Packed with flavor and good-for-you ingredients, these Morning Glory Muffins are a healthy and delicious way to start the day! Veggie-loaded and perfect for a snack or grab-and-go breakfast, these muffins have less sugar than other Morning Glory Muffin recipes, and instead use maple syrup or honey. They’re perfect for making ahead to make a busy day a little easier.

A morning glory muffin on a plate. There are other muffins in the blurred background.

You all know I love my healthier homemade muffin recipes. And, frankly, you all love muffins just as much (especially my Oatmeal green smoothie muffin recipe and Healthy chocolate muffins). They are, hands down, some of my most popular recipes and I totally get why…..muffins are a fun, delicious and EASY way to veggie-load your life!
For reals. I could probably JUST make veggie-loaded muffins from here on out and we’d all be happy as clams.

It was recently brought to my attention that I didn’t have a Morning Glory Muffin recipe in my plethora of muffins on The Natural Nurturer. Say what? A muffin that needs zero tweaking to get veggies in wasn’t already in my line up? I needed to fix that ASAP!

These muffins are quick to mix up and bake to perfection in 20 minutes! Hearty and full of healthy ingredients, they are easily made gluten free and/or egg-free and are vegetarian! They make a nice big batch of 16, so they are perfect to stock your freezer with or include in your meal prep.

There are many different Morning Glory Muffin recipes out there on the big ‘ol bad internet, but they all have a similar flavor combination of carrots + apples + raisins. A truly heavenly blend of flavors that is also packed with fiber and, you guessed it, veggies! Many recipes often throw shredded coconut into the mix, so you can chuck some of that into this batter if you like.

What makes these Morning Glory Muffins different from the ones already on the internet? I have swapped out regular sugar for the natural sweetness of honey or maple syrup, therefore lightening how much added sugar is in these Morning Glory Muffins. Since this type of muffin has apples, raisins, and carrots already in it….they are already going to be packed with Mother Nature’s sweet goodness, so we don’t need to hide that under too much sugar. And yet, these muffins are still a major flavor BOMB! Your taste buds will be dancing with every bite and your body is going to feel amazing from all the healthy goodness that is packed into these muffins.

Process shots of how to make the batter for morning glory muffins

I only have regular rolled oats and not quick-cooking oats. Can I use those?

You can make your own “quick” oats my pulsing the regular rolled oats in your blender or food processor to break them down. To do this, add 1 1/4 cup of rolled oats to the food processor or blender and then pulse a few times until the oats are chopped but some larger pieces remain. Stop before your oats become a fine powder.

Once the oats are chopped, measure the amount needed into the Morning Glory Muffin batter.

Wondering how to store your carrots so they stay fresh as long as possible? Check out my post on How to Keep Cut Carrots Fresh and get the most out of your produce buck!

Can I make these egg-free?

Yes! I have had great success making these Healthy Morning Glory Muffins with flax eggs instead of chicken eggs. To make a “flax egg”, I use the ratio of 1 tablespoon ground flax meal + 2.5 tablespoons water = 1 egg.

So, for this recipe, I use 3 tablespoons of ground flax meal + 7.5 tablespoons water to replace the eggs. Be sure to let the flax/water mixture sit for about 5 minutes to allow it to “gel” before adding it to the batter.

How do you grate the carrots and apples for these muffins?

I use the large holes of a box grater and it works perfectly. No need to squeeze out any of the excess moisture before adding them to the Morning Glory Muffin batter!

How should I store these healthy muffins?

These Healthy Morning Glory Muffins can be stored in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. After that, I suggest storing them in the fridge or freezer to prevent molding and to keep them as fresh as possible for days to come. They freeze beautifully and make for a great breakfast or snack to stock up on!

Can I replace the flour in this muffin recipe with almond meal or coconut flour?

I haven’t tried these Morning Glory Muffins with almond flour, almond meal, or coconut flour, so I can’t speak to how successful these Morning Glory Muffins will turn out when swapping the flours.

In my experience, almond flour can often be used in place of whole wheat flour, however it creates a much denser baked good. Coconut flour is a much thirstier flour and absorbs a lot more liquid than almond flour or wheat flour. I do not suggest using coconut flour in this recipe.

Morning glory muffins in a muffin tin before baking. A hand is sprinkling chopped nuts on the top.

Why are these called “Morning Glory” muffins?

Great question and one I often wondered. There are a few versions how Morning Glory Muffins earned their name.

One theory that I have read is that, because these muffins are packed with so much fiber from their carrots + apples + raisins, they help move the “glory” along in the bathroom. As in poop, TNNers.

Another story I have heard is that the woman who originally created the Morning Glory Muffin, Pam McKinstry, was the owner and chef of The Morning Glory Cafe. The muffins are a signature baked good that her cafe became known for.

How can I substitute applesauce in baking, like these Morning Glory Muffins?

Applesauce offers a lot to a baking recipe, such as natural sweetness and moisture. When swapping out applesauce in baking, my first go-to is mashed banana. I find that I can swap them out one-for-one in a baking recipe with consistent success.

