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20 Healthy Muffin Recipes to Start Your Day Right

Who says you can’t enjoy muffins every day? There’s something for every diet plan in these 20 healthy, “light” muffin recipes.

As delicious as the muffins in the bakery section of your grocery store are, they also come packed with gobs of sugar and fat. Good luck fitting them into your macros.

Make your own muffins, though, and everything changes.

It’s not only easy to do but it allows you to create something that’s delicious, packed with nutritious ingredients, and lighter on the calories. For example, you can use protein powder in place of half your flour and swap out cooking oil and butter for yogurt or applesauce.

Enjoy!

Blueberry Swirl Muffins

Serves 12

Ever order a blueberry muffin only to learn it has fewer than 5 berries? These muffins will make up for those disappointments and then some.

Yes, they look stunning thanks to the generous helping of blueberries. But take a bite into this beautiful muffin, and you’ll also find a swirl of thick blueberry sauce in the center. Then, although they’re delicious without, these blueberry muffins are finished with a classic streusel topping.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

321

Calories

5 g

Protein

49 g

Carbs

12 g

Fat

Ingredients

Blueberry Muffins:

2 cups blueberries

1 1/8 cup granulated sugar

2 1/2 cups flour

2 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

2 large eggs

4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1/4 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup plain yogurt

1/4 cup milk

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Streusel Topping:

1 1/2 Tbsp. granulated sugar

1 1/2 Tbsp. brown sugar

Pinch of salt

1/4 cup flour

2 1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and warm

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Maple Spice Glazed Pumpkin Muffins

Serves 12

These muffins are good even without the glaze, but when you’re celebrating the start of fall, why not go all out?

The glaze uses almond milk, which can be replaced with dairy if it fits into your diet. Either way, these will need to be stored in an airtight container in the fridge so that the glaze stays in place. They’ll keep for up to 5 days, or can be stashed in the freezer for a couple months.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

210

Calories

4 g

Protein

40 g

Carbs

5 g

Fat

Ingredients

Pumpkin Muffins:

1 cup white whole-wheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/8 tsp. ground cloves

2 large eggs

1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 cup canned pumpkin

3 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Maple Spice Glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar

1 Tbsp. pure maple syrup

1 1/2 Tbsp. unsweetened vanilla almond milk (more if necessary)

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

Pinch of ground nutmeg and cloves

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Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Serves 8

To make these healthy lemon muffins, you can forget the wheat flour. Instead, combine vanilla protein powder and coconut flour for a paleo-friendly replacement.

Once you fall in love with the final result, you can switch it up to make more gluten-free muffins. Fold in your favorite fruit, chocolate chips, or seeds. You can also swap out the yogurt for nut butter for a slightly different flavor.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

161

Calories

13 g

Protein

16 g

Carbs

5 g

Fat

Ingredients

1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. coconut flour

1 tsp. xanthan gum

3/4 tsp. baking powder

3/4 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. poppy seeds

1 Tbsp. lemon zest

1 Tbsp. coconut oil (or unsalted butter), melted

1 large egg, room temp.

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt

1/4 cup agave syrup (or honey)

Juice of 1 medium lemon (about 2 Tbsp.)

1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

2 scoops WHEY+ vanilla protein powder

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Spelt Strawberry Muffins

Serves 9

The nutritional content of wheat and spelt is shockingly similar. There are slightly less calories per cup in spelt flour, which gives it fewer grams of carbs and protein than whet. And though they have the same amount of fat, spelt contains more omega-3s and omega-6s.

For flavors – and to reap the rewards of both – this recipe replaces half the all-purpose flour in muffin recipe with spelt. That helps them stay fluffy, so you won’t end up with hockey puck muffins.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

244

Calories

6 g

Protein

36 g

Carbs

10 g

Fat

Ingredients

1/2 cup diced strawberries (about 1/2 lb.)

1 1/4 cups spelt flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

3 oz. unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 cup whole milk

1 large egg

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

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Raspberry Coffee Cake Muffins

Serves 12

Think you’ve tried every kind of muffin around? Well these raspberry muffins have a secret.

You could call them coffee cake, especially with the streusel, but they aren’t like other coffee cake around. That’s because they don’t just go well with a cup of coffee – they have real coffee in them. Coffee grounds are an ingredient in the batter as well as the topping.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

276

Calories

5 g

Protein

41 g

Carbs

11 g

Fat

Ingredients

Raspberry Muffins:

6 Tbsp. unsalted butter

3/4 tsp. dark coffee grounds

2 large eggs

1/2 cup whole milk

1 3/4 cups flour

1 cup almond flour

1 cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

2 cups fresh raspberries

1 Tbsp. powdered sugar

Streusel Topping:

3 Tbsp. unsalted butter

1/4 tsp. dark coffee grounds

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup old-fashioned oats

1 1/2 Tbsp. brown sugar

1 1/2 Tbsp. granulated sugar

1/8 tsp. salt

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Plain Muffins

Serves 8

This recipe can be enjoyed alone as a way to highlight your favorite spread. Or, you can make this batter and then fold in the mix-ins of your choice. Anything that sounds good to you goes.

Common options include fruit, seeds, chopped nuts, or chocolate chips. But you can also take this in a savory direction with cheese, fresh herbs, and your favorite seasoning. Depending on how much you integrate, the recipe may make more muffins.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

246

Calories

6 g

Protein

39 g

Carbs

8 g

Fat

Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1 cup milk

2 large eggs, room temp.

1/4 cup unsalted butter (or oil), melted

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Healthy Jelly Doughnut Muffins

Serves 9

Next time you get a craving for jelly doughnuts, you’ll be happy to have this recipe on file.

