Versatility Wrapped in Paper

Before I signed off for the long Memorial Day weekend, I teased a bit by tossing out some of the projects I was working on and would be sharing later. Among them was the quest for a muffin that's packed with lots of great ingredients and can multi-task over a busy weekend with a house full of family and friends. This is where Morning Glory Muffins shine. Packed with fruit, vegetables, nuts, and a great combination of spices, they deliver an impressive nutritional punch and are versatile enough to step into the role of breakfast or brunch without being awkward at snacktime or even as a dessert. (For dessert, I like to slather a little Nutella onto one and enjoy.)

If you think carrots are odd in baked goods, consider carrot cake and move on. If you wonder if all that shredded fruit and vegetable matter will leave your muffins overly heavy, you needn't worry. Even the flaked coconut adds a fun layer of texture to these complex treats. Despite a wide range of ingredients, they come together quickly and smell simply fantastic while baking. They hold up well to storing, but you won't need to be concerned about that for long. With as much goodness as these muffins hold, they will be gobbled up in no time and those enjoying them will be asking you for the recipe. And then you'll have yet another thing to share!

Morning Glory Muffins

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups finely shredded carrots
  • 1 apple – peeled, cored and coarsely shredded
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter - melted
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Prepare muffin tins for 1 dozen full size and 1 dozen mini muffins. In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients (all-purpose flour through salt). Stir in the carrots, apples, raisins, walnuts, and coconut. In a small bowl combine the sugars, melted butter, oil, and vanilla. Stir in the eggs one at a time until well mixed. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just moistened. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

  • Yields: 2 dozen mixed-size muffins
  • Preparation Time: 45 minutes