If you can resist the regular tug and pull of sugary, delicious cupcakes and breads in order to make these healthy, sweet muffins...more power to ya! For those of you who don't know me, I'll tell you a small fact about myself: I bake a lot of muffins. In one week I bake and sell about 250 muffins (a process that becomes a real pain in the butt being that I only own six muffin trays). However, out of all the muffins I have sold at the farmer's market, these muffins continue to be my best-seller. What are they? Well, that answer is always a tricky one. Filled with healthy nuts and seeds to give you a good dose of fiber and energy, these muffins are also filled with fresh fruits, vegetables (a vegetable in a sweet muffin--trust me, it's delicious), and can easily be made gluten-free. Not only that, you can add basically anything to this recipe without messing it up. I recommend switching the various fruits and vegetables with different seasonal items that your local farmer's market should always have in stock. I'll include the variations at the bottom. These muffins freeze incredibly well. If I make a batch, I would put the extra in the freezer and take them out when you're on the go or need a little power up before a busy day. Diane and Mrs. Maggie, this recipe is for you!
-Prep Time: 30 minutes
-Cook Time: 20 minutes
-Servings: 1 and 1/2 dozen
*note: I use extra-large muffin tins so the yield portion might be a bit off depending on the size that you choose to use. For this recipe, I am referring to the small, regular sized muffin tins.
-2 cups multi-grain flour
-1 cup sugar (or honey!)
-1 tablespoon cinnamon
-2 teaspoon baking powder
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1/2 cup shredded coconut (this can easily be left out if you prefer and replaced with nuts!)
-1/2 cup dried figs (or raisins, cranberries, blueberries, apricots, any dried fruit, etc.)
-2 cups grated zucchini (or carrots, yellow squash, pumpkin, kale, etc.)
-2-3 peaches, peeled and diced (or apple, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, any type of fresh fruit)
-8 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained really well of all liquid (This can easily be left out or you can replace it with mandarin oranges)
-1/2 cup sunflower seeds
-1/4 cup chia seeds
-1/4 cup flax seed (or/in addition 1/4 cup hemp seed)
-2/3 cup vegetable oil (you can also use olive oil for a healthier option)
-2 teaspoon vanilla flavoring/extract
What to do:
Step One: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare all your fruits and vegetables. I find the easiest way to prepare the zucchini/carrots is to shred them in the food processor or with a grater.
Step Two: Mix together flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. I find actually mixing the dry ingredients together plays a huge role in the success of baking. Everything spreads evenly.
Step Three: In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, oil, and vanilla.
Step Four: In a separate bowl, add dried fruit, coconut, seeds, figs, peaches, zucchini, chia, sunflower, and flax seed.
Step Five: Combine the dry mixture, vegetable/fruit/seed mixture, and wet mixture. Blend well. It helps if you rotate adding the dry mixture and vegetable/fruit/seed mixture into the wet mixture, rotating until you finish adding both.
Step Six: Spray 12 muffins cups with cooking spray and fill them, heaping full, with muffin batter.
Step Seven: Bake for 30-35 minutes. Tops will be nicely brown, crisp, and firm when done.
Step Eight: Smile and enjoy!
-summer (this recipe)
-Fall: coconut, apples, carrot, raisins, etc.
-Winter: coconut, apples, pumpkin, carrot, raisins, etc.
-Spring: coconut, strawberries, kale, carrot, raisins, etc.
I started and sell my baked goods at the Chesapeake farmers market in Chesapeake, VA with my family. Everything I know, I learned from my mother. I try to bake with what is fresh and local. Check out www.farmchicksproduce.com for more awesome recipes.