Food & Drink Magazine

Good Morning Muffin!

By Helenaberthon @hberthon

We had just got back from a 2 week family holiday – the smell of sea salt was still in our hair (or rather a slightly funky chlorinated smell which doesn’t quite fit in with the poetic image in my head); we were bronzed, or as stereotypical fair-skinned Brits, a darker shade of pale, and our bellies were full of delicious daily 3-course Catalan meals.  The return to London was a shock.  Swanning off the plane in my floor-length maxi-dress, shades at the ready, factor 50 in hand, we were greeted by the oh-so-familiar summer drizzle.  As flip-flops were drenched and as a steady tide of murky rain slowly crept up the material of my dress, the post-holiday blues set in.  No more sun, no more freshly baked croissants for breakfast, no more fresh fish for dinner, no more warm evening strolls.  SOMETHING HAD TO BE DONE.  Somehow, the mood had to be lifted.  And it so happened that it was…with muffins.

These muffins are from the fantastic Leon cookbook – one of my favourite books that embraces fresh, seasonal and healthy cooking with the yummiest recipes.  These muffins are super-healthy – full of fruit and nuts (and, although I didn’t realise at the time, dairy-free, vegetarian, and low-fat!) and unbelievably easy to make.  My sister and I woke up on the Monday morning still felling gloomy about the sudden return to reality and by the time we had pulled the puffed up, nutty, bronze-crusted muffins out of the oven, tempers had diffused, smiles had started to fight their way onto down-turned mouths, and life was back to normal.

Good Morning Muffin!
Good Morning Muffin with banana, maple syrup and plain yogurt

Good Morning Muffin!

About 8 in a deep muffin tray (we cooked ours in a fairy cake tray for about half the time to make little ones)


  • 2 eggs
  • 90 ml sunflower oil
  • 3 heaped tablespoons apple sauce or stewed apple
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed with a fork
  • 4 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 200g wholewheat flour (I used white flour and still felt healthy!)
  • 6 tablespoons soft brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 tablespoons bran
  • a big handful of chopped pecans
  • scattering of oats, pumpkin or sunflower seeds for the tops

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.

Whisk the eggs in a large bowl.  Beat in the sunflower oil, followed by the apple sauce, vanilla, banana and maple syrup.

In a separate bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon and bran.

Tip the dry ingredients into the wet ones and mix thoroughly until you have a batter.  Stir in the pecans.

Spoon into paper muffin cases and bake in muffin trays, scattering a little of the oats and/or seeds on top of each one.

Cook for around 30 minutes in the top half on the preheated oven; don’t worry if they start spilling over the edge of the cases to make big muffin tops!

Delicious for a cheer-up breakfast, snack or tea-time treat

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