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dairy-free morning glory muffins are a delicious healthy school snack

Healthy Morning Glory Muffins {Gluten-Free Option}

These healthy morning glory muffins are my preschooler’s favorite snack.  We bake a batch at least weekly for his school lunch or a quick on-the-go snack. 

Thankfully, these morning glory muffins are healthy: 100% whole grain, low in added sugar, and a delicious way to add extra fruits and vegetables to your day.

healthy morning glory muffins cooling on wire rack

Why these Morning Glory Muffins are a healthy snack:

  • Each muffin contains almost a full serving of fruits and veggies.  Adding veggies to favorite foods is an easy way to increase vegetable intake
  • These muffins are 100% whole grain with a healthy gluten-free option
  • They are low in added sugar (just 4 grams or 1 teaspoon per muffin).  Adding grated apples and raisins to the recipe allows for a reduction in total added sugar while still creating a sweet and tasty muffin.  This is important because the American Heart Association recommends that children eat less than 25 grams of added sugar a day and young children avoid added sugar all together.  (Read more on the recommended daily intake of added sugar)

Healthier Morning Glory Muffins

These morning glory muffins are not simply a frosting-free cupcake loaded with added sugar and refined flour.  Each little muffin contains almost a full serving of fruits and veggies.

The increased amount of carrots and apples in the recipe allows for a reduction in total added sugar while still creating a sweet and tasty muffin.  The result is an overloaded morning glory muffin that is super moist, dairy-free, and low in added sugar (just 4 grams or 1 teaspoon per muffin).

Fruits and veggies in healthy morning glory muffins

Easy, healthy muffins to make with kids

My preschooler loves to cook with me.  His two favorite foods to make are these healthy morning glory muffins and protein-packed pancakes.  Though cooking with kids is often messy and time consuming, there are many benefits of cooking with children.

Involving kids in meal preparation not only increase the likelihood that they will eat (or at least try) the meal, it also provides an opportunity to talk with children about healthy ingredients.  For more information, check out this NY Times article on 5 reasons you should cook with kids.

Easy ways kids can help cook these muffins:

  • Gather ingredients from the pantry
  • Wash produce
  • Place muffin liners in muffin pan
  • Measure dry ingredients into mixing bowl
  • Pour pre-measured wet ingredients into mixing bowl
  • Crack the eggs (be on stand-by to remove shells)
  • Stir ingredients together
  • Scoop batter into prepared muffin liners
Use an ice cream scoop for uniform muffins

I use an ice cream scoop when filling the muffin pans with batter.  I find that this is an easy, mess-free way of creating uniform size muffins.

Healthy Morning Glory Muffin Recipe

dairy-free morning glory muffins are a delicious healthy school snack

Healthy Morning Glory Muffins

Yield: 16 muffins
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

These healthy Morning Glory Muffins are a delicious way to sneak extra veggies and fruit into your day.  These muffins are a delicious 100% whole grain treat.  Plus, there is a gluten-free option!


  • 4 large carrots, grated about 2 cups*
  • ½ cup raisins, *
  • 1 large apple, cored and grated about 1 cup*
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 large eggs, **(Vegan Option: use a combination of flax eggs and applesauce, see notes below)
  • ½ cup avocado oil
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ½ tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour, (Gluten Free Option: use 1/3 cup coconut flour or 1 cup oat flour instead of whole wheat flour)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Line muffin pans with 16 paper muffin cups
  3. Measure grated carrots, grated apple, raisins, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, eggs (or vegan option), oil, maple syrup and vanilla extract into a medium size mixing bowl.  Stir until well combined
  4. Add whole wheat flour (or coconut flour or oat flour), baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the carrot mixture and stir until thoroughly combined
  5. Scoop 1/4 cup of muffin batter into prepared muffin cups.  An ice cream scoop makes it easy to create uniform size muffins
  6. Bake muffins in preheated oven for 22 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the muffin comes out clean
  7. Let muffins cool before serving


Note: Each muffin contains 3 grams of added sugar (from maple syrup).

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 140Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 129mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 2gSugar: 7gProtein: 3g

Nutrition information from Nutritionix


* Peel carrots and apple if not using organic as they consistently test positive for high amounts of pesticide residues.  Read more on pesticides and produce.

** Vegan egg option: Replace eggs with a combination of flax eggs and applesauce.  Specifically, combine 2 tablespoons ground flax with 6 tablespoons water.  Let mixture sit for 5 minutes.  Add flax eggs and 1/2 cup applesauce in place of eggs in recipe.

Overloaded Morning Glory Muffin Gluten-Free Recipe

These Overloaded Morning Glory Muffins can also be made with coconut flour instead of whole wheat flour.   Coconut flour is naturally gluten-free and higher in fiber than regular whole wheat flour.

Gluten free variation for healthy morning glory muffins

Other delicious kid-friendly snack recipes:

Easy to make oven dried strawberries are a healthy school snack
easy to make homemade blueberry fruit leather

Pin recipe for later:

Healthy Morning Glory Muffins

This recipe was originally published on February 23, 2017.  The recipe has been updated with enhanced instructions including a simpler one-bowl preparation.  Refreshed photos were also added.


  1. I was so excited to try these! Tasted great, but I had an issue with texture. We have all sorts of allergies here: egg, dairy, and gluten. I did the flax eggs/applesauce and used Bob’s red mill 1:1 GF flour. They turned out…mushy? Weirdly they were mostly cooked through in the middle but the sides just stuck to the muffin wrappers. I put them back in for 10 more minutes which only helped a little. Any thoughts on how to successfully make these both vegan and gf? I run into this problem a lot when baking so it’s definitely user error. 😉 I would love your feedback.

    • Hi Melissa – I have had a few batches stick to the muffin wrappers, but it is not a consistent problem. I think it has to do with wrapper to wrapper variability, but I haven’t looked into it as my little muffin monster still inhales these muffins. I will try to look into it as I make future batches to see what liners work best. As for a mushy texture, I think that is probably because of the no-gluten and no-egg aspect of the muffin. There isn’t much left to give it structure, other than the carrots.

  2. These look great! Can I substitute something else for the oil? Applesauce?

  3. Just found this recipe through a quick search for a morning treat. Turned out great! I was skeptical as I finished mixing and found the batter to be quite runny or liquidy but they baked up so nicely. I’ll be adding this recipe to my rotation for sure. Thanks!

  4. Kim Walker

    How would I find nutritional value for these?
    Im on a diabetic diet and trying to incorporate a cardiac diet. I have to count everything to find a balance.

  5. Hey there!
    I can’t wait to try these. I’m going to try them as- is today, but I’m wondering if you think I could replace the eggs with flax or chia? Thanks for posting such a bomb recipe with amazing ingredients, easy conversions and cool tips for baking with kids !

    • Hi Olive, Thank you so much – I hope you love the muffins! I have tried making these muffins with a mixture of flax eggs and applesauce. While the muffins were a little more fragile than when made with egg, they were still delicious. I haven’t tried chia as a replacement, so if you try, I would love to know your thoughts!

  6. Love how many fruits & veggies you packed into this!

  7. These sound delicious! thanks for sharing 🙂

  8. These look amazing, and what an adorable photo of your son! Thanks for sharing!

  9. These muffins sound delicious! Our mornings have been getting busier, so having something quick to just grab-and-go would be perfect. Especially a breakfast that contains all these veggies 😉 !

  10. I love such breakfast receipe. Grab and go types! I have all the ingredients and going to make them.on Sunday… CAN’T wait 🙂

    • Sonia – I hope the muffins turned out well and everyone loved them. We are on batch two for this week… they are my preschooler’s favorite “snacky” breakfast right now.

  11. I just made zucchini muffins to sneak some veggies in for breakfast. These look like a good option too. I’ll definitely be making these next

  12. Yay for these being gluten free, I think my kids would love these for breakfast!

  13. Nice! They look like they totally packed with carrots and apples! Great way to sneak in veges for my picky son!

  14. Sneaky! I did this same trick when my kids were little … they sometimes turned up their noses at vegetables, but never at muffins!!
    My son was a great muffin baker when he was 3-5 years old … we’d sing “Do you know the Muffin Man?” and mix up batter.

    • Noel – Yes, hidden veggies are definitely a necessity for my 3 yo. We love singing the “muffin mom” song while we bake together. Thanks for reading!

  15. I love how loaded these muffins are with carrots and apples. Do you know if you can freeze them?

    • Hi Jill – yes, these muffins can be frozen. However, I like to freeze the pre-scooped batter BEFORE baking. That way, we enjoy warm, freshly baked muffins whenever we want (just increase the baking time by ~ 5 minutes).

  16. Love these loaded muffins! I like to start day with these kinds of muffins, rich in veggies and fruit. I haven’t baked with coconut flour, I need too.

    • Thanks Swathi! Coconut flour provides a nice, nutty flavor to these muffins, though it can not be used in a 1 to 1 substitution for whole wheat flour.

  17. These muffins look sooo delicious!

  18. You can buy already grated carrots. Is is better if I grate my own? I would love to know more about your choice of oil. I can’t wait to make these gluten free.

    • The only reason I would choose grating carrots yourself over buying pre-grated carrots is because of flavor. I prefer the taste of freshly grated carrots (this is the same reason I will make carrot sticks from whole carrots instead of buying “baby” carrots). Oil choice… I like to use a predominantly unsaturated oil and prefer the neutral flavor that avocado (or an acceptable canola) oil provide. For more information on dietary fats, check out this post: https://feedthemwisely.com/dietary-fat-experts-think Thanks for reading Judi!

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