Morning glory muffins are the perfect “healthy” muffin option! These muffins are loaded with healthy options: carrots, apples, walnuts, raisins, coconut and applesauce! They taste very similar to a carrot cake or spice cake. (Yet less calories!) Some people even call these carrot cake muffins, because the flavor is so similar.
These healthy morning glory muffins can be eaten any time of day. They make a great morning treat, however they are also an excellent side dish, snack or dessert. What I love most about these muffins is that most of the sweetness comes from sources other than sugar. The apples, applesauce, raisins and coconut all add extra sweetness.
These muffins have been tested with gluten free flour and turned out perfect! When made with gluten free flour, the muffins are very moist, flavorful and not one bit crumbly! The muffins turned out so well with gluten free flour, that I strongly believe that if I served these at a party, no one would even know the difference.
Types of gluten free flour to use:
It is important to use a flour that is a 1:1 ratio baking flour. The gluten free flour must contain xanthan gum in the ingredients. Great gluten free flour options are:
- Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Baking Flour
- King Arthur’s 1:1 Baking Flour
- Coconut: this is completely optional, but highly recommended! It does not provide a strong coconut flavor. An alternative is to use 1 tbsp of ground flax seeds
- Raisins: the raisins can be left out if desired. Use twice the amount of walnuts if leaving out the raisins
- Walnuts: chopped pecans are another option to use in place of walnuts
- Morning glory muffins have 208 calories/serving.
- Morning glory muffins are packed with Vitamin A from the carrots. Normal amounts of Vitamin A (within the recommended intake) helps with vision and cell growth (More on Vitamin A).
- The muffins use less sugar than a lot of recipes. The applesauce, apples and honey all reduce the amount of table sugar used.
- The applesauce is an excellent replacement for oil. While some recipes call for up to a cup of oil, this recipe does not require as much oil due to the applesauce.
- These muffins have 3 g protein / serving.
- The muffins are healthier than some of your favorite bakery alternatives such as a large chocolate chip muffin or cinnamon streusel muffin. The carrots, apples, walnuts and applesauce are all low calorie and provide good nutritional value. Even though these muffins contain healthy ingredients, eating multiple muffins will increase your fat, calorie and sugar intake.
The ingredient list on these healthy breakfast muffins may look daunting, but the muffins are worth it!
- Shredded Carrots: baby carrots are easiest if using a food processor to shred. Use whole carrots if grating the carrots using a grater.
- Shredded Apples: any type of apple is fine. I used Fuji. Gala or Granny smith are also great options.
- Raisins: Add texture and flavor to the muffins
- Chopped Walnuts: chopped walnuts add a bit of a crunch to the muffin. This can also be substituted with chopped pecans.
- Coconut: shredded coconut adds excellent flavor. I used unsweetened coconut, as the muffins already seemed plenty sweet.
- Applesauce: this is use as a substitute for oil. The recipe uses less oil than most, because applesauce adds moistness to the muffins. Use unsweetened applesauce.
- Honey: Adds sweetness
- Brown Sugar: only 1/2 of a cup, provides plenty of sweetness.
- Eggs: helps the muffins rise and helps hold everything together. This recipe has not been tested with alternatives to eggs.
- Orange Juice: Use orange juice that is pulp free. The OJ adds some extra vitamin C to these muffins!
- Flour: this recipe has been made with both gluten free flour and whole wheat flour. Both types of flours work excellent. If using gluten free flour, use the flour that is 1:1 Ratio. King Arthur’s 1:1 baking flour or Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 baking flour work great. Both of these flours have xanthan gum added to them, which is important if subbing gluten free flour.
- Cinnamon & Ginger: add flavor, very important not to skip these!
- Baking Soda & Salt: helps the muffins rise and adds flavor
How to Grate or Shred the Produce
There are a couple of different ways that the apples and carrots can be shredded or grated. A shredded carrot/apple should be made into small pieces that are similar to shredded cheese. There should not be any large chunks, as you probably don’t want to find a large pieces of carrot in the middle of your muffin . Something to note is that the product should not be completely pureed. This will change the texture of the muffins.
Shredded Carrots And Apples Using the Food Processor
Perform separately for the carrots and apple:
Apple: Remove the peel, slice into small pieces. Using an apple wedger makes it easy to cut the apple into 6-8 different wedges. Then simply cut the wedges into small pieces.
Pulse in the food processor by holding down the pulse button for 2-3 seconds, releasing and then holding the button again. Scrape down the sides until texture is correct.
Carrots: Slice the carrots into small pieces and then perform the above steps.
Baby carrots are easier to use; however whole carrots can also be used.
Shredded Carrots/Apples Using a Food Grater
- Carrots: Works best with whole carrots. Wash and remove bad spots on the carrots. Run along the grater in an up and down motion until entire carrot is grated.
- Apple: Cut apple into quarter sections. Rub on the grater in an up and down motion until grated.
Morning Glory Muffins
- 2 cups flour use whole wheat flour or gluten free 1:1 flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 tsp ground ginger
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/3 cup orange juice
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 apple shredded
- 1.75 cups shredded carrots
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup walnuts chopped
- 1/3 cup shredded coconut unsweetened
- Preheat oven to 425F. Prepare muffin tin by lining with muffin liners and spraying with nonstick spray. (This will make 17 total muffins).
- In a small bowl, combine all dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine eggs and canola. Mix with a fork until eggs are beaten and mixture is combined.
- Add in the honey, orange juice, applesauce and vanilla. Mix until combined.
- Add the shredded apple, carrots, walnuts, raisins and coconuts. Mix well.
- Mix the carrot mixture into the flour mixture. Stir until just combined and all ingredients are mixed.
- Fill the muffin liners to the very top with batter.
- Bake for 5 minutes at 425 and then reduce the oven to 375 and bake for a remaining 17 minutes. (Do not remove muffins from the oven when reducing temperature).
- Muffins are done with a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the muffins.