Old Fashioned Healthy Muffin Recipes

      

Healthy Whole Wheat Banana Muffins

I made my first batch of healthy muffins back in the 1970s. The recipe came from a magazine (I don’t remember which one; Seventeen, perhaps?). The ingredients included orange juice, cornflakes and raisins.

I’ve enjoyed making muffins ever since, probably because they are so easy to make and everyone appreciates them warm from the oven. It also helps that most muffin recipes call for common ingredients most people keep on hand – flour, baking powder, salt, eggs, milk and butter or oil – that can be stirred together in minutes.

The truth is that most any muffin you make at home is going to be much better for you than the kind you find in supermarkets, bakeries and coffee shops because the portion size will be smaller and the amount of sugar and fat much less.

Some of the most healthy muffin recipes can be found in old cookbooks where butter, fat and sugar were used more sparingly (probably because of their expense) and portion sizes were smaller.

Even though muffin making is easy, there are a few important tips to keep in mind…

Muffin Making Tips

  • Most easy muffin recipes can be stirred together by hand in a large bowl.
  • For the best results mix together the dry ingredients well with a fork or wire whisk. The goal is to fluff the flour up so it is well aerated which will help create lighter more tender muffins.
  • When combining the dry and wet ingredients, mix just until blended because over mixing will cause your muffins to be heavy and tough.
  • If some of your muffin cups are empty, add water to them to prevent your muffin pan from buckling.
  • Don’t let the baked muffins sit in the pan too long or they will become soggy.
  • Well made muffins are golden brown with slightly rounded bumpy tops. They are tender and light to fairly dense and moist inside and easy to remove from the pan.
  • Most any recipe for a large  (9×5-inch) loaf of quick bread can be turned into 12 (2-1/2-inch) muffins. Just evenly distribute the batter among the muffin cups and bake in a preheated 375 degree F oven until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean, somewhere between 20 and 25 minutes.

Sometimes things go wrong when baking muffins.  Here are some common muffin making problems and cures…

Muffin Trouble Shooting

  • Pale muffins usually mean the oven was too cool.
  • Peaked and/or smooth topped muffins indicates the batter was mixed too much.
  • Tough and heavy muffins means too much flour was used and/or the batter was mixed too much. (Be sure to fluff your flour well and then lightly spoon it into your measuring cup before leveling it off with the flat side of a knife.)
  • Uneven texture with large holes/tunnels indicates too much mixing
  • Dry muffins usually means you used too much flour, your oven was too hot or they were baked too long.
  • Sticking usually means the pan was not properly greased
  • Muffins that are dark on the outside but underdone in the middle indicates that the oven was too hot.

Healthy Muffin Making Ingredients

  • all purpose flour
  • whole wheat pastry flour
  • rolled oats
  • ground flaxseed meal
  • nuts
  • granulated sugar
  • brown sugar
  • honey
  • maple syrup
  • molasses
  • butter
  • canola oil
  • olive oil
  • eggs
  • milk
  • buttermilk
  • plain yogurt
  • spices
  • salt
  • vanilla
  • citrus zest

You don’t need any special ingredients to make muffins, beyond your standard baking tools and a muffin pan.

Muffin Making Kitchen Tools & Equipment

  • mixing bowls
  • muffin pans
  • cooling rack
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • wire whisk
  • rubber or silicone spatulas
  • wooden spoons
  • grater/zester
  • kitchen timer
  • oven mitts
  • toothpicks (for checking doneness)

Healthy Muffin Recipes

I love baking and eating healthy muffins and collecting healthy muffin recipes.  Here are some of my current favorites, each with Weight Watchers PointsPlus values of 4, 5 or 6.


Whole Wheat Applesauce Muffins

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 20 to 25 minutes
Yield: 12 muffins

I’ve found that using half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour is the best way to reach a happy healthy balanced with many muffin recipes. You get the benefits of whole wheat flour without having your muffins turn out too dense and heavy.

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons turbinado sugar, for sprinkling on top if desired

Directions

1. Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a muffin pan.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, flax seeds, cinnamon, allspice, baking soda and salt.

3. In a second bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, egg, applesauce, oil and vanilla until well blended.

4. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir just until blended.

5. Divide the batter equally among the cups of the prepared muffin pan. Sprinkle with the turbinado sugar if desired.

6. Bake in the preheated oven until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted in the center  of the muffins comes out clean, about 20 to 25 minutes.

7. Remove from the oven and let the muffins cool in their pan on a wire rack for about 5 minutes, then remove them from the pan and place them on the wire rack to cool.

Nutritional Estimates Per Serving (1 muffin): 224 calories, 10.2 g fat, 30.7 g carbs, 1.2 g fiber, 2.9 g protein and 6 WW PointsPlus Value

Recipes for whole wheat banana muffins and whole wheat pumpkin muffins


Oatmeal Muffin Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Soak Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 12 muffins

Like eating a bowl of healthy oatmeal in muffin form!

Ingredients

1 cup buttermilk
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 large egg
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

1. Combine the buttermilk and oats in a bowl and let soak for 30 minutes before proceeding with the recipe.

2. Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a standard muffin pan.

3. Add the egg, sugar and melted butter to the buttermilk mixture and stir until well blended.

4. In a small bowl stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt until well combined then add this mixture to the mixing bowl with the wet ingredients and stir until just combined.

5. Distribute the batter evenly among the cups of the muffin pans.

6. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean.

7. Remove from the oven and let the muffins cool in their pan on a wire rack for about 5 minutes, then remove them from the pan and place them on the wire rack to cool.

