Morning Glory

You thought this was my nickname right?  That’s me, up and in full bloom first thing in the morning.  *my husband rolls his eyes*  Actually this post is about one of my all-time favorite muffins.

We eat a lot of muffins around here.  They are fairly easy to make and cook quickly, so they fit our lifestyle pretty good.  One of our average breakfasts are muffins and hard boiled eggs.  When I’m really on the ball (doesn’t happen that often) I will make muffins ahead of time and cook/peel the eggs at night while I’m cooking supper.  Then in the morning all we have to do is heat them in the microwave and breakfast is ready in a flash.  I try to stick with homemade healthyish muffins when possible. Today I made morning glory muffins and hard boiled eggs for Saturday breakfast.  This way I don’t have to get up early but everyone will still get fed before they start to hunger and perish right in front of me.  I was introduced to these muffins probably ten years ago, but they remain some of my favorite muffins.  I won’t kid you though, these aren’t just throw some things in a bowl and mix kind of muffins. They do require a little more work than that, but they are totally worth it.

This recipe, a throwback to the “back to the land” ’60s, brings together all kinds of fruits and vegetables in an earthy whole-grain muffin that, despite the description, manages to taste very good indeed. Moist and just sweet enough, Morning Glory are a great “eat in the car” treat—they need the enhancement of neither butter nor jam (though either—or cream cheese—wouldn’t be out of place).

1/2 cup (2 1/2 ounces) raisins (I use cranberries instead, just my preference)
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) King Arthur whole wheat flour, traditional or white whole wheat
1 cup (7 1/2 ounces) brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups (7 ounces) carrots, peeled and grated
1 large tart apple, peeled, cored, and grated
1/2 cup (1 1/2 ounces) sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup (2 ounces) chopped walnuts (I leave nuts out, again my preference)
1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces) sunflower seeds or wheat germ, optional
3 large eggs
2/3 cup (4 5/8 ounces) vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup (2 ounces) orange juice

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin, or line it with papers and spray the insides of the papers.

To make the muffins: In a small bowl, cover the raisins with hot water, and set them aside to soak while you assemble the rest of the recipe. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, spices, and salt. Stir in the carrots, apple, coconut, nuts, and sunflower seeds or wheat germ, if using. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and orange juice. Add to the flour mixture, and stir until evenly moistened. Drain the raisins and stir them in. Divide the batter among the wells of the prepared pan (they’ll be full almost to the top; that’s OK).

To bake the muffins: Bake for 25 to 28 minutes, until nicely domed and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven, let cool for 5 minutes in their pan on a rack, then turn out of pans to finish cooling.

Have a great weekend everyone!

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