Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Ultimate Morning Glory Muffins

My mother made Morning Glory Muffins all during my childhood. I didn't care for them much when I was young, but came to totally love them by the time that I reached my teens. They fueled me through Saturday volleyball tournaments, road trips with friends and shifts working at our local grocery store. They are hearty, hefty, healthful and downright delicious muffins that hold a special place in my heart.

I shared my mother's version on the blog a few years ago. And, while those are fabulous in their own right, I have come to prefer this version these days. The recipes aren't incredibly different, but these do have the inclusion of crushed pineapple (which adds a ton of moisture and additional flavor to the muffins) and I've made a few other changes that I think make these the Ultimate Morning Glory Muffins.

These muffins are loaded with a bounty of ingredients like, grated carrots, chopped apples, shredded coconut, dried fruit, crushed pineapple, grated zucchini and lots of flavor-boosting spices. The ingredient list may seem long, but the majority of the items are pantry staples that most of us tend to keep on hand. And, the ingredients that you may need to purchase are typically pretty inexpensive ones. You get a lot of "bang for your buck" with these muffins as they are super filling. Just one muffin usually does a great job of really keeping the belly full in between meals or stepping up to the plate as a grab-and-go breakfast option. They freeze incredibly well (I think they are best eaten chilled, by the way), so making a large batch to keep in the freezer throughout the week is so handy.

Yields 12 - 14 Muffins


1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 cup shredded coconut (plus more for topping muffins)
1/4 cup raisins
Zest of one orange
1  8-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup grated zucchini (use another 1/2 cup of grated carrots if choosing to omit zucchini)
1/4 cup finely chopped apple (skin left on)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
2 tablespoons molasses
Non-stick spray

Sliced almonds, for topping muffins (optional, but recommended)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, oats, sugars, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, baking soda and salt using a rubber spatula or large mixing spoon. (No mixer needed.)

Add in the coconut, raisins, orange zest, pineapple, carrots, zucchini and apple.

Stir to combine.

In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla extract and oil. Stir into large bowl of already-combined ingredients. Add in molasses. Mix until everything comes together,  but do not over mix.

Lightly grease the wells of a twelve-count muffin tin with non-stick spray. Fill wells 3/4 full with batter. Sprinkle shredded coconut and sliced almonds on top of each well of batter. Place on middle rack of preheated oven. Bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of muffin comes out clean.

Remove muffins from oven. Allow muffins to rest in tin for 3 - 4 minutes. Transfer muffins to a wire cooling rack. (Use a knife to run alongside of each muffin during removal from muffin tin if necessary.) Repeat baking process until all batter is used.

Once cooled, store in an airtight container. Best if served chilled. Muffins freeze well.

NOTE: Muffins can be made a bit healthier by subbing in whole wheat flour for half of the all-purpose flour, by utilizing alternative types of sugar (coconut or date sugar are great substitutes) and/or by swapping in unsweetened applesauce for all or some of the oil. Also, unsweetened coconut is preferred to help with additional sugar in the recipe.