One of my best friends came into town for Thanksgiving and we were going to pick her up at the airport. I knew she’d be hungry so I baked these muffins. Sure enough, her first text when her flight landed was: Hungarian. Which is, of course, how we tell each other we’re hungry. After finding her in the holiday airport traffic behind an Alamo bus she settled into the back seat of our car and ate the muffin. She loved it, and I loved having her back in town. It was a great start to the holiday week.
I have been on the hunt for a healthy(ish) muffin a for a little over a year. I tried a bunch of whole grain and bran recipes and couldn’t find one I liked. They all seemed wrong: too sweet, too heavy, too healthy, so boring. I had bought the Valerie Confections cookbook on a whim, having somehow never heard of Valerie Confections until someone said something about it on Instagram or Twitter or somewhere on the world wide web. The book has quickly become a favorite (and was included in my gift guide). I keep trying recipes from the book and they keep being perfect. It took me a while to notice the muffin recipe amid all of the layer cakes, truffles, and galettes. I initially liked that the recipe had a very long list of ingredients, which can sometimes be an indication of a great recipe. Why would you subject people to this kind of ingredient hunt if the results were not worth it?
These are easily my favorite grainy muffin. They are stupendous in the first few hours out of the oven, but still delicious on the second and even third day. The millet adds a pleasant crunch to each bite. The apricots add tartness. These would be nice to make for family and friends at this time of year when we’re all looking for treats but sometimes need to balance out the other indulgences. It is part of the reason I made these for my friend. I knew I would take her to eat my favorite Italian beef, and fried mozzarella, and pizza, because that is how we roll, so we had to balance it out somehow.
Multigrain Muffins (from Sweet by Valerie Gordon)
- 1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 cup raw almond flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/4 cups quick-cooking oats
- 1/2 cup millet
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup plain yogurt
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 2 large ripe bananas
- 2/3 cup dried apricots, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with muffin liners.
Whisk together the whole wheat flour, almond flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the oats and millet.
Gently whisk the eggs, yogurt, oil, honey, brown sugar, vanilla paste, and buttermilk in a medium bowl until just combined. Using a large spoon or rubber spatula, fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
Mash the bananas in a small bowl, then fold into the batter, along with the chopped fruit, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
Using an ice cream scoop or a large spoon, scoop about 1/2 cup batter into each muffin cup. Pick up the muffin tin and knock it firmly against the work surface a couple of times to level the batter and release any air pockets.
Bake the muffins for 25 minutes; do not open the oven door to check before 25 minutes, or the muffins will sink. Then insert a toothpick in the center of a muffin to check, and remove the muffins from the oven when it comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 15 to 20 minutes.
December 5th, 2013 at 8:57 am
You not only picked your friend up at the airport, but *also* made her muffins?! Great friend!
December 5th, 2013 at 9:06 am
I love how these look and sound, I’ll be bookmarking them for later. Regarding your muffin search – I’m sure you’re probably going to get about 100 reccomendations for new recipes to try out, but I have a feeling you’d like Heidi Swanson’s bran muffins from her Super Natural Every Day cookbook. They are malty, dark, light, and they get the good chewy crisps on the outsides that it looks like these muffins here have (aka the best part).
December 5th, 2013 at 9:39 am
Wow, it’s like you jumped into my brain. I’ve been jonesing for some sort of quick bread for breakfast, but I wanted to make sure that they were more wholesome than indulgent. Thanks, Tim!
Also, I totally dig the boob pillow from your last post. I’ll be ordering two shortly. :)
December 5th, 2013 at 9:40 am
Hey Amy! Thanks! I did try those, but they weren’t my speed. Good, but not exactly what I was looking for. Too dark/bran-y, maybe?
December 5th, 2013 at 9:41 am
Thanks, Kristen! Glad you liked the pillow, let me know what you think of the muffins.
December 5th, 2013 at 11:33 am
These look wonderful. Healthy-ish muffins do seem like a tough thing to get right. I’ll have to try these soon.
December 5th, 2013 at 11:39 am
These look great and healthy! I’ll definitely be making these soon (my husband loves bananas and apricots) but can I use ground almonds instead of almond flour?
