Morning Glory Muffins

For me, mornings have never been a struggle. I’ve always been an obnoxious morning person who has no problem jumping right out of bed the second the alarm goes off, no snooze button necessary. I was a D1 Rower in college, so when my roommates and friends were sleeping in until noon everyday, I was up at 5am (even on Saturdays!), on the water by 6am, and eating breakfast by 9am. Even now, with my rowing days blissfully behind me, Bryan and I get up most mornings at 5am or earlier to hit the gym before work (before you get impressed, I am an 80 year old grandma at heart and go to bed at about 830 every night #partyanimal). 

Because of this super weird ability of mine to be up before the sun, breakfast has always been my favorite meal. I love it all – omelettes, french toast, cereal, bagel sandwiches, muffins – and always washed down with tons of coffee (don’t even get me started about brunch…that’s a post for another time). My go-to breakfast in the morning is a protein shake, usually involving some combo of bananas, oats, almond butter, protein powder, espresso shot, and almond milk. Not only is it delicious, but it keeps me full…until about 10 am when I’m hungry again. 

Because of this I love to keep snacks with me at work that will help bridge the gap between my early breakfast and lunch. There are tons of great recipes that I’ll be sharing for bars and muffins and bites that are healthy alternatives to that pastry in the break room, and Morning Glory Muffins are one of my favorites. 

They are the bastard love child of carrot cake and apple spiced bread. Dense with carrots, apples, and raisins, they are a super filling snack – but sweetened with applesauce and honey instead of butter, so you can snack without regret. 

Since they stay fresh for 5 days, I love to make a batch on Sunday, freeze 1/2, and eat the rest throughout the week!

XoXo,
Elizabeth 

 

Morning Glory Muffins 

Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C)7. Spray a 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray or use greased/sprayed cupcake liners. This recipe makes 16 muffins, so prepare a second muffin pan in the same manner.

 

In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt, flax, and pecans together until combined. Set aside. Make sure you are either using a scale or measuring your flour correctly – I’ve become much more diligent about my measurements lately and the results are very clear in the taste and texture of my baked goods! 

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, brown sugar, honey, oil, applesauce, orange zest, orange juice, and vanilla together until combined. 

 

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stir a few times, then add the raisins, carrots, and apple. Fold everything together gently just until combined and no flour pockets remain. Note: my carrots shredded into fairly long strips and were a bit challenging to fit into the muffin tins – next time I make this I would probably roughly chop the shredded carrots with a chef’s knife before mixing into batter.


Spoon the batter into liners, filling them all the way to the top.

 

Bake for 5 minutes at 425 then, keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (177°C). Bake for an additional 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (Why the initial high temperature? The hot burst of air will spring up the top of the muffin quickly, then the inside of the muffin can bake for the remainder of the time. This helps the muffins rise nice and tall.) The total time these muffins take in the oven is about 23-24 minutes, give or take. Allow the muffins to cool for 10 minutes in the muffin sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool until ready to eat.

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Morning Glory Muffins
Yields 18
Easy to make, and the perfect weekday snack.
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Prep Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups (260g) whole wheat flour
  2. 2 teaspoons baking soda
  3. 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  4. 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 1/3 cup (35g) ground flax (optional)
  7. 1/2 cup (64g) unsalted chopped pecans, such as Diamond of California 2
  8. 3 large eggs
  9. 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  10. 1/4 cup (85g) honey3
  11. 1/3 cup (80ml) vegetable, canola oil, or melted coconut oil
  12. 1/3 cup (60g) smooth applesauce
  13. 1 teaspoon orange zest
  14. 1/4 cup (60ml) orange juice or pineapple juice (I prefer orange)
  15. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  16. 1/2 cup (75g) raisins, soaked in warm water for 10 minutes
  17. 2 cups (260g) shredded carrots (about 4 large)
  18. 1 cup (140g) shredded/grated apple (about 1 apple)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C)7. Spray a 12-count muffin pan with nonstick spray or use greased/sprayed cupcake liners. This recipe makes 16 muffins, so prepare a second muffin pan in the same manner.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt, flax, and pecans together until combined. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, brown sugar, honey, oil, applesauce, orange zest, orange juice, and vanilla together until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stir a few times, then add the raisins, carrots, and apple. Fold everything together gently just until combined and no flour pockets remain.
  3. Spoon the batter into liners, filling them all the way to the top. Bake for 5 minutes at 425 then, keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (177°C). Bake for an additional 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The total time these muffins take in the oven is about 23-24 minutes, give or take. Allow the muffins to cool for 10 minutes in the muffin sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool until ready to eat.
  4. Make ahead tip: Muffins stay soft, fresh, and moist at room temperature for up to 5 days. Muffins freeze well for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and heat up (if desired) before enjoying.
Notes
  1. 2 cups of white whole wheat, whole wheat pastry flour, or all-purpose flour work too.
  2. Pecans are optional and can also be swapped out for walnuts/sunflower seeds/almonds! If using the nuts, feel free to toast them for 10 minutes at 300°F (148°C).
  3. Instead of honey, you can try agave or maple syrup instead.
  4. Instead of applesauce, use an extra 1/3 cup of oil.
  5. Raisins can be swapped for dried cranberries
  6. More variations: Instead of carrots, use shredded zucchini. Add 1/3 cup of shredded coconut to the batter for a tropical kick. Instead of apple, use 2/3 - 3/4 cup crushed pineapple.
Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction
Little Bits Bakery http://littlebitsbakery.com/

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