If the recipe you are baking has enough sweetness already from another sweetener, you can also replace the applesauce in a baking recipe with pumpkin puree, cooked and mashed sweet potato, or with yogurt.

Why are my muffins dry and dense?

There are a few possible reasons!

One major reason is overmixing! Mixing activates the gluten in the flour and can make for a really heavy, dense muffin. So don’t dump everything into your mixer and walk away, mix your muffin batter until JUST combined. That is the big secret to fluffy muffins!

Another reason muffins might be dry is overbaking or baking at too high of a temperature. People will take a muffin recipe out of an oven and break a muffin open to find that it is still a bit moist and think they are underbaked, but often they are not. Baked goods continue to bake as they cool down in their baking pan and on the cooling rack. To avoid this, bake your muffins until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean and then let them sit in the muffin tin to cool for at least 10 to 15 minutes. They will firm up as they cool.

I also suggest getting an internal oven thermometer (under $10!) so you can be sure your oven is cooking true to temp. As ovens age, their thermostat might become faulty or need to be calibrated again, leaving you with overbaked or underbaked recipes! If you find that you are running into constantly over or underbaked recipes, double check that your oven is cooking at the proper temperature before dissing or ditching a recipe.

Morning glory muffins in a pan right after baking.

Suggested Adaptations

Make them gluten free. Use a cup-for-cup style gluten free flour blend in place of the whole wheat flour and be sure to use gluten free oats.

Sub the carrots with zucchini. Replace half the grated carrot in the recipe with grated zucchini.

Bake them as a loaf! Combine the ingredients as directed and line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool for 20 minutes before enjoying.

Make them egg free. I found that flax eggs worked great in these Healthy Morning Glory Muffins. To make a “flax egg”, I use the ratio of 1 tablespoon ground flax meal + 2.5 tablespoons water = 1 egg. So, for this recipe, I use 3 tablespoons of ground flax meal + 7.5 tablespoons water to replace the eggs. Be sure to let the flax/water mixture sit for about 5 minutes to allow it to “gel” before adding it to the batter.

Other veggie-loaded muffin recipes you are going to adore

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A hand holding a cut morning glory muffin.
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4.85 from 196 votes

Healthy Morning Glory Breakfast Muffins

Yield: 16 muffins
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Cuisine: American
Course: Breakfast
Packed with flavor and good-for-you ingredients, these Morning Glory Muffins are a healthy and delicious way to start the day! Veggie-loaded and perfect for a snack or grab-and-go breakfast, these muffins have less sugar than other Morning Glory Muffin recipes, and instead use maple syrup or honey. They’re perfect for making ahead to make a busy day a little easier.

Ingredients
 

  • 1 ¼ cups (150 g) white whole wheat flour , can sub with whole wheat or all-purpose
  • 1 cup (81.08 g) quick-cooking “instant” oats, see notes below for how to make your own
  • 2 teaspoons (8 g) baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons (4 g) cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon (1 g) ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon (3 g) salt
  • 3 large (3 large) eggs
  • ¾ cup (183 g) unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup (78.86 ml) avocado or olive oil
  • 1/3 cup (78.86 ml) maple syrup or honey
  • 1 teaspoon (2 g) orange zest
  • ¼ cup (59.15 ml) orange juice
  • 2 cups (256 g) grated carrot
  • 1 cup (125 g) grated apple , (I used 1 medium Honeycrisp apple)
  • 1/2 cup (72.5 g) raisins
  • 1/2 cup (54.5 g) chopped pecans , optional
  • 3 tablespoons (21 g) ground flax seed (optional)

Equipment

  • Muffin tin

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375℉. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners (this recipe makes 14 to 16 muffins so use a second muffin tin or make more after the first batch has cooked).
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt until well combined. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk eggs, applesauce, oil, maple syrup, orange zest, and orange juice until well combined.
  • Pour the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet and stir until just combined. Do not overmix.
  • Using a large spoon or spatula, fold in the grated carrot, apple, raisins, pecans, and ground flax, if using.
  • Scoop batter into prepared muffin cups filling them to the top. Sprinkle each muffin with extra pecans, if desired.
  • Bake until golden brown and the muffins have an internal temperature of 200℉, about 20 to 23 minutes. Cool muffins in pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then enjoy warm or at room temperature.

Notes

What if I only have regular old-fashioned rolled oats and not the quick-cooking? You can make your own “quick” oats by pulsing regular rolled oats in the food processor to break them down. Add a 1 ¼ cups of oats to the food processor then pulse until the oats are chopped but some larger pieces still remain (they should not be a fine powder). Once the oats are chopped, measure the amount needed in the recipe.
Serving: 1muffin, Calories: 183kcal, Carbohydrates: 24g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 0.004g, Cholesterol: 35mg, Sodium: 237mg, Potassium: 196mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 2742IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 38mg, Iron: 1mg