. Most muffins are too much like cake for me. They seem more like a treat than breakfast. I like hearty for breakfast. Nutritious helps. Foods like homemade granola with plain yogurt, oatmeal made with steel cut oats, hot cereals made with a multi-grain cereal or a whole grain slice of toast with some delicious jam or fruit spread on it. These are the types of breakfast foods that make me feel good and gets me going. Of all the muffins I have made and tried, Morning Glory Muffins are presently my favorite. How can you really go wrong with a name like that?!
I searched for the healthiest Morning Glory Muffin recipe I could find and then started tweaking. I am very happy with the results and am sad to say not one made it to the freezer. Nutrient dense recipes that taste good become staples in my recipe files. I like the phrase “nutrient dense”. It is a concept we can all live by, literally.
Even though I love hearty, healthy recipes, I do want to be true to what foods are suppose to be. Cookies are supposed to taste like cookies, cakes taste like cakes and so on. Healthy only goes so far and then the recipe is nothing like it is supposed to be or something else entirely. I am not willing to give up all purpose flour or white sugar because they have their place in baking when you are trying to achieve a certain texture and/or taste which for me is also important.
Traditional Morning Glory Muffins are made with pineapple but these are made with orange zest and fresh orange which worked quite well. The sugar is reduced and there is flax seed meal, wheat germ and whole wheat flour along with a bit of all purpose flour to achieve a tender texture. Dark brown sugar is used because of the flavor it adds.
This recipe is a dump recipe and what can be easier than that. In all honesty, it does takes a little time to prep the ingredients, but it is not rocket science. These muffins freeze well so make extras for those mornings that you need something to grab and go. That is a nice gift to yourself or a special someone.
Morning Glory Muffins with a hint of orange
adapted from King Arthur Flour’s Whole Grain Baking
makes 1 1/2 dozen regular sized muffins or 1 dozen large
- 1/2 cup (85 g) raisins, black or golden
- 1 cup (130 g) whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup (50 g) all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (52 g) flax seed meal (substitute whole wheat flour)
- 3/4 cup (151 g) dark brown sugar, packed
- 2 teaspoons of baking soda
- 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups (210 g) peeled and grated carrots
- l large tart apple, chopped small or grated
- 1/2 cup (45 g) of sweetened coconut
- 1/2 cup (58 g) of chopped walnuts or pecans (lightly toasted is best)
- 2 tablespoons (20 g) of flax seeds (optional)
- 2 tablespoons (16 g) of wheat germ (optional)
- 3 large eggs
- 2/3 cup of vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup (120 ml) orange juice
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- zest of 1 orange
- turbinado or raw sugar for sprinkling on top of the muffins before baking (optional but delicious)
1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C) degrees. Grease muffin tins for 18 muffins or line them with cupcake papers.
2. Cover the raisins in hot water and allow to soak while preparing remaining recipe.
4. Whisk together flours, flax seed meal, sugar, baking soda, spices and salAdd the carrots, apple, coconut, nuts, flax seed, wheat germ and zest.
5. Mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl: eggs, oil, orange juice and vanilla.
6. Add wet ingredients and drained raisins to the flour mixture and stir until combined.
7. Fill the muffins tins 3/4 of the way full. If you would like sprinkle turbinado sugar on top of the muffins. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then turn them out on a baking rack.
8. Enjoy these delicious, nutritious, “top o’ the morning” muffins.
Laura Davis is the author of the blog Sweet Savory Planet and has a life long culinary passion with southern roots originating in her home state of Alabama. She has a degree in nutrition from University of Texas at Austin.