Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Make Merry with Muffins

By Alana Sugar, December 13, 2010  |  Meet the Blogger  |  More Posts by Alana Sugar
What could be more beckoning than freshly baked muffins, hot from the oven and brimming with delicious fruits, nuts and grains? Unfortunately for many Americans, muffins come from a box and are full of bleached white flour, refined white sugar, chemicals, preservatives, artificial flavors. Bleh! This holiday season why not “make merry” with a batch of healthy, nourishing muffins for yourself, your family and your guests?  You’ll find they’re perfect for a quick breakfast, a hearty filling snack or bedtime treat _— even dessert!  By baking with natural, whole ingredients, you’ll get more than great flavor and merry memories, you’ll give your body a natural boost towards good health. Here’s how to do it:
  1. Nix the bleached white flour, folks! Bake your muffins with whole wheat, whole spelt or whole wheat pastry flour for more fiber and heartier flavor.
  2. Use rolled oats, ground flaxseed, brown rice and other whole grain flours such as buckwheat, barley, millet and quinoa in place of some of the wheat or spelt flour.
  3. Cut back on refined sugar; sweeten with dried fruit, fresh fruit or fruit juice.
  4. Experiment with grain-free flours such as almond meal and coconut flour. Perfect for gluten-free baking!
  5. Don’t forget the special spices:  cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom and allspice.
  6. Muffins bake up beautifully with natural shortening and expeller pressed oils or get natural goodness from whole fats such as chopped walnuts, almonds, pecans, unsweetened grated coconut, and sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
Ready to pull out the muffin tins and bake away? Good! For successful muffin making, remember these tips:
  • Mix wet and dry  ingredients separately; make a well in the dry ingredients  and pour the wet mixture  in,  then mix to moisten  and  combine.
  • Remember, muffins are not cake - the batter is meant to be a little lumpy! Over-mixing can lead to dense, tough muffins.
  • Follow the recipe exactly, measuring all of your ingredients. Too much or too little bakingsoda or baking powder can ruin your whole batch. (Alterationsmay be needed for high altitude baking.)
  • Dusting chopped nuts and fruit with a little flour beforestirring into the batter can help prevent sinking to the bottom.
  • Bake in muffin paper cups or use a natural cooking spray for easy removal and clean-up.
  • Don’t fill the tin too full – about ¾ full should do nicely.
  • If you don’t have enough batter to fill each muffin cup, fill empty cups 1/3 full of water.  This helps insure even baking and protects your pan.
  • Be sure to preheat your oven; the middle rack works best for even baking. Don’t open the door once they are cooking.
  • To test for doneness, touch lightly in the center. If they spring back, they’re done.  Or, insert a toothpick into the center of a muffin. If it comes out clean, its’ done.
  • Be sure to place the tin on a rack for about 5 to 7 minutes once out of the oven. If they sit too long they may get soggy, but removing muffins too soon can cause them to fall apart.
Here are some delicious muffins ideas to get you started.  Remember, you can replace all-purpose white flour with whole wheat pastry or spelt flour one for one. Don’t forget: Making extras are easy! Double your recipe, make plenty and freeze what you won’t use. Muffins reheat easily in a toaster oven or microwave. Want to join our muffin mania? Got a favorite recipe or tip? I would love to hear!




Tina W. says ...
These are by far my (and my kids') favorite muffins: Mini Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins 1 2/3 cup whole wheat flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa 1/4 teaspoon sea salt 3 egg whites 1/4 cup sucanat 1/4 cup canola oil 1/4 cup milk (soy, cow, almond...) 2 teaspoons vanilla 2 medium bananas, very ripe, mashed 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips Directions Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray mini muffin pan with olive oil cooking spray. Combine dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cocoa, and salt). Stir until well mixed. In separate bowl, combine egg whites and sucanat until sucanat is dissolved. Add oil, milk, vanilla and bananas. Stir to combine. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Mix in chocolate chips. Fill mini muffin cups 2/3 full and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on cooling rack.
12/13/2010 9:39:34 AM CST
Tina says ...
This tips are great! Can't wait to warm up my kitchen this winter!
12/13/2010 11:09:11 AM CST
mary says ...
These are my two favorite WFM muffins, blueberry spelt http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/1464 and carrot apple http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/1476 . I am a bit of a salt addict and I like to add a little sprinkle of wide flake sea salt over my muffins before they go into the oven.
12/13/2010 11:12:40 AM CST
Sally C. says ...
Blueberry muffins 1 1/2 cup sugar 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberrys 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 1/2 cup baking soda 3 large eggs 1 cup flour Mix all ingredients in a large bowl in an electric mixer on medium speed.Preheat oven to 245 degrees and put in muffins cups on a muffin pan. I found this recipe very good with my family :)
12/13/2010 6:51:09 PM CST
Sally C. says ...
Thanks Tina I baked a batch of my own blueberry muffins, ready to baked yours! :) ;)
12/13/2010 6:54:50 PM CST
susan whang says ...
love this--- followed a few of your steps to create these delish, cozy and perfect for winter banana nut muffins: http://www.pranawellness.org/1/post/2010/12/banana-nut-muffins.html
12/14/2010 1:20:50 AM CST
Muriel says ...
These muffins are just right- not too sweet, with warm savory flavor. I guarantee you will love them :) Gingerbread Muffins Step One: 1 3/4 cup of whole wheat pastry flour 3/4 cup of coconut milk tonic 2 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar (Or use buttermilk instead of coconut milk tonic and vinegar, the point is to have some kind of acid medium to soak the flour in.) Step Two: 1/4 cup of coconut oil, or butter 1/3 cup of sorghum, or a mixture of honey and molasses 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon 1 teaspoon ginger 1/2 teaspoon cloves 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon salt Zest of one lemon 1 egg, lightly beaten 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1-The night before, mix the ingredients in step one, just until combined. This will be a very stiff batter. Cover and leave out on the counter top overnight. 2-The next day, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and gently melt the coconut oil or butter and the sweetener together, just until melted. Add this, with the rest of the ingredients to your bowl and mix until well combined, using a wooden spoon or spatula. 3-Divide your muffin dough into 12 greased (using coconut oil or butter) or papered muffin tins, 4-Bake for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean when poked in the middle of the muffin. Let rest for about 5 minutes in pans, then remove by sliding a butter knife down one side of the muffin and gently lifting up. Cool on cooling racks and enjoy. This recipe comes from The Nourishing Gourmet, visit the website to learn more about the benefits of soaking whole wheat.
12/16/2010 3:44:59 PM CST
Carole Ruiz says ...
I love muffins! Hopefully I will be trying one of these recipes soon, YUM! Thanks for the great tip of making a well on the dry ingredients. I'm going to do that next time. Sometimes it's the little things that make a difference.
12/23/2010 8:42:33 PM CST
ann southern says ...
Is it possible to obtain Whole Foods Banana Nut Muffin recipe? Thank you!
10/13/2011 1:04:08 PM CDT
janejohnson says ...
@Ann There's two recipes for Banana Nut Bread on our online recipe catalog. This link should pull up both and you can choose in which variation you're most interested. :) http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/search/recipe_search.php?q=banana+nut+bread&start=0&output=xml_no_dtd&client=default_frontend&filter=0&site=Recipes&btnG=Search&num=10
10/18/2011 9:36:02 AM CDT
Sue says ...
Is it possible to get the recipe for the banana chocolate chip muffins sold at Wholefoods Market in West Vancouver, BC Canada.
10/19/2012 2:52:13 PM CDT
H Lee says ...
I have been addicted to the whole foods vegan walnut currant muffins. They are fabulous. Is it possible to get the recipe? I want to make them with pecans. Thank you.
02/15/2013 10:58:03 PM CST
Steve Morgan says ...
What is the nutritional information for Whole Foods whole grain banana nut muffins?
02/16/2013 10:42:21 PM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@H LEE - I was unable to find the recipe on our main site. Check with the store where you buy the muffin and if they have a recipe they will be happy to share it with you!
02/19/2013 3:23:54 PM CST
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@STEVE - We are implementing a new program to calculate nutritional facts for our dishes. All of our regions will be entering their recipes one-by-one into a new recipe database. The process of entering these will be manual and will take some time to complete nationally, and we have a goal of completing this task by sometime in the spring of this year. Each of our regional and in-store chefs develops hundreds of recipes, often based on local and seasonal ingredients, and the data analysis necessary to create nutrition labels has not always been possible. We are working on streamlining our program nationally, but some of our stores already had this information available for specific dishes, so your local store may be able to help you in the meantime!
02/19/2013 3:26:10 PM CST
jlturner3 says ...
looks delicious
09/26/2013 6:17:09 PM CDT
Rick Zwolinski says ...
The muffins pictured do not look at all like your in store muffins. Can you give me some tips on how to create muffins similar to those. Thank you. Rick
03/27/2014 1:09:29 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@RICK - The photos pictured above are from recipes on our website. If you're looking to get more of what we have in-store, I would suggest reaching out to your Bakery team at your local store to see if they have any tips!
03/27/2014 2:02:30 PM CDT
Chris says ...
The web site states 200 calories for a morning glory muffin, I love the "Carrot cake" tasting muffin which I believe you call the "morning glory muffin" It tastes way too good to be just 200 calories, is the recipe for smaller muffins?, how many ounces per muffin sold in store? My wife did the math and for 16 muffins the math is correct. But is this the same size as the ones we buy in the store? How many calories in those. Thanks CJ
09/01/2014 3:07:06 PM CDT
Nikki - Community Moderator says ...
@CHRIS - The recipes we feature online are not exactly what you will find in store since the recipes will differ. Check with your local store to find out if they use the same recipe online. If they do not, they will be happy to give you the nutritional info if they have it available.
09/09/2014 4:24:31 PM CDT
Denise Dee Corriveau says ...
Dear Sally C.... In your blueberry muffin recipie: DO YOU REALLY MEAN 1/2 CUP BAKING SODA??? I think this must be a typo, and pro bably 1/2 tsp. instead??? Thanks
01/03/2015 2:50:24 PM CST