These healthy Morning Glory Muffins are packed with carrots, zucchini, apple, pecans, coconut and whole wheat flour. They are great for breakfast or a healthy but oh-so-yummy snack.

Muffins are perfect for baking and freezing so you always have something on hand if you are running late. Some others you might like are our Easy Streusel-Topped Raspberry MuffinsEasy Apple Oatmeal MuffinsBakery Style Chocolate Chip Muffins, and One-Bowl Easy Banana Nut Muffins.

Morning glory muffins next to carrots, zucchini, and an apple.

Morning Glory Muffins

I've mentioned before on the blog how much I love muffins for breakfast. They are just so tasty and the perfect, sweet little treat alongside some scrambled eggs, fruit, and a glass of milk. And since most muffins freeze beautifully, it's easy to make a batch and throw the extras in the freezer to be pulled out and warmed up for a quick, easy breakfast or snack on busy days.

These Morning Glory Muffins are one of our very favorites. They are loaded with all the best things:

  • lightly spiced with cinnamon
  • shredded carrots & zucchini
  • grated apple
  • crunchy pecans
  • chewy, sweet coconut
  • whole wheat flour
  • & applesauce!

All of which work together to give morning glory muffins a unique texture and flavor that is perfectly wonderful.

Making these healthy morning glory muffins with whole wheat flour makes them just a bit better for you than other muffins that are really just cupcakes masquerading as breakfast food. Not that I have anything against those delicious, streusel laden or chocolate chip studded creations.

An image of pecans, zucchini, apple, carrots, and coconut for making morning glory muffins.
Clockwise from the top are shredded zucchini, shredded carrots, shredded apple, chopped pecans, and shredded coconut for making morning glory muffins.

You will love how these carrot zucchini muffins turn a beautiful caramel-brown color and make your kitchen smell heavenly while they are baking. Morning glory muffins are sort of a cross between carrot cake, zucchini bread, and a cinnamon applesauce muffin and oh heavens, they taste divine.

My girls especially love when I make morning glory muffins in the mini-muffin pans because then they are just the right size for little fingers. On days when I am baking these fresh, my girls love to sit on the counter and help me measure everything out and sneak bites of the grated carrot, zucchini, and apple.

Which makes me so happy that they love those healthy things and know what is going into the foods that they eat.

An image of twelve morning glory muffins in a muffin pan.

Original Morning Glory Muffins

From what I read, the reason these are called morning glory muffins is because they were created by former owner and chef Pam McKinstry at the Morning Glory Café in Nantucket, sometime in the late 1970's.

Then in 1981, the original morning glory muffins recipe was published in Gourmet magazine, and chosen ten years later as one of the magazine’s twenty-five favorite recipes from the previous fifty years.

The original bakery muffins recipe calls for crushed pineapple and raisins, both of which I omit in my version out of personal preference.

I also replaced half of the shredded carrot in the original recipe with shredded zucchini instead, making it more of a carrot zucchini muffin with some added texture and flavor from the coconut and pecans, as well as making some adjustments to the flour, sugar, and oil called for.

An image of healthy morning glory muffin batter in cupcake liners in a muffin pan.

Healthy Morning Glory Muffins

I lightened the recipe up a bit by making the morning glory muffins with applesauce in place of half of the oil called for in the original recipe. I find that completely eliminating the oil is going too far as it affects the texture, but half oil/half applesauce is just right for keeping a rich, moist flavor and texture that doesn't compromise the integrity of the original.

I also decreased the sugar a smidge and replaced half of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour instead. It takes these from being essentially carrot cake for breakfast in the guise of cream cheese frosting-less cupcakes, to a legitimate portable breakfast food. Albeit still on the sweet side - I'm not a monster after all.

And it's a pretty easy-going recipe as far as measurements of the vegetables go. I hate using just part of a zucchini so if I end up with an extra half cup of zucchini or an extra half cup of grated carrot, I don't sweat it and just toss it in the mix.

Since they are both grated, they kind of just melt into the batter during the baking process and it turns out all good.

What is your favorite muffin to enjoy for breakfast?

Morning glory muffins in a pan just out of the oven.

How to make morning glory muffins

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and prepare your muffin tins with liners or spray them with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  3. Stir in the grated zucchini, carrot, apple, raisins (optional) and the coconut into the flour mixture until combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, applesauce, oil, and vanilla. Then pour the wet ingredients into the larger mixing bowl full of other ingredients and mix until combined.
  5. Fill each muffin cup with the batter until it’s almost all of the way to the top.
  6. Bake for 30-35 minutes for regular-sized muffins or 16-18 minutes if they’re mini-muffins.
A morning glory muffin cut in half, with butter spread on it.

