Homemade Muffins are very easy to make. Mix the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and hand stir lightly. Usually, you only need to stir them about 12-15 times. The batter will be very lumpy but that is the way it should be. Homemade muffins are one thing you don’t want to over-mix. Pour them into greased muffin cups about 2/3 full. If you don’t have enough batter to fill all of the cups in the pan, you can fill the empty ones with water if you like. If you are adding nuts or fruit, mix them in with the dry ingredients before you add the liquids. This keeps them from all falling to the bottom of the muffin. Your muffins should come out with rounded tops and a light fluffy texture. 

You can achieve a different tasting muffin with the same batter by adding one of the ingredients below:

Bacon or Ham – add 1/2 cup chopped bacon or ham

Blueberries – 1 cup

Cherries or cranberries – 2/3 cup of cherries or cranberries, mixed with 2 tablespoons of sugar

Dried fruit – 1/2 cup apricots, currants, peaches, figs, prunes, raisins or dates

Nuts – 1/3 cup chopped

Cheese – 1/2 cup grated cheese and 1/8 teaspoon paprika

Cornmeal – 1 cup cornmeal and 1 cup flour

Whole wheat – 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1 cup flour. 

Tips for Making Healthy Muffins from Scratch

Decrease some (NOT ALL) of the fat. Usually just 3 to 4 tablespoons of oil or butter for each batch of 8 to to 12 muffins is enough to keep your muffins tender and moist.

Use whole wheat pastry flour. It’s much lighter than regular whole-wheat flour so it works better in muffins. Replace half the flour in your favorite muffin recipe for whole wheat pastry flour or another whole grain flour. Two favorites are oat flour, which you can make by grinding rolled oats in the blender or food processor and barley flour.

Replace 1/4 to 1/2 cup fruit or vegetable puree for the same amount of oil in your favorite muffin recipe. This will increase the nutrition, moisture, tenderness and natural sweetness of your muffins. Applesauce or pumpkin puree are good substitutes.

Add nuts that are high in omega-3 fats. Walnuts and almonds are good choices.

Mix together the dry ingredients well with a wire whisk or fork. Fluffing up the flour will help make your muffins more tender.

Mix the dry and wet ingredients together gently just until blended. Over mixing can make your muffins tough and/or heavy.

Add 1/2 to 1 cup of healthy additions. Berries, chopped fresh fruit, dried fruit pieces, shredded carrots, shredded zucchini and mini dark chocolate chips are all good sources of vitamins and minerals and extra fiber.

Use an ice cream scoop to fill the muffin cups. It’s much faster and neater.

Add water to any empty muffin cups in you muffin pan. To stop your muffin pan from buckling.

Don’t let the baked muffins sit in the pan too long. If you do, they will get soggy.

Muffins should be golden brown with slightly rounded bumpy tops. They are tender and light to fairly dense and moist inside and easy to remove from the pan. 

Turn your favorite quick bread recipe into muffins. Most any standard (9×5-inch) loaf of healthy quick bread can be made into 12 (2-1/2-inch) healthy muffins. Just evenly distribute the batter among the muffin cups and bake in a heated 375 degree F. oven until golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean, somewhere between 20 and 25 minutes.

Basic Easy Healthy Muffin Recipe                    

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Bake Time: 20 to 30 minutes

Yield: 8-12 muffins

You can bake these muffins plain, add in a cup or so of your favorite fruit and adjust the amount of sugar to suit your taste. If you like bigger muffins, distribute the batter among just 8 of the muffin cups instead of all 12 and pour 1/4 cup water into the empty cups to prevent them from buckling. These muffins call for a small amount of fat – just 3 tablespoons for the entire batch. Using any less can cause your muffins to have a rubbery texture.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar, or to taste
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil 
  • 1 cup milk, plus more if needed
  • optional additions below

Directions:

Adjust an oven rack in the center of the oven and heat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a standard 12-cup muffin pan or line the cups with paper liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the egg, oil, milk and any optional ingredients (such as 1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries).

Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined and moistened. (The batter should still be lumpy and thick, but moist. If the batter seems too dry add a little more milk.)

Distribute the batter evenly among the muffin cups.

Bake until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 20 minutes (30 minutes for larger muffins).

Remove from the oven and let the muffins rest in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring them out of the pan and onto a wire rack to cool completely. Or enjoy them while they’re still warm.

Healthy Muffin Variations

Apple Cinnamon Muffins: Stir in one medium peeled and chopped apple with the milk and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon with the flour. Substitute packed brown sugar for the granulated sugar.

Banana-Nut Muffins: Decrease milk to 1/4 cup, stir in 1 cup mashed bananas (2 to 3 medium) and 1/3 cup chopped nuts with the milk. Substitute packed brown sugar for the sugar.

Blueberry Muffins: Stir in 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries. 

Bran Muffins: Pour the milk on 1-1/2 cups whole bran cereal and let stand 10 minutes. Add this to the egg and oil along with 1/4 cup molasses. Decrease the flour to 1-1/4 cups and add 1/2 cup raisins if desired.

Buttermilk Muffins: Substitute buttermilk for the milk. Decrease baking powder to 1-1/2 teaspoons and add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda with the flour.

Chocolate Chip Muffins: Stir in 1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips.

Corn Muffins: Do not use the whole wheat flour. Decrease flour to 1 cup and stir in 1 cup cornmeal with the flour.

Cranberry Muffins: Stir in 1 cup chopped cranberries and 1 tablespoon finely grated orange or lemon zest with the milk. Sprinkle the tops with sugar before baking.

Date Nut Muffins: Stir in 1/2 cup chopped pitted dates and 1/3 cup chopped nuts with the milk.

