Super Food Muffins

Would you believe me if I told you these muffins are exceptionally good for you and taste amazing too? I know that you know that I know that this is not always the case with “healthy” baked goods. But these delicious little muffins break the mold on that one for sure which should come as no surprise since my Aunt Marilyn gave me the recipe and I know that you know that I know that her recipes are always pretty killer.

Packed with superfood after superfood, they have no added sugar beyond the thick, syrupy molasses and are bursting with quinoa, whole wheat, carrots, chia seeds, and lots of cinnamon. They may not win any awards for looks but since they aren’t going to clog your arteries, either, I’d say we can look over that little hangup.

I tend to keep my freezer stocked with a few of our favorite muffins-fit-for-breakfast-and-snacking, including these Refrigerator Bran Muffins, Healthy Applesauce Oat Muffins, and Banana Blueberry Muffins (among others, depending on my mood). When asked to grab a bag full of muffins out of the freezer in the morning lately, the kids have been going straight for these. Who am I to argue?

Super Food Muffins

We like them with a little dab of butter (ignore the “won’t clog your arteries” comment above, thankyouverymuch) and a teensy drizzle of honey, but they are exceptionally tasty without any adornment, too. Aside from breakfast, I’ve taken to throwing a few of them in my bag when we are out on long walks (you know, for when that uphill stretch is looming before me and the loaded-with-toddlers stroller and a power muffin break is needed stat). They’ll also be a perfect addition to our school lunch routine since my kids don’t mind a muffiny type lunch now and then.

Keep in mind, these are definitely and very certainly a muffin. As my Aunt put it when sending me the recipe: “Don’t expect a cupcake and you won’t be disappointed.” Truer words hath never been spoken. A muffin it is! And a healthy, delicious one at that!

One Year Ago: Ebelskivers: Puffy Danish Pancakes
Two Years Ago: Cheesy Zucchini Rice
Three Years Ago: One-Pot Southwest Chicken and Rice

Good Morning Power Muffins

Yield: Makes about 2-3 dozen muffins

Good Morning Power Muffins

I prefer using white whole wheat instead of red whole wheat flour since it has a lighter texture but either will work fine just take care to use a light hand when measuring the flour since overflouring will make the muffins dense and dry. Also, make sure the cooked quinoa you use hasn't been cooked in broth; just water and maybe a pinch of salt.


  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin or refined coconut oil, melted (not hot, just slightly warm)
  • 1/2 cup no-sugar added applesauce
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour, fluff the flour before measuring with a light hand
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked and cooled quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease two 12-cup muffin tins and set aside (or you can line them with paper cups).
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, applesauce, molasses, eggs, and vanilla.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix lightly with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula; there should still be a few dry streaks.
  4. Fold in the quinoa, carrots and chia seeds until just combined (don't overmix).
  5. Fill the muffin cups about 3/4 full and bake for 18-22 minutes until the tops spring back lightly to the touch (or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean).
  6. Let the muffins cool for 2-3 minutes in the tin before gently sliding out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Recipe Source: adapted slightly from my Aunt Marilyn (used coconut oil instead of butter)

70 Responses to Good Morning Power Muffins {Full of Whole Grains and Superfoods!}

  1. Janet says:

    I love whole grains but don’t care for quinoa…..I know…..crazy!! So what other grain could be used in this??

    • Mel says:

      Hi Janet, you could try adding soaked chia seeds or extra flour (or maybe even oats). I’ve never subbed out the quinoa, so you’ll have to experiment a little.

  2. Amanda says:

    Just pulled these out of the oven! They definitely taste “healthy” and not at all like regular carrot cake – not that that’s a bad thing! I think if I make them again I’ll add more cinnamon, as well as some ginger and nutmeg and maybe a pinch more salt. I can see these being lovely with a cup of coffee in the morning. 🙂

  3. Joanna says:

    What kind of molasses do you use? I used blackstrap and the muffins had a very strong molasses flavour.

  4. Brittany K says:

    Hi!! I’m dying to make these! I’d love to make them tomorrow but quinoa is the only ingredient I don’t have… Can I sub anything or should I just wait until I make it to the store to make these? 🙂

  5. Jill freitas says:

    Made these like the recipe said except didn’t have chia seeds. Threw in some golden raisins. Pretty good for a healthy muffin. will make again maybe with coconut or nuts. Thank you!

  6. Kelin says:

    The first time I made these I discovered that I’m not a fan of molasses! I also over stirred and they came out really dense. I made them yesterday with two adjustments and they’re awesome! I did half whole wheat flour and half chickpea flour (to increase the protein) then I substituted honey for half of the molasses.

  7. Erin says:

    Thank you for a great recipe!! These were right up my alley, and they came out moist and rich. You make me feel like a professional baker! My mom and boyfriend loved them too 🙂

  8. Nadia says:

    Just made the power muffins last night. I have to say I was a bit unsure at first, but they smelled so amazing when done I could hardly wait to try them! My kids and husband loved them, as did I!! This is definitely something I will keep making because it is delicious and healthy! Thank you for sharing!