Nutritional Estimates Per Serving (1 muffin): 175 calories, 8.9 g fat, 20.2 g carbs, 1.1 g fiber, 3.5 g protein and 5 WW PointsPlus Value

Variation: For toasted coconut muffins, stir 1 cup toasted coconut into the flour mixture and proceed with the recipe as directed.

Oatmeal Muffin


Healthy 8-Grain Muffin Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Soak Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 15 to 20 minutes
Yield: 12 muffins

A healthy and delicious way to bump up your whole grain intake. These eight grain muffins are great for breakfast or a healthy lunchbox snack.

Ingredients

1-1/4 cups buttermilk
1 cup 8-grain or other mullti-grain hot cereal
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

1. Combine the buttermilk and cereal in a large bowl and let soak for 20 minutes before proceeding with the recipe.

2. Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a standard muffin pan.

4. In another large bowl stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt until well combined and set aside.

5. Whisk the egg, brown sugar, oil and vanilla into the cereal mixture until well blended.

6. Add the cereal mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just blended.

7. Distribute the batter evenly among the cups of the muffin pans.

6. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean.

7. Remove from the oven and let the muffins cool in their pan on a wire rack for about 5 minutes, then remove them from the pan and place them on the wire rack to cool.

Nutritional Estimates Per Serving (1 muffin): 152 calories, 7.0 g fat, 19.4 g carbs, 0.6 g fiber, 3.1 g protein and 4 WW PointsPlus Value


Irish Brown Bread Muffins

Irish Brown Bread Muffins

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 26 to 20 minutes
Yield: 12 muffins

Great muffins to serve with soup for lunch or supper. We enjoyed the recently with steaming bowls of split pea soup.

Ingredients

2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup dark molasses
1/4 cup butter, melted

Directions

1. Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a standard muffin pan.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, wheat germ salt and baking soda until well combined.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, molasses and butter until well blended

4. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just blended.

5. Distribute the batter evenly among the prepared cups of the muffin pan. Using the tip of a sharp knife, cut and X across the top of the batter in each cup.

6. Bake in preheated oven for 16 to 20 minutes or until the tops are lightly browned and the muffins sound hollow when tapped.

7. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then remove them from the pan and transfer them to a wire rack to cool.

Nutritional Estimates Per Serving (1 muffin): 164 calories, 4.4 g fat, 28.0 g carbs, 0.9 g fiber, 3.4 g protein and 4 WW PointsPlus Value


Kellogg’s Best Bran Muffins

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 12 muffins

This classic recipe for bran muffins dates back to 1926, when it first appeared on the box of Kellogg’s All-Bran Cereal. It’s the muffin my roommate, Amy, and I made most often and college and one I still get a craving for every now and again.

Ingredients

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1-1/2-cups Kellogg’s All-Bran cereal or Bran Buds cereal
1 cup milk
1 large egg
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Directions

1. Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a standard 12 cup (2-1/2-inch) muffin pan.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar until well combined and then set aside.

3. In a large bowl, stir together the All-Bran cereal and milk. Let stand 5 minutes, until cereal is softened. Add the egg and oil. Beat well.

4. Add the flour mixture, stirring only until combined.

5. Portion the batter evenly among the prepared cups of the muffin pan.

6. Bake in preheated oven until they look done and toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.

7. Remove from the oven and let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then remove them from the pan and transfer them to a wire rack to cool.

Nutritional Estimates Per Serving (1 muffin): 171 calories, 7.3 g fat, 25.6 g carbs, 2.9 g fiber, 3.5 g protein and 5 WW PointsPlus Value

Variations: 3 cups Kellogg’s Raisin Bran cereal or All Bran flakes cereal may be substituted for the All-Bran cereal.

Orange Berry Muffins: Decrease sugar to 1/4 cup. Substitute orange juice for milk and stir in 1/2 cup dried cranberries with the flour mixture. Bake about 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean.


More Great Healthy Muffin Recipes

7 Healthy Blueberry Muffin Recipes – a collection from my files and from around the web
Banana Mocha Macadamia Nut Muffins – a great breakfast muffin for banana and coffee lovers
Banana Nut Muffins – simple, moist and delicious
Basic Muffins – a richer more cake like basic muffin recipe with more sugar, butter and eggs
Bran Muffins – a collection of recipes from my files and from the web
Cottage Cheese Muffins – simple muffins with the added protein of cottage cheese
Easy Muffin Recipes - a great collection of easy muffin recipes that all begin with one master recipe
Healthy Apple Pecan Muffins – with whole wheat flour, applesauce, apples and cinnamon
Healthy Company Muffins - full of wholesome ingredients including oats, apples and carrots
Irish Soda Bread Muffins – soda bread flavors in a simple muffin
Pumpkin Muffins – spicy and not too sweet with raisins and nuts
Whole Wheat Muffins – whole wheat banana and whole wheat pumpkin chocolate chip

Do you have a favorite healthy muffins recipe you’d like to share?

750 Muffin Recipes Cookbook

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Comments

  1. Lydia says

    Hi – great recipes, thank you for posting these! I have a question on the Oatmeal Muffin Recipe. It lists 1/2 cup butter in the ingredients but never states where to add it. I mixed it in with the wet ingredients but wondering if it’s even supposed to be in there?
    Thanks,
    Lydia

    • says

      Hi Lydia,

      Thanks for your comment. Yes, you did the right thing, adding the butter into the wet ingredients. I’ve updated the recipe in the post. Thanks for letting me know.

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