Day 309: Hearty Heart-Loving Muffins ♥
(Whole-Grain, Low-Fat, Low-Sugar Muffins
with Flax, Bran, Carrot, Apple, Raisin & Surprise Ingredient)

Hearty Heart Loving Muffins, moist, fruity muffins, all you want in a morning muffin. Whole-grain, low-sugar, no added fat plus carrots, apple and raisins and a surprise ingredient. For Weight Watchers, PointsPlus 4
graphic button small size size 10 A regular-size muffin for 120 calories? It's a miracle! This is a healthy whole-grain, no-added-fat version of the classic Morning Glory Muffin. You'll find all the traditional Morning Glory "goodies" of carrots, apple and raisins but here cloaked in a muffin batter of whole wheat flour plus good measures of flaxmeal and oat bran, just a quarter cup of sugar and a surprise ingredient. (Baby food, anyone? Yes!) What these muffins don't call for are butter or oil! The muffins are "just sweet enough" and have the texture of a regular muffin. They're moist and flavorful, just what you want in a morning muffin.

Low Fat. Low Cal. Whole Grain. Easily made vegan with easy vegan substitutes too. graphic button small size size 10

~recipe & photo updated 2015~
~more recently updated recipes~

2006: Certain recipes sweep through the food blog world. And these muffins merit attention – all homes should smell so good with muffins in the oven! It started with a recipe from a package of Bob's Red Mill flaxmeal. I found it at Beyond Salmon who got 12 muffins. Then it moved on to Not as Good as Pork Cracklins who got 15 muffins.

And now me – and I got twelve muffins from half a recipe. I did want a small(er) batch but these are so good, I'm glad to have more for the freezer. And the recipe can easily be cut in half again for just six regular-size muffins. If you don't already stock whole grains, this will take a shopping trip, perhaps to a health food store. Lucky me, I had all the ingredients on hand – and was glad of good reason to use them – so these muffins were an easy choice. They will definitely be made again.

I sense this is an extraordinarily flexible recipe, for I adjusted the proportions considerably:
graphic button small size size 10 For still less sweetness, but still plenty sweet, I cut the sugar in half
graphic button small size size 10 For nutrition, I doubled the carrot and added a jar of all-vegetable baby food
graphic button small size size 10 For flavor, I doubled the vanilla and cinnamon
graphic button small size size 10 For moisture, I doubled the liquid and egg and added that jar of baby food

2015: I've meant to remake these muffins forever and ever. They are just as good as I remember. I just now realized how these muffins are so much like Morning Glory Muffins – I love those too! But Hearty Heart-Loving Muffins have half the calories! Definitely worth making, I'm adding them to my list of "signature recipes"!

"Very nice muffin ..." ~ Anonymous


Hands-on time: 25 minutes
Oven time: 20 - 25 minutes
Makes 12 regular-size muffins

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour, fluffed to aerate before measuring or 95g
6 tablespoons (39g) milled flaxseed (some times called flaxseed meal)
6 tablespoons (42g) oat bran
1/4 cup (50g) brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt

1 cup (100g) grated carrot
1 cup (150g) grated apple
1/4 cup currants

2 large eggs, whisked
6 tablespoons (75g) buttermilk
4 ounce (115g) jar baby food (sweet potatoes)
1/2 tablespoon vanilla

Heat oven to 350F/175C. Stir together the Dry Ingredients in a large bowl, then stir in the "Muffin Goodies" and then form a well in the center. Separately, whisk the Wet Ingredients and pour into the well. Mix until just combined. Transfer to greased muffin tins. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes. Serve hot and enjoy!!

Great news, these muffins stay fresh for three or four days, even left out and uncovered. (Who'd do such a thing? Not me. It would be a much better idea to refrigerate the muffins after the first day.)

graphic button small size size 10 VEGAN MUFFINS With egg and buttermilk substitutes, the muffins can easily adapted to vegan.
graphic button small size size 10 MAKE-AHEAD To make ahead, assemble the dry ingredients the night before. You could even mix the wet ingredients and store in the refrigerator. I wouldn't grate the apple until morning, however.
graphic button small size size 10 SUGAR SUBSTITUTE? I am tempted to substitute molasses for the brown sugar.
graphic button small size size 10 GRATING Grate the carrot on a standing cheese grater, you can often grate two carrots at once, at least about half-way through. Use the cheese grated to grate the apple too. There's no need to peel the apple first. Just cut the whole apple in quarters, cut out the core with a V cut. Then grate the flesh-side of the apple on the grater, the peel will naturally separate from the flesh.
graphic button small size size 10 STICKY MUFFINS? (2006) With no added fat, the muffins were a little sticky to get out of muffin pans sprayed with baking spray; muffin papers might be better. (2015) I used a baking spray with flour in one muffin tray and silicone muffin "papers" in the other. Neither one was sticky!
graphic button small size size 10 CINNAMON As usual, I substituted cinnamon with one of two spice blends from Penzey's which I completely love and have used for many, many years now. Check out either the "Baking Spice" or the "Cake Spice". Good stuff! (And for the record, I rarely-rarely "do" spice blends but instead mix my own.)

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Still Hungry?


~ Peasant Cabbage Tomato Soup ~
~ Slow Cooker Vegetarian Lentil Sloppy Joes ~
~ Kohlrabi & Apple Slaw with Creamy Coleslaw Dressing ~
~ Homemade Black Bean Burgers ~
~ My Favorite Winter Squash Recipes ~


~ Hearty Heart-Loving Muffins ~
~ Savory Muffins with Sweet Potato & Feta ~
~ Morning Glory Muffins ~
~ more bread recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture

~ Banana Streusel Muffins ~
~ Gingerbread Muffins ~
~ Perfect Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins ~
~ more muffin recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column

A Veggie Venture is home of 'veggie evangelist' Alanna Kellogg and the
famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.
© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2006 & 2015 (repub)

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Hi Alanna,

    So glad you liked the muffins! I made a batch this weekend too. I made a full batch thinking I'll have plenty of leftovers, but they were gone in one day since we had company over the weekend. I fill my muffin cups to the brim, so a full batch gave me 12 big muffins. They do have to bake longer this way -- 30-40 minutes.

    I was just thinking that these would make a really fun "dessert" topped with some cream cheese icing.


  2. Looks great! This is definitely veganizable (hey, did I just invent a new word?) I'll have to give them a try some time.

  3. What a great idea! I looked at the recipe again this morning and thought the same thing, that it COULD be converted pretty easily. And I also think that'd be a great schtick for you! You know those columns/etc that transform favorite high calorie recipes into something more every-day eatable? This could be YOU.

  4. These look fantastic. I will definitly have to tag these to be made in the near future.

  5. I think I'm falling in love with your Heart-Loving Muffins. Cant wait to try them.

  6. Very nice muffin made them Easter Sunday morning.
    Only sorry I procrastinated and never made them when you posted the recipe.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna