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What if you could indulge in a muffin that’s loaded with veggies, fruit, whole grain, nuts, healthy fats and protein, all while tasting incredibly delicious? Allow me to introduce you to our recipe for Morning Glory Muffins. Glory Glory Hallelujah, indeed!
On a recent trip to Atlanta, Georgia, we had the pleasure of dining at the renowned restaurant, Bacchanalia. As a parting gift, they presented us with a small brown bag containing two muffins from their sister bakery, Star Provisions, meant for our morning meal. As we savored these muffins in our hotel room the following day, my husband and I were unanimous in declaring them the best muffins we had ever tasted. Naturally, this led me on a mission to recreate this culinary delight at home. Not long after, Bacchanalia was fittingly awarded a Michelin Star.
It was critical to me that I crafted these muffins to be as healthy as possible without sacrificing flavor. The inclusion of honey, an unprocessed sweetener, and olive oil lends a Mediterranean Diet influence to this recipe. After several months of painstaking taste tests, I am thrilled to present the winning formula. A wholesome morning muffin that encapsulates the essence of sunshine with every bite!
The Origins of the Morning Glory Muffin
Initially, I speculated that the name ‘Morning Glory Muffins’ might be attributed to their high fiber content, potentially aiding in regular digestion. However, I had a hunch that there might be more to the story, prompting me to delve into a bit of research.
It turns out the Morning Glory Muffin has a delightful origin story that dates back to 1978. It was invented by Chef Pam McKinstry, who owned the Morning Glory Cafe on Nantucket Island. The muffin, which is known for its distinctive yellow color derived from carrots, was created during a time when people were becoming more interested in healthy eating. This original recipe was a reflection of that trend, packed with nutritious ingredients like carrots, apples, raisins, nuts, and whole grains. As its fame grew following its publication in Gourmet Magazine, the recipe spread across various cafes and bakeries around the country. The Morning Glory Muffin has endured as a symbol of delicious, hearty, and health-focused baked goods, transcending its initial creation to become a beloved classic in the world of muffins.
To align the original recipe with the principles of the Mediterranean Diet, I’ve made a few minor modifications: we’re using honey as a natural sweetener in place of brown sugar (and in smaller quantities), and we’re opting for olive oil rather than vegetable oil. Additionally, I’ve decided to leave out the crushed pineapple, an ingredient found in the original recipe but commonly omitted in contemporary versions. Canned pineapple not only contributes added sugar but also doesn’t significantly enhance the recipe.
The lengthy list of ingredients in this Morning Glory Muffin recipe might seem daunting at first. However, it’s this variety that makes it wholesome and nutritious. Once you’ve organized and readied all your ingredients, the actual assembly process is very fast. The most time-consuming part of making these muffins will be the initial prep work of gathering your ingredients.
Here is what you’ll need:
- Carrots: A powerful source of beta-carotene for eye health, and adding natural sweetness and moisture to the muffin.
- Apples: Contribute a sweet and slightly tart flavor while providing dietary fiber and antioxidants.
- Raisins: Little nuggets of concentrated sweetness, and a great source of iron and potassium.
- Pecans: A buttery crunch, packed with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, fiber, and essential minerals like manganese and zinc.
- Unsweetened Shredded Coconut: Lends a tropical flair and adds another layer of texture, while offering fiber and healthy fats.
- White Whole Wheat Flour: An excellent source of whole grains, this flour makes our muffins hearty and filling.
- Wheat Germ: A concentrated source of nutrients, including vitamin E, folate, and omega-3 fatty acids.
- Baking Soda: The leavening agent that ensures your muffins rise properly and have a light, fluffy texture.
- Salt: Needed to help gluten development to provide structure to the muffins.
- Honey: Its natural sweetness is more complex than refined sugar, and it provides added antioxidants.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: For its heart-healthy monounsaturated fats which can help lower bad cholesterol.
- Eggs: The binding agent that contributes structure to the muffins, and are an excellent source of protein and B vitamins.
- Vanilla Extract: For its sweet, aromatic flavor.
- Orange Zest: Provides a burst of citrusy brightness.
- Cinnamon, Ginger, & Nutmeg: Warm, sweet-spicy flavors with potential health benefits, like lower blood sugar levels, digestive aid, anti-inflammatory properties, and antioxidants.
Step-by-Step How to Make
Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, this Morning Glory Muffins recipe is actually very simple.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place muffin liners in a 12-cup muffin pan.
- Soak raisins. Cover them with hot water and set aside.
- Prepare dry ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.
- Combine ingredients. Stir in carrots, apples, coconut, wheat germ, and pecans.
- Mix wet ingredients. In a separate bowl, whisk honey, vanilla, and olive oil. Add eggs and orange zest and beat lightly.
- Combine wet and dry ingredients. Stir until evenly moistened.
- Add raisins. Drain and gently stir them into the mix.
- Fill muffin cups. Divide the batter evenly.
- Bake. Start at 400°F for 5 minutes, then lower to 350°F for an additional 20 minutes.
- Check doneness. Insert a toothpick; if it comes out clean, they’re ready.
- Cool. Let muffins cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then transfer to a rack to finish cooling.
Recipe Tips and Substitutions
- Measure: As with any baking recipe, for best results I highly recommend measuring the ingredients in grams where I’ve provided the metric measurement.
- Nutty Twist: Substitute pecans with walnuts for a different flavor profile.
- Flour Variation: You can use regular whole wheat flour, but the muffins may be darker and heartier.
- Fruit Swap: Opt for cranberries instead of raisins (be aware they contain added sugars).
Enjoy these Morning Glory Muffins as a wholesome breakfast or snack. Try topping them with a dollop of Greek yogurt for a fun twist, and serve alongside fresh fruit for a complete and satisfying meal.
- Room-Temp Storage: Once cooled, keep muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days. Freshness is key!
- Refrigeration: Extend their life by refrigerating for up to a week. Wrap individually or use a sealed container. Breakfast is ready when you are!
- Freezing: For long-term storage, freeze individually wrapped muffins for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight or microwave briefly for a quick, nutritious bite.
Remember, proper storage means a healthy, tasty breakfast or snack is always at hand.
In conclusion, our Morning Glory Muffins are not just a tasty breakfast option, but they’re also healthy and align perfectly with the principles of the Mediterranean diet. Give them a try and start your day off right!
More Delicious Recipes
Morning Glory Muffins
- Box grater or Food Processor with grater blade
- 2 cups White whole wheat flour (260 g)
- 2/3 cup Raisins (90 g)
- 2 cups Grated carrots (200 g)
- 1 cup Grated apple (150 g)
- 1/2 cup Unsweetened shredded coconut (30 g)
- 1/2 cup Pecan pieces (60 g)
- 1/4 cup Wheat germ (30 g)
- 2 tsp Baking soda
- 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
- 1 tbsp Ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp Ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp Ground nutmeg
- 3 Eggs
- 1/2 cup Raw unfiltered honey
- 2/3 cup Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp Vanilla extract
- 1 tsp Orange zest
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place muffin liners in a 12-cup muffin pan.
- In a small bowl, cover the raisins with hot water. Set them aside to soak while you assemble the rest of the ingredients.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg.
- Stir in the carrots, apple, coconut, wheat germ and pecans. Blend well so everything is coated in flour, separating any lumps with your hands if necessary.
- In a separate bowl, place honey, vanilla and olive oil. Whisk well until honey is fully dissolved.
- Add eggs and beat lightly. Add orange zest and whisk again.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture. Stir until evenly moistened.
- Drain the raisins and add them to the mix, stirring gently.
- Divide the batter among the muffin cups. They will be filled to the top.
- Bake 5 minutes at 400°F, then lower the temperature to 350°F and bake another 20 minutes.
- Insert a toothpick in the center of one of the muffins to make sure it comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and let muffins cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then transfer to a rack to finish cooling.
- As with any baking recipe, for best results I highly recommend measuring the ingredients in grams where I’ve provided the metric measurement.
- Substitute pecans with walnuts for a different flavor profile.
- You can use regular whole wheat flour, but the muffins may be darker and heartier.
- You may opt for cranberries instead of raisins, but be aware they contain added sugars.
- Once cooled, keep muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days. Extend their life by refrigerating for up to a week. Wrap individually or use a sealed container. For long-term storage, freeze individually wrapped muffins for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight or microwave briefly.