Some mornings, I am really into making breakfast; it’s my favorite meal of the day, and I love to make a combination of toasty bread, fruit, salad, and eggs. As a freelancer, I’m lucky enough to be able to make the choice between spending time making breakfast or lunch most days, and I usually opt for splurging in the morning.
But some days I don’t want to, or can’t fuss about breakfast. So I would end up skipping breakfast (and feeling crummy), and others I would end up eating something dumb, like a cookie (and feeling crummy). I decided that I needed to make myself something delicious, packed with nutrition, and freeze-able, so I would have something that was healthy AND easy in the morning, without resorting to expensive Whole Foods versions of what I knew I could make myself.
So I bring you my truly tasty Healthy Fruity Morning Muffins. They’re about 275 calories each, and have plenty of protein and most importantly, flavor; I made healthy muffins once before and never ate them because they weren’t tasty. So I went for amping up the flavor in these, first and foremost, and it worked. I pair the muffin with a soft-boiled egg for a 350-calorie breakfast (and a very satisfying one) or an apple or orange. The combination of the full flavor, whole grains, nuts and fruits means they are satisfying as can be, and I look forward to eating them—even though they end up being a healthy choice too. And they freeze beautifully. Success!
Ever-so-gently stirring all the fruity ingredients into the batter.
I adapted my recipe from the Gourmet cookbook’s recipe for banana-nut bread, but that was just to get my start. I added lots more ingredients, subbed local honey for some of the sugar, and made it all from local whole-grains for fiber (for heart and digestive health). As you can see, it’s not a vegan recipe, but I always get organic dairy and eggs locally, and I’m OK with that.
I happened to use what I had around in terms of fruits—in this case, some kinda-old strawberries and a bruised apple, which are perfect for baking (I think frozen blueberries or pears would work too). I always keep lots of organic dried fruit around (I have a dried cherry addiction-no joke), so that served me well here.
Adding the final touch: Just a pinch of granulated sugar mixed with cinnamon to taste
2 cups organic whole wheat flour
1/2 cup organic oats
1/2 cup organic, Fair Trade brown sugar
1/4 cup local honey
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 organic bananas
1/2 cup organic milk
1/4 cup organic sour cream
1/3 cup pecans
1/3 cup local pumpkin seeds
2 eggs (ideally from down the road or your town!)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
8 tbsp organic butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/3 cup organic raisins
1/2 organic apple
2/3 cup organic strawberries
-Mix dry ingredients together (flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg) and set aside
-Cream butter and sugar in a mixer for about 2 minutes on high (until creamy and a bit fluffy). Continue mixing on low speed.
-Add banana while mixing on low, then each egg; mixture will be lumpy or even curdled looking—that’s OK.
-Add sour cream, then add 1/3 of the dry mixture, while mixing on low. Then add half the milk, and 1/3 more of the dry mixture. Finally add rest of milk and rest of dry mixture until just blended.
-Stop mixing with machine, and get out your big wooden spoon and gently stir in the well-chopped pecans and whole pepitas, just until mixed in. Lastly, mix in the fruit.
-Divide batter into 14 buttered muffin tins (or cupcake sleeves, as seen here). Top with a pinch of granulated sugar and extra cinnamon if you like more flavor (the sugar just looks pretty)
-Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until butter knife, inserted into a muffin, comes out clean.
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