These awesome, power-packed breakfast muffins are made with almond flour/meal, oats, carrots, and zucchini — which means they’re gluten-free and healthy-ish without tasting like it. I’ve been making them for years, and instead of sharing the recipe piecemeal, it’s high time I posted it here. (I’ve put it off in part because, well, they’re a little homely).
There’s a lot to like about these muffins: they’re satisfying as a breakfast replacement (lots of protein in the almond meal), they’re a great grab-and-go snack, they’re reasonably healthy, they’re pretty easy to whip up (especially if you have a food processor), they freeze really well, and, most importantly, they’re actually good.
I typically make a double batch and freeze most of them in quart-sized ziplocks (4 per bag), then I can pull them out and have breakfast/mid-morning snack for a couple of days. They take maybe an hour to whip up, so it’s a great recipe to add to your meal-prep rotation.
Of note: probably because of the veggie content, they don’t last well at room temperature for more than four or five days. They go a bit tangy when they’ve been sitting around too long (a lesson learned many times).
I’ve tried a few different variations with limited success:
- Using egg whites instead of whole eggs somewhat negatively affects the texture, though they do still cohere.
- Using margarine (an accident when I sent someone else to the store) didn’t make an noticeable flavor difference, so could easily be substituted. I haven’t tried making them with coconut oil, but that could probably work to make a paleo version.
- I’ve tinkered around with adding some molasses to the maple syrup, but that was mostly not worthwhile. It messed with a texture and didn’t do much to enhance the flavor.
- You can play with the spices — generally sticking to the gingerbread/pumpkin spice family. Though, overall, I haven’t really noticed a lot of difference unless I’m out of/low on cinnamon. I subbed a teaspoon of allspice when I ran out of cinnamon, and that tasted pretty good.
- I accidentally left out the vanilla once, and they didn’t taste as good.
- Make sure to thoroughly mix the wet ingredients/shredded veggies. Once or twice I’ve ended up with a biteful of mostly zucchini, and it wasn’t pleasant.
Power-packed Breakfast Muffins (adapted from Run Fast, Eat Slow)
2 cups almond meal
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (pecans also work well)
1/2 cup dried fruit (I really like to use currants because they’re small and distribute well, but any dried fruit will work)
1 cup shredded zucchini (about 1, medium/small zucchini)
1 cup shredded carrots
6 Tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
(makes 12 standard-size muffins)
*To shred the veggies, I typically use the grater plate in my food processor. The shreds are a bit larger, but they mix in just fine. You can also use the medium or small sides of a box grater, this just takes more time. Peel the zucchini before shredding it.
Preheat your oven to 350° F, and line a standard-sized muffin tin with liners.
In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients: almond meal, oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, nuts, dried fruit. Mix to distribute the spices and nuts/fruit.
In a medium bowl, combine all the wet ingredients: eggs, zucchini, carrots, butter, maple syrup, vanilla.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well. Scoop into prepared muffin tins. These muffins don’t rise a whole lot, so it’s ok to fill the cups up to the top/mound things a bit. The recipe makes exactly 12 muffins, though sometimes they’re a bit heaping (depending on how closely I measured the veggies and fruit/nut add-ins).
Bake for 25-30 minutes – until tops are golden and they look baked on top. There’s a pretty wide baking range here because they’re really moist, and sometimes the baking time varies depending on the liquid in the veggies. They’ll start to dry out if you over-bake them, but they’ll still be totally edible.