  9. Natalie says:

    These are amazing, I’m honestly not surprised though. I’ve made 5 meals from your healthy category over the last 5 nights and every one was amazing. All 5 kids ate all 5 meals. That’s saying something. Is it totally inappropriate to say I love you? Because I do. I really, really do.

  10. Angie says:

    Wow, I made these exactly as the recipe was written and they are amazing! I wouldn’t substitute or change anything! I will make these often! Thanks for a great website with amazing new ideas!

  11. Lisa says:

    I made these over the weekend, and they are absolutely fabulous! I changed a couple of things based on what I had on hand:
    1. Replaced coconut oil with more applesauce (for a total of 1 cup applesauce).
    2. Decreased molasses to 1/2 cup and added 1/4 cup honey.
    3. Only used 1/2 cup shredded carrots and added 1 cup shredded zucchini.

    They turned out amazing. Even better the next day! I put the rest in the freezer for snacks. One muffin and I’m powered for hours.

    Thanks, Mel!

  12. Tracey says:

    These muffins are absolutely delicious. I will continue to make them over and over again!

  13. KMDuff says:

    So the molasses flavor was too strong for me and I usually like molasses. And I didn’t like the quinoa texture in them. I don’t think I’ll make them again. I feel like this is a first fight with a new boyfriend because everything I’ve made from your site in the past few weeks has been fabulous! (And I promise I followed the directions exactly on these.) Oh well.

  14. Jill says:

    These are delicious! I eat one everyday topped with a little peanut butter as my post workout snack…they give me the incentive to exercise! Thanks Mel!!

  15. Erin says:

    These are so good! I only had a 1/4 cup of molasses, so I added a little over a 1/4 cup of honey. They are so good!! I’ll have to make them with all molasses next time! I love the crunch of the quinoa!

  16. Sarah Barr says:

    These are great! I’m enjoying one right now…even my picky husband likes them. Will try them next time with some walnuts.

  17. Rebecca B says:

    . . . BTW this recipe makes FIVE DOZEN mini muffins.

  18. Rebecca B says:

    WONDERFUL!! I knew I had to make these as soon as I saw the recipe. Bless you and Aunt Marilyn for sharing. My family loves these. They’re also great if you add some chopped nuts and raisins.

  19. Anais says:

    Hi… What can I use instead of molasses??? I could’n find where I live… Please!!

    • Mel says:

      Anais – You will have to experiment – I haven’t subbed. Maybe honey, although it is much sweeter than molasses. Good luck if you try it!

  20. Melissa C says:

    Made these yesterday….I substituted honey for molasses and they turned out great! My husband and kids love them!! my husband actually texted me when he got to work of how delicious they are without butter 🙂 And they will be great to just pull out of the freezer for next day’s breakfast! I also added a tablespoon of ground flaxseed just to give them some EXTRA power lol… I also made the cheesey ham and broccoli bites with the leftover quinoa. Thanks Mel!!

  21. Amanda C says:

    Love these! I made mini muffins (a half batch made 24) and baked for 15 minutes and they were perfect.

  22. Jina says:

    Hi Mel, can this recipe be made as a loaf of bread instead of muffins? I have little patience for greasing and cleaning muffin tins. 🙂

    • Mel says:

      Jina – Certainly worth a try although I haven’t tried it myself so I’m not sure how the quantity adapts to a loaf pan. Good luck if you experiment!

  23. Lynne says:

    Thank you Mel for this recipe. These muffins are so tasty, especially warm!

  24. Beth says:

    Suggestion for subbing out coconut oil? My little guy is allergic?! Look soo good!!! Thank you!

  25. Jolie says:

    I just made these, and they are delicious! Moist, just sweet enough, with that yummy warm spiciness that molasses and cinnamon provide. I love that they are chock full of goodness–I made a huge batch so I’ve got healthy breakfast and quick snacks for several weeks! And they are quite filling, thanks to a high protein content. Excellent recipe!

  26. Tammy says:

    Is the quinoa 1.5 cups AFTER it’s cooked?

  27. Heidi says:

    What kind of molasses did you use? I used blackstrap unsulphered and these muffins turned out NOTHING like yours. They were really, really black, not browny goldeny like yours. We still ate them (no worries!) and the flavor was great, albeit really molasses-y.

  28. Shannon says:

    I really wanted these to work so we could have some yummy muffins to pull out of the freezer when needed, but they burned. 🙁 I followed the instructions exactly so I’m not sure what I did wrong. They baked 18 min (19 at the very most) at 350. Anyone have any ideas? I have a lighter colored aluminum pan and a coated darker pan that I used at the same time, but they burned equally in both of them. They were moist inside but burned on the bottom and outside. ????

  29. Patty says:

    Just made these; I didn’t have applesauce, but have lots of zucchini, so I grated it up in place of the applesauce and added a bit of stevia to make up for the sweetness the applesauce would have had. Ran short of molasses so I finished that off with sucanat. Worked great!

  30. Brittany c says:

    These sound awesome! I’m so mad I went to Costco today and forgot to buy more quinoa, ran out last night. But these may be worth an extra trip.

