Back in ye olde days, when I worked in an office, the coffee shop around the corner occasionally sold Morning Glory Muffins. They were decadently moist, sweet, a little spicy, and huge. Every so often I would treat myself to one and try to eat it over two days. At the time I pretended it was better not to know how many calories or grams of fat were packed into a single muffin.
A few weeks ago I was sent home from a friend’s house with a gallon sized freezer bag of homemade Morning Glory Muffins (and a bag of Millet flour). As she dropped the muffins into the bag she cautioned me that they were not “light.” Mr. Second Helpings and I enjoyed them so much that when they were gone I wanted to make a new batch. While poking around the internet in search of a recipe I discovered just how hefty a Morning Glory Muffin could be. Once bakers start tossing in nuts, coconut, raisins, multiple eggs, sugar, and oil the numbers add up quickly! One recipe on All Recipes.com weighs in at over 400 calories and 25 grams of fat per muffin. Yikes!
I did eventually find a very nice low fat version on About.com. That recipe became the platform to make the muffins I was envisioning. All of the naturally sweet ingredients in this recipe mean only a little additional brown sugar is needed. Mashing up a banana is a great substitute for the oil in the original recipe and provides a much bigger flavor punch than vegetable oil would. It also allowed me to create a muffin with less than a quarter of the calories and one tenth of the fat in the All Recipes.com recipe. Not too shabby.
The list of ingredients looks a little long but there is nothing particularly exotic and many of the items could be swapped or adjusted. Using only one type of flour should work just fine as would skipping or exchanging some of the spices (if you only have cinnamon use it or try pumpkin pie spice in place of the ginger and all spice). If walnuts aren’t your thing try pecans or hazelnuts or omit the nuts to further reduce the fat and calorie content of each muffin.
I made a few batches before calling the recipe below the (most) final version. Mr. Second Helpings and I were split on which batch was our favorite so I did provide a minor alternative suggestion at the bottom of the page. The fully published recipe yields a sweet and moist muffin (pictured in the paper wrappers). The alternate recipe is less sweet, a little puffier, and more “bready” (pictured without liners). Try both! Brew up some coffee and invite a few friends and neighbors over for a blind taste test. Make sure to report back with the results, I’d love to hear about any modifications or adjustments you enjoyed.
Good Morning Muffins
Inspired by Morning Glory Muffins these are a lower fat version sweetened primarily by fruit, carrots, and aromatic spices. Make a batch or two and keep them in an airtight container the refrigerator for a week or a few months in the freezer. Grab one or two with some yogurt for a breakfast on the go or enjoy as a sustaining midday snack. The bones of this recipe came from Low Fat Morning Glory Muffins by Fiona Haynes on About.com Low Fat Cooking. Makes 18 muffins
- 1 cup Whole Wheat Flour, sifted
- 1/2 cup White Flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill Stone Ground Millet Flour), sifted
- 1/2 cup Wheat Bran
- 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon, ground
- 1 tsp Ginger, ground
- 1/2 tsp All Spice, ground
- 1 Large Egg, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup Low Fat Milk (I used Light Soy Milk)
- 1/4 cup Brown Sugar, packed
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 large Banana, mashed – approximately 1/2 cup
Lumpy Good Stuff
- 1 1/2 cups Carrots, raw, grated
- 8 oz. Crushed Pineapple in 100% Pineapple juice
- 1/2 cup Raisins
- 1 TB Orange Zest
- 20 grams Walnuts approximately 2 TB, chopped into chocolate chip size pieces
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray muffin tins with non-stick spray or line with paper muffin cups.
- In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients by running a whisk through them.
- In a small bowl lightly whisk together the liquid ingredients.
- In a medium bowl use a fork to mix together the “lumpy good stuff”
- Gently mix the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients. The batter will be sticky with some remaining dry spots.
- Add the “lumpy good stuff” in three large scoops. Mixing each scoop into the bater before adding the next one. Final batter should be very moist.
- Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tins. Filling each cup about 2/3 full, approximately 1/4 cup of batter per muffin. Sprinkle tops with a bit of bran or a quick nut topping (2 tsp packed brown sugar, 2 TB finely diced nuts, and 2 tsp butter or butter substitute).
- Bake in preheated oven for between 25-30 minutes. Finished muffins will be moist but should not have gooey centers.
- Allow to completely cool before serving. Flavors in cooled muffins are brighter than those right out of the oven.
Alternate Recipe for more “bready” muffins- Use an additional egg and increase the white flour to 1 cup.
- Approximate Nutrition for recipe as published above: 93 calories, 1.4 g fat, 20.5 g carbs, 2.7 g fiber, 2.2 g protein, PP = 3
- Without walnuts: 86 calories, .7 g fat, 20.4 g carbs, 2.7 g fat, 2.2 g protein, PP = 2
- Nut topping using walnuts: 12.3 calories, 1.1 g fat, .8 g carbs, .1 g fiber, .2 g protein, PP = 0