Oh What a Beautiful Morning Glory Muffins

I wanted to call these something more than "Morning Glory Muffins" because they seem so much better than the standard MGMs. I love these because they are flexible adapting nicely to tweaks to accomodate what's on hand. They're also loaded with fruit, veggies and nuts. It's sweet enough to please my sweet-toothed husband and savory enough to please me. 

Some versions of this are heavy and leaden. These, while hefty, are still not so dense or heavy that they feel more like penance that a treat. I've seen versions that call for pineapple, and others that have a two step process of cooking down fruits and veg before adding in...pshaw. Part of the beauty of muffins is how easily and quickly they come together. For me, the perfect muffin is one that enables me to add in healthy ingredients while still being tasty enough to disappear without my urging.

Morning Glory Muffins

Oh What a Beautiful Morning Glory Muffins

Adapted from King Arthur Flour

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 C dried cherries, persimmons chopped into bits (can substitute raisins, I had about 1/4 each of cherries and persimmons loitering about in the cabinet, so in they went)
  • 1 C Wholemeal flour (King Arthur has this lovely Irish Whole Meal Flour)
  • 1 C White whole wheat
  • 1 C Coconut Palm Sugar (this palm sugar is fragrant and wonderful, can sub brown sugar)
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground clove
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 2 C (7 oz) organic carrot, scrubbed, grated
  • 1 lg apple cored, grated (no need to peel)
  • 1/2 C unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/c C chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 C sunflower seeds
  • 3 lg eggs
  • 2/3 C walnut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 2 tsp vanilla (I love the Madagascar vanilla from Madecasse)
  • 1/4 orange juice (I used fresh squeezed, then grated the zest of half the orange)
  • 2 TBSP candied orange peel (I had some leftover from candying the last batch of orange peels, you could substitute marmalade I think, or omit)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375, line a sturdy muffin tin with tulip papers or cut squares of parchment (about 6.5" or 7" squares). Alternately you can line the tin with regular papers or lightly grease.

The secret to light muffins is not to over-mix. Essentially, you are doing just four steps: 1) mixing the dry ingredients together; 2) grating, chopping the fruit, carrots, and nuts; 3) mixing the liquid ingredients; 4) combining. That's it!

To make the muffins, cover dried fruit with hot water in small bowl. Let sit while you grate your carrots, apple and measure the rest.

  1. In a large bowl toss the flour, sugar, baking soda, spices and salt. Stir with whisk or fork to combine.
  2. In a separate bowl or large mixing cup combine eggs, oil, vanilla, orange juice, zest, candied peel if using. Drain the dried fruit (I used it in my tagine later that night). Stir drained fruit into dry ingredients (the light coating of the fruit with flour will suspend it throughout the muffins).
  3. Mix in the carrots, apples, nuts. Mix in the liquid ingredients.
  4. Combine with a light hand and a silicone spatula just until the flour mix is all moistened. You're not beating it at this point, just gently folding.

Bake in prepared tin for 25-28 minutes until tester comes out clean. Let rest in tin for 5 minutes then remove to rack or plate to finish cooling. These will be full and domed and browned. The finished muffins are somewhat like carrot cake. Easy to grab and go. If you wanted to make in the morning, I think you could do all the chopping and measuring the night before and then just combine and bake in the AM.

Morning Glory Muffin