  31. Lindsay says:

    Picky toddler approved! Thank you SO much!
    A couple of things:
    1 – Unless I missed it, I don’t think the directions mentioned adding the salt 🙂
    2 – This is probably a “duh” thing, but I had open containers of applesauce and molasses in the fridge, and those cold ingredients added to the melted oil caused the oil to harden back up before it was combined. Not a huge problem since I was able to re-melt the mixture, but it was a little bit of a pain. I know full well that room-temp ingredients are best when baking, but we all have to cut corners sometimes 🙂 BAD idea this time!

  32. Erin says:

    I think we need a tour of your freezer 🙂 do you just freeze them in ziplock bags or what’s your system?

    • Mel says:

      Erin – I bake them, cool them, and then slide them into a gallon-size freezer ziploc bag and freeze them that way. Not sure my freezer is tour-worthy (it’s kind of a disaster actually!).

      • Annette says:

        And then how long do you microwave them after taking them out of the freezer? What gets them thawed and warm but not squishy? Thanks!

  33. ann wank says:

    Since I only had 3/4 cup molasses in my pantry I used honey to top it off to one cup. Very yummy…..

  34. Nancy says:

    Thank you so much for this I made these yesterday and am in love. I have a 2yr old who is underweight and anemic and she loved these. The molasses gives her a bit of iron and all around these are nutrient packed little muffins. She has never eaten a muffin before these.

  35. These sound wonderful. I’m a huge fan of your other muffin recipes so I’m sure these are as delicious as you say they are. I don’t have quinoa, though. I wonder if I could sub with cooked oatmeal? If I try it, I’ll be sure to come back and let you know how they turned out. Thanks for the recipe!

  36. These look like the perfect healthy muffin! And the carrots in them make me happy, as I’m always searching for ways to get veggies into my 3 year old! Pinning these and trying them soon, they look great.

  37. Kasey Alder says:

    Do you think I could sub shredded zucchini for the carrots?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Kasey – I haven’t tried it but I think it could work quite well especially if the shredded zucchini is squeezed dry of any excess liquid.

  38. Susan Kirk says:

    These sound super yummy and easily converted to gluten free!

  39. Carlie says:

    Is there a way to not have molasses in there? A substitute maybe?

  40. Dawn says:

    Yesterday I was organizing my pantry and came upon two bottles of molasses and thought why do I have two and what can I make. Today I was going through my emails and I came upon this post. As I glanced at the recipe I saw molasses and I had ALL the ingredients (that never happens!). I got up right then and made these. YUMMM I love the molasses taste and moist texture. I’m going to freeze them but I’ll be pulling one out each day until they’re gone. I’ve made many of your wonderful recipes as your photos always pull me in. Thanks 🙂

  41. Jen T says:

    A perfect recipe to help stock the freezer before school starts–sigh–summer is quickly disappearing. Thanks Mel!

  42. Jenna says:

    I would love to make these this afternoon. Would it be awful if I used regular white flour?

  43. Laurel says:

    Wow! super, super health food! Having a bake sale in town while the tour of Utah comes through, I think these will be perfect for some of the healthy eaters. Then Samoa cupcakes for the rest of us 😉

    p.s. i just made cinnamon coconut muffins with the crumb topping from your cream cheese banana bread added some coconut in the topping. Wowza it is fantastic!

  44. These will be great to make up and freeze to have on hand for a quick snack or breakfast, thanks. I have both molasses and quinoa to use up (had some, thought I was out and bought more….).

  45. jocy says:

    I’m making this today! Thanks

  46. apryl says:

    Can’t wait to try these! My quest to banish Pop-tarts from breakfast has a champion!

  47. Shauna says:

    How do you freeze these (or any of your muffins for that matter)? Do you wrap individually in plastic wrap or just throw them all in a freezer bag together?

    • jocy says:

      i usually bake them first, then freeze them together in a bag, you can fit 9 in a gallon size bag.

    • Charlotte Moore says:

      I like to put a couple in a sandwich size ziplock bag then put them in a gallon size freezer bag. I just reach in a get a bag or two and they are ready to go or warm and eat at home.

      These look so yummy!!! I make muffins all the time using soft white wheat flour or hard wheat flour that I grind myself. We love the whole wheat.

    • Mel says:

      Hi Shauna – I bake and cool them and then place them in a gallon sized freezer ziploc bag and freeze.

  48. Cammee says:

    You read my mind! I have been making and freezing muffins to serve at my daughter’s mission farewell brunch. I needed another option in the bunch and this is perfect!

  49. Kim in MD says:

    Love these, Mel!

  50. Carla says:

    What would you think about honey instead of molasses (I’m usually not a fan)?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Carla, you’d have to experiment as I haven’t tried it but honey is much sweeter than molasses so keep that in mind if you make a change. Maybe start with half honey, half molasses?

  51. Christina says:

    Can I use whole wheat pastry flour instead of white whole wheat (can’t find it where I live)?

  52. Kelly Finger says:

    If one uses butter in place of the oil, should it be melted or softened? And still 1/2 cup?

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