Ever since I can remember I have been a self-proclaimed morning person. It’s my favorite time of day actually. I have perfected my morning routine, and it looks like this:
Wake up. Hello World!
Peer through the curtain to guess the time and weather.
Check what time it actually is.
Chug one full glass of water [chilled by the fact that my bedroom currently lacks heat]
Get up, put on my black sweatpants [the same ones I have been wearing since freshmen year of college], slippers, and glasses.
Splash REALLY cold water on my face 3-5 times.
Fill out the hot water boiler to make a fresh cup of coffee. [Single drip… black … delicious].
Make my bed while the water is heating. Maybe pick some clothes off the floor.
Drip and enjoy said cup of coffee while reading the NYTimes online. [slash facebook].
It’s a tough life…. but someone’s got to do it. And I’m not totally disconnected from the woahs of the working man. Sometimes I have to be places or meet people early, and this week I even had a ‘Breakfast Meeting’. And let me tell you…. there is nothing like day-old Danishes, fruit on the wrong side of ripe, and dirty water coffee to get the day going!
Rather than let the prospect of sub-par pastries ruin my morning, I decided to use it as an opportunity to actually make it better! Enter the Morning Glory Muffins.
I love the idea of Morning Glory muffins, but more often than not the ones you find in cafes and coffee shops are typically dry and bland in an overreaching attempt to be seen as the ‘healthy’ breakfast choice. And I’ll admit it’s a fine line to walk, but one that I think these muffins do perfectly.
Enter two big buzzwords: fat-free and dairy free. And can easily be made vegan by swapping mashed bananas or flaxseed + water for eggs.
But what really sets these muffins apart is the texture. They are unbelievably moist and soft, with just the right amount of jaw effort. The dough itself is really tender, which is complimented by the crunchy walnuts and chewy raisins. Shredded carrots and coconut creates a nice diversity with the chunks of apple, and the coconut + applesauce + brown sugar combo gives them just the right amount of sweetness. Basically… these muffins are a full flavored whole-wheat home run.
Morning Glory Muffins
Makes 18 muffins
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
2 c. whole-wheat flour
¾ c. packed brown sugar
2 t. baking soda
2 t. cinnamon
½ t. nutmeg
¼ t. ginger
¼ t. allspice
½ t. salt
2 c. grated carrots [approximately 3 large, peeled carrots]
1 apple – peeled, cored, and cut into small pieces
½ c. shredded coconut
½ c. raisins
½ c. walnuts
1 c. applesauce
2 t. vanilla
3-4 T. almond milk
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a standard size muffin tin. [If you use paper liners, be sure to grease them too. The muffins stick to the paper otherwise].
Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, spices, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Stir in the grated carrots, apples, coconut, walnuts, and raisins.
In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, applesauce, and vanilla. Stir into the flour / carrot mixture. The batter will be kind of thick …. Add the almond milk a tablespoon at a time to give it a little more moisture.
Fill muffin tins almost to the top [the muffins don’t rise that much] and bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes up clean. Be careful not to over bake them or they will dry out!
[I tried to get fancy and sprinkled some oats on top of a few. It didn’t really do much … but some crushed nuts or even a little cinnamon / sugar / nut topping would be nice.].