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Healthy Morning Glory Muffins

Healthy Morning Glory Muffins made flourless with oats! These dairy-free, refined sugar-free muffins are lower in added sweetener for a healthier breakfast or snack. Loaded with grated carrot, apple, pecans, and raisins, this delicious healthy muffin recipe is a family staple!

Top down close up image of healthy Morning Glory Muffins sitting on a white backdrop with a red napkin to the side.

Calling all muffin lovers!

These moist and fluffy healthy Morning Glory Muffins are perfectly sweet to satisfy that sweet tooth without being a shock to the system.

Plus, they’re loaded with fun goodies like carrots, apples, nuts, and dried fruit for amazing texture and flavor.

Not to mention, the carrots add that vegetable element, so these are basically salad, right?

I kid.

Origin of Morning Glory Muffins:

Legend has it, Morning Glory Muffins were first created in 1978 by Chef Pam McKinstry at a restaurant on Nantucket Island. Once the recipe was published in Gourmet Magazine in 1981, the recipe began to gain traction as a household staple.

In addition to grated apples, carrots, sweetened shredded coconut, walnuts, and raisins, the original recipe calls for pineapple chunks.

My version is pineapple-free and I use unsweetened shredded coconut. I also add ripe bananas to this recipe to help bring moisture to the muffins and to act as part of the sweetener.

In this sense, my version is a non-traditional take on classic morning glory muffins, but if you like simple, less sugary treats, these muffins are for you!

Vertical image of morning glory muffins in a muffin tin, fresh out of the oven.

Don’t be fooled by the long list of ingredients. You may already have most of them on hand, and if not, all of them can be found at any grocery store.

The wholesome ingredients make for hearty muffins that are perfect for enjoying on weekday mornings.

Let’s discuss the healthy ingredients for these morning glory muffins further.

Ingredients for Healthy Morning Glory Muffins:

Oats: Old fashioned rolled oats or quick oats get blended up to take the place of all-purpose flour. 

Be sure to use certified gluten free oats to make these muffins gluten-free if need be. I use sprouted gluten-free oats that are glyphosate-free.

For a grain-free morning glory muffin recipe, make my Almond Flour Morning Glory Muffins, which use almond flour instead of oats.

Ripe Bananas: Used for volume, moisture, and sweetness, ripe bananas play an important role here! They allow us to use less oil and less sweetener for a more health-conscious treat.

Be sure to use overripe bananas that have plenty of brown spots on the outside peel for the best result. If the bananas are not ripe enough, they will still have that slightly tangy/bitter flavor, which doesn’t make for the best result.

If you’re allergic to bananas, use 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce instead.

Morning Glory Goodies: What makes morning glory muffins morning glory muffins? The presence of grated carrots, grated apples, walnuts (I use pecans), raisins, and shredded coconut. Similar to carrot cake, it is this combination of ingredients that makes a true morning glory muffin.

Eggs: Two eggs are used to make the muffins nice and light and fluffy for an airy, delicious treat. If you can bring the eggs to room temperature ahead of time, great. If not, no big deal.

Baking Powder, Baking Soda, and Apple Cider Vinegar: The leavening agents of the recipe. Baking soda and baking powder make the muffins rise, ensure they hold together nicely, and give that nice little crisp on the muffin top for delicious texture.

We add cider vinegar to react with the baking soda. Anything acidic will work, like lemon juice, orange juice, or rice vinegar. 

Avocado Oil: A little avocado oil is used to ensure the muffins don’t stick to the papers when peeling them. Not much is needed, but it plays an important role, so don’t skip it!

It also adds healthy fats to the muffins. You can use olive oil, vegetable oil, or melted coconut oil instead.

Pure Maple Syrup: Used as the sweetener here, a touch of pure maple syrup brings lovely sweetness to the muffins without making them overly sweet.

If you’re making these muffins for someone who has a sweet tooth and loves very sweet sweets, I’d recommend adding ⅓ to ½ cup of brown sugar, granulated cane sugar, maple sugar, or coconut sugar.

Vanilla Extract: A little splash of vanilla extract gives these treats a warm, inviting flavor. Skip it if you don’t have it on hand.

Salt and Cinnamon: Salt levels up the flavors of the muffins so that you can detect each individual ingredient and cinnamon brings warm flavor. 

Horizontal photo of hand holding a morning glory muffin that has been sliced in half so you can see the inside.

When the muffins first come out of the oven, they don’t taste very sweet. Over time, they develop more sweetness, and more of the individual flavors (apple, carrot, cinnamon, banana, coconut, etc.) comes through.

Recipe Adaptations:

  • For sweeter muffins, add 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup of brown sugar or white sugar.
  • Grate in 1 to 2 tablespoons of orange zest if you have fresh oranges on hand for a zesty muffin.
  • Use any type of apple you like. One granny smith apple, gala apple, fuji or pink lady apple is all you need.
  • For an egg-free version, replace the large eggs with two flax eggs. To do so, combine two tablespoons of ground flax seed with 5 tablespoons of water and wait for it to thicken for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, before using it as an egg replacer. The muffins will turn out dense and not as fluffy.

How to Make Morning Glory Muffins:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a muffin tray with muffin liners.

Grate the carrots and apple with a box grater or food processor until you have 1 cup of each.

Transfer the oats to a high-powered blender and blend for 30 seconds on high, or until you have a consistency that resembles a flour mixture.

