What do you get when you combine fruit, veggies, spices and sunflower seeds in a muffin batter?  A spectacular blend of amazingly aromatic and mouthwatering flavors shouting, “Let’s start your day off right!”

Trust me when I say these muffins are not only moist with just enough sweetness without being overwhelming, they’re perfect for getting in fruits and veggies early in the day. Notice that I used half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat pastry flour.  Why whole wheat pastry flour? Pastry flour is a low-protein flour made for baking when baking powder or baking soda is the leavening agent. It’s what makes delicate pastries, chewy cookies, flaky pie crusts and super soft muffins. I could have used whole wheat flour instead of whole wheat pastry flour.  While whole wheat flour is great when baking a loaf of bread, it’s a little heavy for cookies and muffins. So, now you know!

When made on a weekend, these muffins can get you going in the morning for the next several days – just grab and go on your way to work. They also freeze well making it easy to have on hand later in the week.

Get ready to WOW your family with this easy, super delicious and very healthy recipe soon!

Photo taken by Cheryl Mussato

Sunny Sunflower Seeds Muffins – Makes 12 servings

Nutrition per serving: Calories – 340; Total Fat – 18 grams; Protein – 6 grams; Carbohydrates – 26 grams; Fiber – 4 grams; Sodium – 347 milligrams

Ingredients:

½ cup raisins or dried cranberries

1 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup peeled and grated carrot

1 cup grated zucchini

1 large tart apple, peeled, cored, and grated

½ cup shredded or flaked coconut, sweetened or unsweetened

½ cup sliced almonds or chopped walnuts

1/3 cup sunflower seeds or wheat germ

3 large eggs

2/3 cup sunflower oil

2 teaspoons vanilla

½ teaspoon orange extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin, or line with papers and spray the insides of the paper.
  2. In a small bowl, cover the raisins with hot water, and set aside to soak while you assemble the rest of the recipe
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, baking soda, spices, and salt.
  4. Stir in the carrots, zucchini, apple, coconut, nuts, and sunflower seeds or wheat germ.
  5. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and orange extract.
  6. Add to the flour mixture and stir gently until moistened.
  7. Drain the raisins and stir in the batter.
  8. Divide the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups.
  9. Bake muffins for 25-28 minutes or until nicely browned and domed and a toothpick inserted in the center of one of the muffins comes out clean.
  10. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan placed on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Wrap any leftovers airtight and store at room temperature for several days. Freeze for longer storage.
Categories: Recipes

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Cheryl Mussatto

Cheryl Mussatto MS, RD, LD is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in Dietetics and Nutrition from the University of Kansas and a bachelor’s degree in Dietetics and Institutional Management from Kansas State University. She is a clinical dietitian for Cotton O’Neil Clinics in Topeka and Osage City; an adjunct professor for Allen Community College, Burlingame, KS where she teaches Basic Nutrition; and is a freelance writer and blog contributor for Dr. David Samadi, Urologic Oncologist Expert and World Renowned Robotic Surgeon in New York City. Cheryl is also the author of The Nourished Brain, The Latest Science on Food’s Power for Protecting the Brain from Alzheimers and Dementia, found on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback editions.

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