Have you ever been curious about how to make healthy muffins from scratch?
Healthy muffins are one of my favorite things to bake. They are so easy. It’s hard to mess them up. They provide maximum return with minimal effort. Always a good thing when you are lazy like me!
All you need is a few tips for making healthy muffins and you are in business.
It’s probably easier to buy muffins from your favorite coffee shop or bakery. That’s what I used to do. But the trouble is that they’re usually huge and high in calories.
Here’s a newsflash for you – if the muffin you’re eating tastes like a cupcake, it probably has as much fat, sugar and calories as one too! It’s something I discovered years ago when I first got serious about losing weight.
Why is it so much healthier to make muffins at home?
When you mix up and bake your own muffins from scratch, you are in control of what ingredients you use and the size of the muffins you make.
But it’s important not to get too crazy when making healthy baked goods, or else you can wind up with muffins that are either dry and tasteless or that have a rubbery texture.
If you like eating muffins for breakfast, use these 12 tips to mix up more healthy ones.
12 Tips for Making Healthy Muffins from Scratch
- Decrease some (NOT ALL) of the fat.
Usually just 3 to 4 tablespoons of oil or butter for each batch of 8 to to 12 muffins is enough to keep your muffins tender, moist and tasty.
- Use whole wheat pastry flour.
It’s much lighter than regular whole-wheat flour so it works better in muffins. Replace half the flour in your favorite muffin recipe for whole wheat pastry flour or another whole grain flour. Two of my current favorites are oat flour, which you can make by grinding rolled oats in the blender or food processor and barley flour.
- Replace 1/4- to 1/2-cup fruit or vegetable puree for oil.
Using your favorite fruit or vegetable puree (think pure canned pumpkin-not pumpkin pie filling, or applesauce), replace the same amount of oil (up to half) in your favorite muffin recipe. This will increase the nutrition, moisture, tenderness and natural sweetness of your muffins. Applesauce and pumpkin puree are personal favorites.
- Add nuts that are high in omega-3 fats.
Walnuts and almonds are good choices.
- Mix together the dry ingredients well.
Using a wire whisk or fork, make sure your dry ingredients are well mixed. Fluffing up the flour will help make your muffins more tender.
- Mix the dry and wet ingredients together gently, just until blended.
Over mixing the batter can make your muffins tough and/or heavy.
- Add 1/2- to 1-cup of healthy additions.
Berries, chopped fresh fruit, dried fruit pieces, shredded carrots, shredded zucchini and mini dark chocolate chips are all good sources of vitamins and minerals and extra fiber.
- Use yogurt or buttermilk.
For all, or some, of the milk or fat in your muffin recipes. It will create moist tender muffins. If you are an inexperienced baker, look for recipes that use these ingredients so you don’t need to determine how to make the changes.
- Use an ice cream scoop to fill the muffin cups.
It’s much faster and neater and helps create muffins all the same size.
- Add water to any empty muffin cups in you muffin pan.
This will help stop your muffin pan from buckling while in the oven.
- Don’t let the baked muffins sit in the pan too long.
After you pull the muffin tin from the oven, let them cool slightly before removing them to a wire rack to cook completely. If your muffins sit too long in the hot pan, they will get soggy.
- Baked muffins should be 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. If not, check out our tips for trouble shooting problems with your muffins below.
Solving Common Muffin Problems
Sometimes things go wrong when making muffins, especially if you are just learning how to make healthy muffins from scratch. Here are some common muffin making problems and cures…
- Pale muffins usually mean the oven was too cool. Make sure your oven is heated to the required temperature before placing your muffins in the oven to bake. (You may need an oven thermometer to check the temperature of your oven.)
- Muffins with very smooth, or peaked tops, means you mixed the batter too much. Be sure to only mix until the dry ingredients are just moistened, being as gentle as you can.
- Tough and heavy muffins means you used too much flour and/or mixed the batter 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.)
- Muffins with uneven texture and large holes/tunnels indicates too much mixing.
- Dry muffins usually mean 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. Grease your muffin cups well or line them with paper liners before filling with batter.
- Muffins that are dark on the outside, but not done in the center, usually means that the oven was too hot.
Some of My Favorite Healthy Muffin Recipes
*PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc. All recipe ingredients except optional items included in determining nutritional estimates. SmartPoints® values calculated WITHOUT Weight Watchers Zero Points fruits and vegetables using the WW Recipe Builder.
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