Mash the bananas in a large bowl until creamy. Add in the eggs, avocado oil, pure maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla extract and mix until the wet ingredients are well-combined.

Mashed banana, eggs, oil and maple syrup (wet ingredients) in a mixing bowl, ready to be mixed together.

Stir in the grated carrot and grated apple.

Grated apple and grated carrot on top of the wet ingredients, ready to be mixed in.

Pour the oat flour, shredded coconut, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, and cinnamon (the dry ingredients) into the bowl with the wet ingredients and mix well.

Dry ingredients on top of the wet ingredients in a mixing bowl, ready to be mixed in.

Stir in the chopped pecans and raisins.

Raisins and chopped pecans on top of the morning glory muffin batter, ready to be mixed in.
Morning glory muffin batter mixed up in a red mixing bowl, ready to bake

Transfer the morning glory muffin batter to the prepared muffin pan, and spoon batter to fill the muffin cups ¾ of the way up. Note: I make 8 bigger muffins by over-filling the holes with batter, but you can make 9 to 12 smaller muffins if you prefer. If you’d like, you can sprinkle the top of the batter with extra chopped nuts and seeds for visual appeal and texture. I went with more chopped pecans and sunflower seeds.

Morning glory muffin batter in a muffin tray.

Place the muffin tray on the center rack of the preheated oven and bake muffins for 25 to 35 minutes or until the muffins are golden brown, have risen substantially, and test clean (mine take 25 minutes).

Angled shot of healthy morning glory muffins on a white background with a red napkin, ready to eat.

Allow the muffins to cool completely before peeling them. If you peel them while they are still warm fresh out of the oven, much of the muffin will stick to the muffin paper. If you have a wire rack, you can move the muffins to the wire rack to cool completely after they have been out of the oven for 15 minutes.

Enjoy these delicious muffins warm with a drizzle of honey and a cup of coffee or tea.

Store muffins in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Top down photo of morning glory muffins on a white surface with a red napkin to the side.

And that’s it! A delicious healthy morning glory muffins recipe that is fun to make and chock full of goodies for a healthy breakfast or snack.

Nutrition Information:

As shown in the recipe card below, here is the macro nutrient breakdown for each muffin (assuming you make 10 muffins). Each muffin contains 227 calories, 9 g fat,  37 mg cholesterol, 33 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, and 13 g sugars.

If you love morning glory recipes like this, also try my Paleo Morning Glory Quick Bread and my Paleo Morning Glory Cookies.

If you’re into muffins, also check out these reader favorites.

More Healthy Muffin Recipes:

Muffin tops for life!

Vertical image of morning glory muffins in a muffin tin, fresh out of the oven.

Healthy Morning Glory Muffins

Yield: 10 Muffins
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Moist, fluffy, delicious healthy morning glory muffins made flourless with rolled oats. This dairy-free, refined sugar-free muffin recipe is lower in added sweetener for a healthier breakfast or snack.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 ripe bananas (1 cup mashed)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 1 cup grated apple
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, optional
  • ½ cup raw pecans or walnuts, chopped
  • 2/3 cup raisins

Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a muffin tray with muffin liners.

    2. Grate the carrots and apple with a box grater or food processor until you have 1 cup of each.

    3. Transfer the oats to a high-powered blender or food processor and blend for 30 seconds on high, or until you have a consistency that resembles a flour mixture.

    Oats in a food processor for energy balls

    4. Mash the bananas in a large bowl until creamy. Add in the eggs, avocado oil, pure maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla extract and mix until the wet ingredients are well-combined.

    Mashed banana, eggs, oil and maple syrup (wet ingredients) in a mixing bowl, ready to be mixed together.

    5. Stir in the grated carrot and grated apple.

    6. Pour the oat flour, shredded coconut, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, and cinnamon (the dry ingredients) into the bowl with the wet ingredients and mix well. Stir in the chopped pecans and raisins.

    Dry ingredients on top of the wet ingredients in a mixing bowl, ready to be mixed in.

    7. Transfer the morning glory muffin batter to the prepared muffin pan, and spoon batter to fill the muffin cups ¾ of the way up. Note: I make 8 bigger muffins by over-filling the holes with batter, but you can make 9 to 12 smaller muffins if you prefer. If you’d like, you can sprinkle the top of the batter with extra chopped nuts and seeds for visual appeal and texture. I went with more chopped pecans and sunflower seeds.

    Morning glory muffin batter in a muffin tray.

    8. Place the muffin tray on the center rack of the preheated oven and bake muffins for 25 to 35 minutes or until the muffins are golden brown, have risen substantially, and test clean (mine take 25 minutes).

    9. Allow the muffins to cool completely before peeling them. If you peel them while they are still warm fresh out of the oven, much of the muffin will stick to the muffin paper.

    Horizontal photo of hand holding a morning glory muffin that has been sliced in half so you can see the inside.

    10. Enjoy these delicious muffins warm with a drizzle of honey and a cup of coffee or tea.

Notes

Store muffins in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Nutrition Information
Yield 10 Serving Size 1 Muffin (of 10)
Amount Per Serving Calories 227Total Fat 9gSaturated Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 37mgSodium 260mgCarbohydrates 33gNet Carbohydrates 29gFiber 4gSugar 13gProtein 5g

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Nicky

Saturday 14th of January 2023

Made these this morning, thanks Julia. They taste naughty but not! Will be making again.

Julia

Tuesday 17th of January 2023

Wahoo! I'm so happy you made and enjoy them! My husband and I are loving them! xo

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