how do you make healthy muffins that taste good?

I cooked breakfast for dinner earlier this week– also known as “brinner,” which is a portmanteau, according to my boyfriend. I made a batch of muffins for said brinner, and I’m not going to sugar coat it, friends; the muffins were a little… tough. Not bad, per say, but not good either.

Recently I’ve been craving pecan pie like whoa (did I really just write that?), and this seemed like an opportune time to make a muffin version that’s, well, not chock full of sugar and butter. Problem is that muffins sans sugar and butter can be on the dry side. But I did everything in my power to avoid creating hockey puck muffins, I swear! Still– no avail.

What are your tips for making good, healthy muffins? Muffins shouldn’t be cake… but they also shouldn’t be unpalatable. I’m trying to find the muffin middle ground.

Here’s the recipe I used, adapted from various other sites… Suggestions for improvement? What about applesauce?

lv, molly

Maple Pecan Muffins

Makes 12

1 C pecans, roughly chopped
2 C whole wheat flour (or white whole wheat flour)
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 C milk or soy milk (I recommend using 1% or 2%)
1 egg (or egg substitute such as water + ground flax seed)
1/2 C maple syrup
1/3 C vegetable oil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter a muffin pan or spray with non-stick spray.
Mix together the pecans with flour, salt, and baking powder. In another bowl, whisk together milk, egg, maple syrup, oil and vanilla.
Pour the liquids into the dry mixture. Gently fold to mix. The batter can have some lumps. Do not overmix because these muffins can get tough. Spoon batter into muffin cups.
Bake for about 15-20 minutes until tester comes clean. The nut topping turns golden, but the muffins will be somewhat pale. Remove muffins to a cooling rack.

P.S. I kept humming this song as I was making these. Is that embarrassing?

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2 thoughts on “how do you make healthy muffins that taste good?

  1. I’ve found that ‘healthy’-type muffins usually benefit from plain yogurt or fruit puree.. like banana or apple mash.
    Otherwise they tend to be lacking..
    I bet banana would go great with the pecan and maple of this recipe!

  2. Elena, thanks for the idea! Banana would probably go wonderfully with this, and I’m going to try it out!!

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