Memories... Like Mom Made!

Memories... Like Mom Made!
Out of dark moments, flowers grow.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Morning Glory Muffins

When I was a little girl I used to LOVE making muffins with my Mom on Saturday morning. Now I will be honest, this wasn't an every Saturday type of thing, but when she did decide to make muffins, I was right there stirring the buttermilk and helping measure the flour and oil and crack the eggs... well, you get the picture.

But now that I am older and wiser I realize that sometimes an ordinary muffin can really be a... vessel of sorts... to deliver important nutrients to my son and husband to get them through the day. Am I saying my Mom's muffins, loaded with oil and sugar and all purpose flour, were unhealthy? Well, not in so many words... but basically, if breakfast is supposed to be the most important meal of the day, why not pack some important vitamins into it, and heck, let's even hide a serving or two of fruits and veggies in there.

Oh and to go for the Trifecta: let's make them moist, savory, and irresistibly addictive...

How does that sound?

Yeah, I know!

Thus I began my search for the perfect "Morning Glory" muffin recipe. You know, those yummy muffins you can find at coffee shops and bakeries? Well I found a recipe that seemed... well... Okay. Just okay. It was packed with all the things that I didn't want in the first place: oil, white flour, tons of sugar, added fat, and just a fraction of the amount of fruits and veggies I wanted to see in my muffins.

So I fixed it.

It was pretty simple actually. I used one of my favorite recipes of all time, my mom's Carrot Bread/Zucchini Bread recipe, as inspiration. I traded the oil for all natural unsweetened applesauce. I swapped the white flour for whole wheat flour. I sprinkled in some wheat germ and flax seed. I added a ton of shredded carrots and apples. I added a handful of raisins and craisins. Oh and that pesky sugar problem? I swapped the almost 1.5 cups of white sugar for 1/2 cup brown sugar. And even at that I think it could use less (how does 1/3 cup sound compared to 1.5? I know, right?!). I made a few other changes to, and all in all, it was a brilliant success.

So after about 10 requests for this recipe via my Facebook, I decided to comply. Here you go! I hope you enjoy these as much as my husband, my picky 2 year old, and of course, ME!

Virginia's Morning Glory Muffins

2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 c packed brown sugar (1/3 if you want less sugar)
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
pinch or so of nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2-3 cups shredded carrots (about 4-5 medium carrots, maybe more)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup craisins
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 large granny smith apple - peeled, cored and shredded
3 eggs
1 c natural, unsweetened applesauce
2 Tablespoons molasses
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Sift together the dry ingredients, then fold in the carrots, apple, raisins, craisins, and nuts. This is when I sprinkle in some wheat germ and flax seed. I don't really measure, I just kind of shake it in until I think it looks like enough. If you really want a measurement, start with just 2 T the first time and then you can decide if you want to increase it or not.

Beat the eggs with the applesauce, molasses and vanilla... Then combine with the dry mixture. Spoon by 1/3 cup fulls into muffin cups (definitely use liners) and bake for about 22 minutes at 350.

There is a lot of shredding and grating involved, but if you have a food processor it makes easy work of it!

Also, it wouldn't be a "Like Mom Made" recipe if it wasn't customizable. And, OF COURSE it is!

You can feel free to swap out any combination of the mix ins.

In place of the applesauce you can use pureed pumpkin, a mashed banana, or if you REALLY have to, you can use the same amount of oil.

Don't like raisins? Toss in some dried cherries and replace the pecans with macadamia nuts.

Use zucchini in place of the carrots for a different texture and taste (more like Zucchini bread... yum!).

Change any kind of nut, dried fruit, or oil replacer that you can think of.

The possibilities are endless!

Enjoy! :)

Oh and to all my Mom readers: remember, this is a GREAT way to sneak extra veggies and fruit in to your child's diet... but they don't HAVE to know that! ;)

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