Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez

Quick stir-ins makes these lightly sweetened, whole-grain muffins an ideal breakfast snack. Go classic or mix it up!

February 13, 2017

Muffins often waver between two extremes: cupcake-like or dense, dry doorstop. Our version falls squarely in the middle—whole-grain yet still tender, low-sugar yet still sweet. So-called “healthy” bakery or coffee shop muffins can hide a lot of refined sugar and flour, in addition to being about the size of an infant’s head. Our version saves about 300 calories and 22g of sugar per serving and is perfectly portioned for an on-the-go breakfast.

We start with a blend of nutty whole-wheat flour and wheat bran for a hearty texture. Low-fat yogurt reacts with the baking powder and baking soda for a tender crumb. For sweetness and moisture, we add a mashed ripe banana—enough for sweetness, but not enough to add any noticeable banana flavor to the base. We also enhance the batter by browning the butter, adding caramel notes and nutty depth to the finished muffins. The result is a breakfast bake you can actually feel good about.

Use the Browned Butter Whole-Wheat Muffins as your batter, then bake as is or add one of these three stir-ins instead.

 

Cherry-Gingerbread Muffins

 Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez

View Recipe: Cherry-Gingerbread Muffins

Figgy Walnut Muffins

 Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez

View Recipe: Figgy Walnut Muffins

Cranberry, Orange, and Pistachio Muffins 

 Photo: Hector Manuel Sanchez

View Recipe: Cranberry, Orange, and Pistachio Muffins

You could also try golden raisins and grated carrot, bittersweet chocolate chips, fresh blueberries, or chopped apples and cinnamon.