December 5th, 2013 at 1:21 pm
Hey Amanda- They are essentially the same thing, so it shouldn’t be a problem. But I haven’t tried it so I am not sure. I would grind the almonds with a tablespoon of the ww flour so that they can be ground quite finely without turning into a paste. Let us know…
Tina Marie says:
December 5th, 2013 at 1:37 pm
I adore your blog! I am a fellow foodie and cook and I have enjoyed your success story so much. These muffins look utterly amazing. And that salt & honey pie? I was drooling….
December 5th, 2013 at 1:42 pm
Hi Tim! Long-time reader and admirer, first time commenter — thanks so much for this post. Muffins are my favorite thing to bake! Can you just clarify…vanilla bean paste = scrape out a vanilla bean? Seems like you’d have to use up a lot of those precious beans for 1.5 tsp! Thanks for clarifying!!
December 5th, 2013 at 2:04 pm
Thanks, all, for the nice comments.
Jenny! Yes, so vanilla paste must not be as common as I thought. It is its own third thing, and is quite nice. You can substitute the same amount of vanilla extract. More info on all three here: http://www.thekitchn.com/whats-the-difference-vanilla-extract-vanilla-bean-vanilla-paste-169336
Dan from Platter Talk says:
December 5th, 2013 at 2:37 pm
Great looking muffins, and what a lucky friend you have! (Can you pick US up at the airport, sometime? :-)
December 5th, 2013 at 3:39 pm
Those muffins look and sound really tasty. I just put those on my list to bake for the upcoming holiday. : ) Thanks.
December 5th, 2013 at 4:04 pm
Healthy muffins are always a challenge as to texture and flavor balance. This may be the perfect blend…will try and see. Millet is an interesting addition (have never used it).
Tess @ Tips on Healthy Living says:
December 5th, 2013 at 4:04 pm
This sounds terrible, but what would you recommend baking them in if you don’t have a muffin pan?
December 5th, 2013 at 4:06 pm
Tess, you gotta get yourself a muffin pan! You can find them at thrift stores for as little as $1, or at a kitchen store for $10. : )
Rachel @ Bakerita says:
December 5th, 2013 at 10:13 pm
These look so good!! Your friend is one lucky lady. Definitely must try these soon. The ingredients list sounds like nothing but good things.
Tess Ward says:
December 6th, 2013 at 2:54 pm
Those look like the perfect breakfast/ tea dunking muffins. :)
December 7th, 2013 at 11:56 am
Is it not the strangest coincidence that I was rummaging through search engines yesterday – at midnight of all times – to find a healthy-ish muffin recipe that wasn’t overly sugary but filling so I could take it to work? And this is a rare occurrence. And a gorgeous muffin recipe x
December 7th, 2013 at 5:13 pm
anything with apricots is a win, and I love the crunch that millet adds. I’ll definitely be making these to sustain me on my holiday travels!
December 10th, 2013 at 6:09 am
Made these last night with ground almonds instead of almond flour…they turned out perfect! So light and yummy, this will be my staple muffin recipe. I love the crunch of the millet.
December 10th, 2013 at 9:29 am
Another first time commenter here too. I’ve wanted a good muffin recipe that wasn’t either a brick or dessert. This may do it. I saw the comment above about vanilla paste. I’d been wondering if I could justify ordering it from Beanilla – this recipe pushes that decision. I’ve ordered beans from them; they seem a good source.
December 10th, 2013 at 9:55 am
Aloha Tim! These muffins look absolutely scrumptious. I love that it includes millet which adds a nice crunch to to the muffin. Yum. Mahalo!
December 12th, 2013 at 12:29 pm
I love the ingredients…great idea. Can’t wait to give it a try!
December 19th, 2013 at 8:42 pm
Tim! I just yanked these from the oven and they are beautiful! They have the best texture. We’re currently shoveling them with some homemade jam. :)
Thanks for bringing out attention another amazing recipe. Hope you enjoy the holidays. xx
December 29th, 2013 at 7:05 pm
Wow! These have the most amazing texture, prefectly sweet and what a beautiful muffin. Thanks for sharing. Just what I was looking for.
March 15th, 2014 at 10:44 am
I made these with butter, and they turned out great – tender, perfect amount of sweetness, and a textural contrast between the millet and apricots. thanks for sharing!