Brown bag meals: Low-fat, low-cal muffins

healthy-muffinsIf you’re hungry and rushed for time at work, you might grab a mouthwatering muffin in the cafeteria or coffee shop as a way to quiet your hunger pangs. But while these muffins can fill you up fast, they can also load you down with fat and sugar.

If you’re looking for a healthy muffin that can provide a nutritional wallop and keep your body energized for a long shift, try this great recipe. (And don’t let the name fool you—these muffins are great at any time of the day!)

Morning Glory Muffins
1 egg
2 egg whites
½ cup apple butter or apple sauce
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup whole-wheat flour
1¼ cups white sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups grated carrots
1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
1 cup raisins
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons toasted wheat germ

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil 18 muffin cups, or coat with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, egg whites, apple butter or apple sauce, oil and vanilla.

In a large bowl, stir together flours, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in carrots, apple and raisins. Stir in apple butter/sauce mixture until just moistened. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them about ¾ full. In a small bowl, combine walnuts and wheat germ; sprinkle over the muffin tops. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden and spring back when lightly touched. Serving suggestion: Try with some fruit, yogurt or favorite soup. You can freeze leftovers to use later.

Shopping list

1 egg
Apple butter or apple sauce (at least 6 oz.)
1 small container vegetable oil (at least 4 oz.)
1 small bottle vanilla extract
1 small package all-purpose flour (at least 14 oz.)
1 small package whole-wheat flour (at least 8 oz.)
1 small package white sugar (at least 12 oz.)
1 small container ground cinnamon
1 package baking powder
1 small box baking soda
1 package carrots
1 medium apple
1 package raisins (at least 8 oz.)
1 small package walnuts
1 small jar wheat germ

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Anita Bruzzese

Anita Bruzzese is an award-winning journalist. Her book, 45 Things You Do That Drive Your Boss Crazy...And How to Avoid Them, was named one of the top 10 most notable business books by the New York Post in 2007. For more information, visit her Website at

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