In the early 1990s, there was one very small health food store in Nashville. My mom was a devoted customer. At our house, Easter baskets were full of sugar-free Carob bunnies…along with the apples and oranges that I could just as well have grabbed from the kitchen counter. Our Thanksgiving Turkey made way for its’ Tofurkey replacement – a oft-ignored substitute for “the real thing”. But still, growing up in this environment, I know what it means to shop the perimeter of the grocery and take care of your body with whole foods. While I can’t wait to share some of my mother’s inspirations here for nutritious living, I am my own person, plagued with my bad habits. I like to think I maintain a more balanced diet, but the truth is that the fast pace of life means that I often opt for the quick option, and far too often I give in to my urge for a quick sugar fix.
This is one of my more moderate recipes, a favorite with family and friends, and I thought I would share it with you all! I know enough not to put this in the “healthy” category of foods, but it’s definitely a crowd pleaser that I feel better about than some of the more decadent options. I hope you enjoy. It’s one of our favorites!
MORNING GLORY MUFFINS
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 1/4 cups white sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups grated carrots
- 1 apple – peeled, cored, and chopped
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 egg
- 2 egg whites
- 1/2 cup apple butter
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts (optional)
- 2 tablespoons toasted wheat germ (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease 18 muffin cups, or coat with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, egg whites, apple butter, oil and vanilla.
- In a large bowl, stir together flours, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in carrots, apples and raisins. Stir in apple butter mixture until just moistened. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them about 3/4 full.
- In a small bowl, combine walnuts and wheat germ; sprinkle over the muffin tops.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden and spring back when lightly pressed.
NOTE: I have a Celiac child, and another who is tree nut allergic. We now make these with gluten free flour and without the nuts or wheat germ.