Healthy muffin recipe needed
August 1, 2012 3:15 PM   Subscribe

I am looking for the healthiest muffin the world! (But it has to be delicious)

I have a kid with eating issues. He will eat very few foods. He will eat a muffin. I am hoping for a muffin with hidden nutrition of fruit or vegetables with plenty of calories that doesn't take a lot of talent to make.

What I don't want is lots of sugar. Plenty of fat is fine, but from "good" oils...whatever those may be.

Eggs, oils, milk, are all fine. Non whole grain is fine, too. I prefer whole grain but after several attempts at various whole grain baked goods I am giving up. This incredible picky 4 year old has to like it.

He liked morning glory muffins but i had to pick out the visible carrots and raisins. I am willing to blend, puree, etc.
posted by beccaj to Food & Drink (16 answers total) 43 users marked this as a favorite
Flax4life's blueberry muffins are moist and delicious, with loads of omega-3 fatty acids, which for the time being are healthy FAs. You might try a recipe that mimics their end product, using omega-3 eggs to get that extra nutritional benefit.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:25 PM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

Does it have to be sweet, or is savory ok, too?
posted by two lights above the sea at 3:30 PM on August 1, 2012

Pumpkin banana walnut muffins! I've posted this on here before. It's one of those sort of recipes that came into being because I had too much of a particular ingredient and needed to use it. Turns out they're delicious.

When I make them, I just sort of eyeball it, so I don't have exact measurements. This is the general recipe...the beauty is that you can really add to it whatever you like.

-3 cups whole wheat flour
-1 cup dry oatmeal
-a few tablespoons of ground flaxseed
-4 tsp baking powder
-2 tsp baking soda
-4 eggs
-1 cup brown sugar
-about a cup of applesauce
-2 bananas
-at least 1 cup of pumpkin, maybe 2 (I use fresh because I generally make these in autumn, but canned is fine)
-salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, ground cloves to taste
-a couple tablespoons of honey and maple syrup until it tastes right
-as many walnuts as you want (I use a lot)

You can put pretty much any pureed/well-shredded veg in there. Carrot and zucchini both bake really well. Spinach is good, too, but will turn them a really unappetizing green color.

You may need to adjust the amounts of things until it looks/tastes right. (Like I said, I really just sort of eyeball it.) Bake at 350 for about a half hour.
posted by phunniemee at 3:38 PM on August 1, 2012 [3 favorites]

My picky eater eats these pumpkin muffins, which I believe is a Mark Sisson recipe. He loves them so long as I make them with butter (not coconut oil) and honey (not maple syrup, but I love him anyway), and don't add nuts or chocolate chips.
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:43 PM on August 1, 2012

This looks good. This sweet potato muffin recipe doesn't seem overly sugary.
posted by Sidhedevil at 3:45 PM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

Zucchini muffins are delicious (mostly because you can't taste the zucchini), but you may need to start out with a not-so-healthy chocolate-based variety to distract from the visible green bits. If you can get him to eat that, you ought to (in theory) be able to get away with putting zucchini in anything.

Also: if you don't want lots of sugar, you don't want raisins, since that's pretty much all they are. (Plus, I'm with the kid: They're gross.)
posted by Sys Rq at 4:38 PM on August 1, 2012

I'd be curious what kind of texture your whole grain muffins have that he doesn't like. Have you tried splitting it? I love this recipe from Martha Stewart that uses about half and half, with extra wheat germ, and they're moist and fluffy (though I suspect it's creamed butter that keeps it that way, you're making them cupcake style instead of spoon mixing wet + dry and calling it good). But the slight crunch from the germ makes even more appealing, but that might be a grownup thing.

Try googling yogurt muffins and see what you like too. I use yogurt often in pancakes and muffins for protein, just don't have a go-to recipe.