Why are they called Morning Glory Muffins?

As amazing and glorious as these healthy little muffins might be, they actually get their name based on where they first originated. Named after the Morning Glory Cafe on Nantucket a very long time ago.

Can you freeze Morning Glory Muffins?

Yes, absolutely! In fact, I kind of recommend it for fast-paced mornings where you gotta pack a lunch bag and run out the door.

Freezing these muffins is incredibly simple just let them cool completely and place in an airtight container, such as a Ziploc bag and then you can just grab and go as needed. They can last a few weeks in the freezer so there’s no rush to finish the batch quickly.

Morning glory muffins on a white plate next to a muffin tin used to bake them.

More Muffin Recipes You'll Love

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.

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Morning Glory Muffins

4.93 from 13 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Breakfast
Cuisine American
Servings 16 muffins
These healthy Morning Glory muffins are the BEST.  Jam-packed with carrots, zucchini, apple, pecans, coconut and whole wheat flour, they are great for breakfast or a healthy but oh-so-yummy snack.

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup grated zucchini
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1 granny smith apple peeled and grated
  • ¾ cup raisins optional
  • ½ cup shredded coconut
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • ½ cup oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare muffin tins with liners or by spraying each cup with cooking spray.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, soda, cinnamon and salt.
  • Stir the grated zucchini, carrot, apple, raisins if using, pecans, and coconut into the flour mixture, just until combined.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the eggs, applesauce, oil and vanilla, then pour into the larger mixing bowl with all the other ingredients and mix just until combined.
  • Fill each muffin cup with muffin batter almost all the way to the top.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes for regular-sized muffins or 16-18 minutes for mini-muffins.

Notes

If opting to include the raisins, plump them in hot water for 10 minutes, then drain before adding to the muffin batter.

Nutrition

Serving: 1muffin | Calories: 255kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 31mg | Sodium: 231mg | Potassium: 199mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 1408IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 21mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

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About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

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Reader questions and reviews

  1. I'm glad I didn't wait to make these! I loved giving them to my daughter as they felt like such a healthier alternative to the traditional butter, white flour, and sugar muffins. These were way good, were totally forgiving as I had a little extra zucchini and a little less carrot, and are on my make-again list! Thanks for sharing!

  2. These look delicious! I love how you adjusted your recipe to make this your own and such yumminess inside that cut muffin!

  3. Love morning glory muffins and have never made them myself. This recipe is going to change that. Thanks.

  4. Unfortunately, I'm allergic to half of these ingredients, but the rest of my family isn't! I know my husband would love to take some of these to work for his mid morning snack!

    1. That's too bad! It's still a great muffin even if you leave out the coconut and pecans and switch to GF flour!

  5. 5 stars
    I love muffins like these, packed with veggies and spices that become so tasty when cooked. I often bake half AP and half whole wheat as well and really like the texture it gives. Yum!

  6. Totally love the name of these muffins...they totally make me want to Rise & Shine!!!

  7. I wish I had one of these beauties for breakfast today. My tummy is growling after seeing the pictures!

  8. Great recipe! My little ones are finally getting back into muffins, so this will be a great way to sneak in some veggies!

  9. This recipe is amazing! My husband can’t stop eating these muffins and he HATES zucchini! I was wondering if you could tell me a way to add sweet potato and beets to this recipe? I add cacao nibs to this recipe and it’s delicious. Adds a bit of sweetness and is also really healthy. However, I’m looking to up the nutritional content even more. Since beets go very well with cacao, I think it would pair well with the other ingredients. What do you think? And I know sweet potato goes well with carrots and with zucchini so I assume it would also fit well here. Is there a way to add sweet potato so as to reduce the need for sugar? I use maple syrup when making these muffins but wouldn’t mind finding a way to make them naturally sweeter without the need for honey or sugar. Also looking to swap out the white flour for a healthier version. Would almond, oat, rye, buckwheat or any healthier flour work instead? Thanks a lot!!

    1. Wow, I think that I need to develop a whole new muffin recipe around these ideas! Adding beets would give them a lovely color! I have definitely heard of adding beets with chocolate in cake before, so I'm sure it would work in muffins, I just haven't tried adding either beets or sweet potatoes in muffins before. I think you would do fine to swap out the white flour for oat flour, but I don't have enough experience to know how almond, rye, or buckwheat would react.

  10. Can’t wait to try these. I just made the banana nut muffins and omg they are so good. Absolutely love them. Followed the recipe exactly and boy are they good. Thank you for these recipes