beet morning glory muffins

beet morning glory muffins
beet morning glory muffins

The muffin spectrum holds un-iced cakes on one end, early bird dessert masquerading in a more casual form, while the other side houses the muffin traditionalists, hefty with whole grains, nuts, fruits or vegetables. I think both ends are equally wonderful but today we come from I think of as the penultimate muffin-muffin: the morning glory. It’s the have-it-all muffin – have the carrots and spices from the carrot muffin, plus the apple from the apple muffin and the raisins from the bran muffin and the coconut, pecan and orange zest from the who-knows-what muffins. In other words, it’s a muffin with ambitions!

I had my first (of a total of two, aside from this batch) morning glory muffins a couple of years ago at a random cafe in downtown Toronto. I was really just looking for something to eat to tide myself over for the next few hours but I was surprised by how much I loved the – to put it inarticulately – muffin-like flavour. And as I was thinking about it, morning glory muffins, have so many flavours that go so well with beets – apple, spices, nuts and citrus. That, and I had a lot of beets.

beet morning glory muffins
beet morning glory muffins
beet morning glory muffins
beet morning glory muffins
beet morning glory muffins
beet morning glory muffins

These are a very classic morning glory muffin, just made with beets instead. While consulting some recipes, I found that they all seemed to follow the same basic ratios – about 2 cups of flour, 3 eggs, 2 cups of carrots and 1 apple. It was in the ratio of oil to other liquids that things varied – this allrecipes one, at the height of decadence, called for 1 cup of oil, down to Sally’s Baking Addiction recipe which used only 1/3 of a cup, the rest replaced with orange juice and applesauce. I decided to go middle of the road most closely following King Arthur Flour with about 2/3 cup of oil and some additional milk. I’ve also used 100% whole wheat flour because, of course.

The batter seems impossibly meager and thoroughly incapable of containing all the firey sunset-hued beet strands, not to mention the apple, nuts, raisins…. but somehow in the oven it enfolds the coarse spaghetti-like mess into its body. and out comes a muffin. It will also appear like way too much per muffin – but pile each muffin cup a bit high and after a stint in the oven, this will reward you with dangerously domed tops and one of the heftiest muffins I’ve ever held.

One last thing – I find raw beets are quite hard to grate by hand (even harder than carrots) so I recommend using the grating attachment on a food processor if you have it.

beet morning glory muffins
beet morning glory muffins

beet morning glory muffins

  • Servings: 12 muffins
  • Print

Adapted from King Arthur Flour and Sally’s Baking Addiction.

  • 250g (2 cups) whole wheat flour
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice (or nutmeg)
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 37g (1/2 cup) unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 80g (generous 1/2 cup) chopped pecans
  • 3 large eggs
  • 133g neutral oil
  • 60g whole milk (or orange juice)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • zest of 1 orange, finely grated
  • 200g (2 packed cups) peeled and shredded raw beets
  • 1 large apple, cored and shredded
  • 80g (slightly generous 1/2 cup) raisins, soaked in hot tea to plump, and then drained

Preheat the oven to 425F. Line a standard 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners.

In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients – flour, brown sugar, baking soda, spices, salt, coconut and pecans.

In a medium-large bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, milk, vanilla and orange zest until smooth. Then stir in the shredded beets, shredded apple and drained raisins.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir together with a wooden spoon until you no longer see streaks of dry flour and all the flour is moistened. Distribute the batter amongst the 12 muffin cups – you’ll need to pile up the batter a bit.

Place in the oven for 5 minutes at 425F, then lower the temperature to 350F. Bake another 15 minutes or so, rotating partway through baking. Check doneness by poking a thin wooden skewer into the centre of a muffin and look for there only to be a few crumbs clinging or for it to be clean.

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