If you cook the veggies ahead of time you could puree them instead and experiment with that (swap with applesauce).
posted by artifarce at 6:39 PM on August 1, 2012

How do you feel about Splenda? I substitute that for some or all of the sugar in muffins and quick breads all the time. Use the kind that comes in a big bag and is labeled for baking.

I also like to add PB2 powder to increase the protein content of baked goods. Also because I love it.

If he'd go for a muffin with a jammy center, a thick fruit compote might be a bridge to trying fruits on their own, and might give him a little shot of micronutrients. (Guessing on that - I'm not a nutritionist.)

A relatively small number of mini chocolate chips will often get my picky eater to eat something he otherwise wouldn't. So my high-fiber, high-protein, low-sugar banana muffins might get rejected, but the same thing with a few chips is OK. Small price to pay, imo.
posted by lakeroon at 7:21 PM on August 1, 2012

This is my recipe for vegan banana muffins. Very moist and dense, no obvious banana bits, and I keep thinking that I should sub in 1/4 c of (slightly sweetened) cooked carrot puree for the applesauce, but I've not tested that yet.

Vegan Banana Muffins
3 bananas
1/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 cups oat flour
1 cup white flour
1/2 cup golden flaxseed (and/or blueberries, pecans, chocolate chips, whatever)
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp baking soda
juice 1/2 lemon

Preheat your oven to about 350.

Combine all dry ingredients save for the baking soda. Mash the bananas, then carefully stir the mashed bananas, applesauce, and olive oil into the dry ingredients. Don’t mix them too much–it’ll make them tough.

Mix the lemon juice into the batter, and then add the baking soda and quickly mix it in. Fill the muffin cups to the top, even mounding it a little bit. If you want to be fancy, sprinkle the tops with sugar.

Pop them into the preheated oven for about twenty minutes. It’s fairly hard to overbake these–they’re amazingly moist.

When your muffins are done, cool them for a bit, then consume. Store the muffins (if there are any left) in a cool, dry place, since like most muffins, they get very sticky after about 36 hours at room temperature.
posted by MeghanC at 7:24 PM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

One specific tip on the theme of chocolate: These have been well-liked with pumpkin puree in place of sour cream. I skipped the chocolate chips, cut down the sugar and made half of it Splenda, and used somewhat more cocoa than called for. I would've used white whole wheat flour but was out of it.
posted by lakeroon at 7:26 PM on August 1, 2012

If you're worried about nutrition, have you tried Whonu cookies? They apparently have an ungodly amount of vitamins and minerals. It seems to me that if he will eat a muffin, he may also eat a cookie.
posted by blurker at 8:22 PM on August 1, 2012

I wanted my kid to have more fibre, so I tried oatmeal muffins. Really far more delicious than I expected. The kid said no, though. Then, out of nowhere, I came up with the line: 'But they were Jimi Hendrix' favorite!' Now he's asking me to make Jimi Hendrix muffins at least once a week.
posted by ouke at 3:50 AM on August 2, 2012 [2 favorites]

Bran Flax Muffins. I think these muffins are delicious and they also are filled with shredded carrots and apples.
posted by corn_bread at 9:49 AM on August 2, 2012

Response by poster: Thank you very much for the recipes, everyone. I'm off to the market!
posted by beccaj at 9:51 AM on August 2, 2012

Bittman's yogurt muffins are great. My personal adaptation:
1 cup white flour, 1/2 cup whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup corn meal (or 2 cups white flour)
1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
1 1/4 cups yogurt (full fat would be tasty for a kid)
1 -2 cups blueberries
1/2 tsp-1 tsp pumpkin pie spice or cinnamon
posted by ejaned8 at 9:52 AM on August 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Oh, and twolights, I didn't see your question! (I don't have a computer and sneak in on my husbands work computer when I can) Sweet I think, but really, when you have a kid that wont eat you try EVERYTHING! Happy to try a savory one for sure.
posted by beccaj at 9:53 AM on August 2, 2012

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