Friday, April 8, 2011

Morning Glory Muffins

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. 
Chunky, Healthy and Delicious.

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 were made with orange zest and fresh orange which works 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.

First, chop, grate and collect the ingredients,
 Grated carrots, grated or chopped green apple, and sweetened coconut.
Walnuts, wheat germ and flax seed.

all the dry ingredients are mixed,
Flours, leavening, zest, sugar and spices.
then the carrots, nuts, coconut, raisins are stirred into the dry,

then you combine the wet,

and stir into the dry mixture until just moistened and combined.

Place in the oldest most used, hand me down muffin tin you can find and fill the muffin cups 2/3 of the way full.  I don't use cupcake papers because I like a crunchy, browned bottoms. Clean up is about the same unless you forget to grease the pan.  Oops!
There is something kinda special about a pan that has been used a billion times.  Those crazy hand-me-downs that you can't seem to let go and work just fine!

Here is a smaller version of the above, but way more bent up.  It actually 
seems to bend at will.
Love those browned, crunchy bottoms so I left the cupcake papers in the cabinet.
Now, time to enjoy!

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)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease muffin tins for 18 muffins or line them with cupcake papers.

Cover the raisins in hot water and allow to soak while preparing remaining recipe.

Whisk together flours, flax seed meal, sugar, baking soda, spices and salt.  Add the carrots, apple, coconut, nuts, flax seed, wheat germ and zest. 

Mix the wet ingredients in a separate bowl:  eggs, oil, orange juice and vanilla.

Add wet ingredients and drained raisins to the flour mixture and stir until combined.

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.

Enjoy these delicious, nutritious, "top o' the morning" muffins.

Notes:  The flax seed meal can be replaced by whole wheat flour or oats.  The flax seed can be replaced by wheat germ which is an optional ingredient but add a nice nutty flavor and crunch to the muffins.  This recipe is very forgiving with whole grain substitution, so have fun with it.  

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  1. These look so delicious! Love all the healthy ingredients! I would love to feature your recipe on my site with full links and credits to you if you are keen. Please let me know by email!

  2. This is a great recipe. I'm loving all the chunks of carrots and apple, mmmmm. I'm sure the cinnamon wafting through the house made these more than worthwhile.

  3. I love all the healthy additions. Way to pack it all in one tiny muffin :D

  4. any suggestions if i don't have any coconut on hand?

  5. Anonymous - Substitute for coconut? Coconut adds flavor, texture and a little sweetness (especially if you use sweetened) and is a fairly unique ingredient. I would say leave it out or substitute oats which also has a sweet, nutty flavor or maybe slivered almonds. Dried fruit is an option but I would probably do oats or skip it since there are so many varying ingredients (dried and fresh fruit, whole grains and nuts).

    Thanks for stopping by! If you make it, I would love to know how it turns out.

  6. Charlottesvillesybarite and blogbytina - I love all the healthy too and you would hardly know it when the plate is empty after your son passes through the kitchen. He could have at least left one!

    Cinnamon definitely makes the house smell baked in!!

  7. These look like a delicious hearty muffin! And I completely agree about the liner-free muffins.

  8. Thank you so much for your lovely comment on my blog about the Coconut Bread...
    I am definatly going to try some carrot in my next batch of muffins. Made some without any added sugar, just lots of fresh/frozen fruit for sweetness.
    Your blog is lovely!


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