Oatmeal Muffins: Decrease flour to 1 cup (1/2 cup of each) and stir in 1 cup quick-cooking oats, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon with the flour.

Raspberry Muffins: Stir in 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries and 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest.

Spice Muffins: Stir in 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger and a pinch each of ground cloves and ground nutmeg with the flour.

Zucchini Muffins: Stir in 1 cup grated zucchini (squeezed dry to remove excess moisture) and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts with the milk.

Tips for Baking the Best Muffins

1) Most muffin recipes use the standard muffin method: mix your dry ingredients and the wet ingredients separately, then combine them. It’s really important not to overmix the batter when you combine the wet and dry ingredients—mix only until just combined and all the flour just becomes moistened. The batter should remain lumpy! If you mix until the batter becomes smooth, your muffins will turn out tough. About twelve strokes with your mixing spoon or large spatula should be sufficient.

2) Be creative in your mix-ins! If you have a favorite blueberry muffin recipe, you can try adding blackberries, dried cranberries, or chopped apples in place of the usual blueberries. Experiment with adding different citrus zests or flavored extracts to muffin batter, or add chopped pecans, macadamia nuts or sunflower seeds. When you add mix-ins, toss them with a little bit of flour before quickly mixing them into the batter at the end (remember, not too many strokes when you do add them!). Tossing them with flour prevents everything from settling to the bottom of your muffins while they’re baking, so your ingredients will remain evenly distributed throughout the batter.

3) You can use any size of muffin pan with any muffin recipe. If you want to end up with mini or jumbo muffins instead of standard size muffins, note that mini muffin pans hold about 2 tablespoons of batter per cup, while jumbo muffin tins can hold up to one cup of batter. Remember to adjust baking time accordingly—the smaller the muffin, the faster it bakes. Expect to bake mini muffins for about 5-8 minutes less than regular muffins, or add 8-13 minutes to the standard muffin baking time when baking jumbo muffins.

4) Don’t fill the cups in your muffin tin more than 3/4 full of batter, or you’ll end up with very flat muffin tops. To get nice domed tops, fill them about 2/3 full. If you don’t have enough batter to fill up every muffin cup in your tin, put 2 to 3 tablespoons of water in the empty muffin cups to prevent the pan from warping.

5) To make cleanup a breeze, grease your muffin pan very well, and don’t forget to grease the top of your muffin tin, too—if any batter drips there or the baking muffins expand over the cups onto the top of the pan, it will make removing the muffins and cleaning the pan easier. Using paper muffin cups makes removing the muffins from the pan easy, and helps keep them fresh longer, too.

Sweet Potato Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

Dry ingredients:

  • 3 cups whole wheat pastry or Kamut flour
  • 1/2 cup sweetener of choice
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon flaxseed
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup dried fruit, chopped or diced

Wet ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked sweet potato (no peel), mashed and fluffed with a fork
  • 3 cups milk, non-dairy milk or other liquid, such as almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk dry ingredients together.

In another bowl, whisk wet ingredients together until smooth.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until mixed well. Let sit 5 minutes. Lightly stir the batter again.

With an ice cream scoop, divide the muffin batter into 12 muffin cups that have been greased or lined with paper cups.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until muffins test clean and done in the center. Let cool on a rack.

Ginger Pear Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed, or 1 egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup chopped, cored pear
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon oat bran
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat twelve 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour, rolled oats, brown sugar, baking powder, the 1/2 teaspoon ginger and the salt. Make a well in the center. In a small bowl, combine milk, oil and egg; add all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened. Fold in pear and walnuts.

Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Combine oat bran and the 1/4 teaspoon ginger; sprinkle over muffins. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until tops are brown. Cool in muffin cups on wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from muffin cups; serve warm.

Buttermilk Corn Muffins

This savory muffin recipe is less sweet than most corn breads. The muffins are delicious as a side dish to soups or chili.

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or sugar substitute equivalent to 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed, or 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon lower-fat stick margarine, melted
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly coat twelve 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray. In a large bowl, stir together flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg, oil and margarine. Add buttermilk mixture and cheese all at once to flour mixture; stir just until moistened. Don’t over mix; batter should be slightly lumpy.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake about 15 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in muffin cups on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from muffin cups; serve warm.

Raisin-Carrot Muffins

Makes 16 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup toasted wheat germ
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup finely shredded carrot
  • Ground cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degree F. In a small bowl, combine raisins and boiling water; set aside. Coat sixteen 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with cooking spray or line with paper bake cups; set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, wheat germ, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Make a well in the center.

In a small bowl, beat egg slightly; stir in buttermilk, brown sugar and oil. Add all at once to flour mixture; stir just until moistened (the batter should be lumpy). Drain raisins. Gently fold raisins and carrot into batter.

Spoon batter evenly into prepared muffin cups, filling each cup two-thirds full. Sprinkle with additional cinnamon.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden. Cool in muffin cups on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Remove from cups. Serve warm.

Country-Style Blueberry Muffins

TOPPING:

  • 2 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tablespoons quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter or margarine, cut into small pieces

MUFFINS:

  • 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons nonfat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries

Directions:

To make the topping: In a small bowl, stir together the flour, oats, brown sugar and cinnamon. Cut in the butter or margarine until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

To make the muffins:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In a medium bowl, combine the milk, egg, sugar, yogurt, oil, lemon zest and vanilla. Add to flour mixture and stir until well mixed. Fold in the blueberries.

Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling them about two-thirds full. Top each muffin with 1 teaspoon of the topping. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes, then remove the muffins from the pan.

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