Carrots, zucchini, yogurt, wheat germ, pecans, orange zest, and blackstrap molasses all in one compact muffin? For me?
Yes, it's true.
Born out of the goodness of my heartstrings and the fruitfulness of a blustery Sunday evening, these healthy muffins are yours for the taking.
I didn't come up with this brilliance on my own. Martha Stewart made them first.
However you feel about Martha (and I rather like her, except for when she's talking), these muffins are the perfect foil to the ominous winter mornings fast approaching us. (Which may have already landed in the warehouse.) Try them with a hot mug of tea or coffee to dial back the frostbite.
They're not very sweet, which I think is nice for a breakfast muffin. Unless you're downing waffles, pancakes, french toast (stuffed! mmm), or pastries, who wants a mouthful of candy first thing in the morning?
Look at all of this lovely stuff! Goat's milk yogurt, and goat's milk dairy in general, is something you should try. I am all for enjoying food and I love dairy in particular, but I think many Americans eat and drink too much of the stuff. According to studies, goat milk proteins have many significant differences in their composition from that of cow's milk. Babies who can't tolerate cow's milk often have no trouble with goat's milk. Not that I'm calling you a baby or anything.
Blackstrap molasses is incredibly good for you...people say it helps with everything from arthritis to acne to graying hair! Fantastic source of minerals: iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, copper, and manganese...do you think white sugar can boast the same? And for $3.59 a bottle, it's definitely not the most expensive thing in the health food store (Basic), not by a long shot.
And wheat germ. What's so great about wheat germ? Other than that it's fun to say? The germ is the reproductive part of a wheat kernal that germinates and forms the wheat grass and it's super high in protein. 'Thought you'd like that.
OK, I'll leave you now to enjoy your muffins. I won't go on about the health benefits of cinnamon or eggs or how great it is to get vegetables in the first meal of the day or even about the fiber content and what that's good for. I can sense you're growing tired of this and just want to get on with your day. Go get 'em tiger.
Healthy Breakfast Muffins
Makes 1 dozen
Olive oil cooking spray
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large carrots, peeled and grated on the large holes of a box grater (2 cups)
1 large zucchini, peeled and grated on the large holes of a box grater (1 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup plain goat's milk yogurt
2 large eggs, separated
2 tablespoons unsulfured blackstrap molasses
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a standard (12-cup) muffin tin with cooking spray. Whisk together flours, pecans, wheat germ, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
Stir together carrots, zucchini, yogurt, egg yolks, molasses, and orange zest in a large bowl. Fold flour mixture into carrot mixture until just combined. With a whisk or a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites until shiny, stiff peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into the carrot mixture.
Spoon batter into prepared tin, filling to the brims. Bake until a toothpick inserted into center of 1 comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on a wire rack.