The plain muffin has a soft, tender crumb to satisfy cravings for cakey doughnuts. And the middle is filled with the jelly of your choice, such as strawberry, raspberry, or even lemon curd. To seal the deal, the finished muffins take a dunk in butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

134

Calories

3 g

Protein

25 g

Carbs

2 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 cup flour

1/2 cup whole-wheat flour

1 large egg

2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. stevia baking blend

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 cup applesauce

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk

1 Tbsp. unsalted butter

2 Tbsp. brown sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

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Homemade English Muffins

Serves 16

To bake bread from scratch at home, you usually need yeast. Yet, what you don’t need is to turn on the oven. You’ll still need a source of heat, though, because raw bread wouldn’t work out too well.

Rather than baking in the oven, these English muffins can be cooked up on a hot griddle or skillet.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

176

Calories

5 g

Protein

31 g

Carbs

3 g

Fat

Ingredients

4 1/2 cups bread flour

2 Tbsp. granulated sugar

1 packet (2 1/4 tsp.) instant yeast

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1 large egg

1 3/4 cups milk

3 Tbsp. unsalted butter

2 Tbsp. semolina (or farina), for sprinkling on the griddle

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Almond Butter Banana Nut Muffins

Serves 15

If you have a favorite banana bread recipe, you can always use that to make muffins. On the other hand, you can start with a banana-based batter and build it into something new.

These oat muffins do have a bunch of bananas (ok, more like half a bunch), but that’s not all. They’re also loaded with almond butter, chocolate chips, and pecans.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

149

Calories

3 g

Protein

21 g

Carbs

7 g

Fat

Ingredients

3 ripe bananas, mashed

1/4 cup almond butter

1/2 cup turbinado sugar

1 egg white

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups oat flour (2 cups old-fashioned oats processed)

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

1/2 cup chopped pecans

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Cottage Cheese & Egg Muffins with Ham

Serves 6

Muffins don’t have to be sweet. This recipe still relies on flour and eggs, but rather than using butter or oil, this batter is made with cottage cheese – with a bit of cheddar for good measure. But as amazing as these look, you’ll be surprised at how incredible easy they are to make.

Mix the 8 ingredients together, and divide between the cups of the muffin tin. Bake for a half hour, and devour. Any leftovers will freeze beautifully.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

223

Calories

18 g

Protein

18 g

Carbs

9 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 cup cottage cheese

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

4 oz. ham, diced

1/2 cup (2 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese

2 green onions, sliced

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Whole-Grain Cinnamon Apple Muffins

Serves 8

Streusel muffins are topped with butter and brown sugar, but that doesn’t necessarily make them unhealthy. Indulgent, yes, but if you sneak in a few nutritious ingredients, these can be a wholesome breakfast.

To compensate for the sugar on top, the muffin batter only calls for a minimal amount of honey. The rest of the sweetness comes from diced apples.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

245

Calories

4 g

Protein

26 g

Carbs

15 g

Fat

Ingredients

Spiced Muffins:

1 cup spelt flour (or whole-wheat flour)

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 tsp. allspice

3/4 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 large egg

1/3 cup pure honey

1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt (or buttermilk)

1 cup peeled and diced apples

Streusel Topping:

1/3 cup spelt flour (or whole-wheat flour)

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

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Peanut Butter Protein Muffins

Serves 6

If you want to make protein-packed muffins, it makes sense to use peanut butter. But why stop there?

There are a few more steps you can take to boost the protein content. Cut the fat of egg yolks and replace them with egg whites. Substitute most of the flour for protein powder. And, last but not least, PB2 adds tons of peanut flavor without the fat.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

190

Calories

20 g

Protein

21 g

Carbs

7 g

Fat

Ingredients

3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/4 cup liquid egg whites

2 Tbsp. light peanut butter

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

3/4 cup PB2

1/4 cup oat flour

2 scoops WHEY+ vanilla protein powder

1/4 cup erythritol (or another zero-calorie sweetener)

2 packets stevia powder

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

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Jalapeno Corn Muffins

Serves 5

Regular cornbread not delivering enough corn flavor? Bake these muffins, which include whole corn kernels as well as cornmeal. With all that flavor, you don’t need the jalapeno unless you prefer the kick.

And since this recipe doesn’t use eggs, you can make vegan muffins by using non-dairy milk and choosing oil instead of butter.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

302

Calories

6 g

Protein

43 g

Carbs

12 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed

3 Tbsp. water

1 cup milk, room temp.

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 1/4 cups yellow cornmeal

1 cup all-purpose flour

4 tsp. granulated sugar

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 jalapeno, sliced and diced

1/4 cup sweet corn kernels

1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing

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Chai Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins

Serves 12

There are endless ways to make oat muffins, such as the classic combo of cinnamon and raisins. However, it’s also possible to take things in an unexpected direction, such as infusing them with the flavor of chai.

First, brew a bag of your favorite spiced tea. Then, combine the remaining ingredients as usual, making one wet mixture, one dry, before gently stirring the two together. From there, the rest is a piece of cake – or a bite of a chai muffin.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

157

Calories

3 g

Protein

21 g

Carbs

8 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 cup flour

1 cup old-fashioned oats

1 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 large egg

1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temp.

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

3 spiced chai teabags

1 cup dark chocolate chips

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Taco Cornbread Muffins

Serves 12

Plain cornbread can make some entrées, like spicy chili and braised ribs, even better. But if you mix even more ingredients into the batter, cornbread can become a tasty snack all on its own.

Cheddar cheese is a common addition to cornbread, and this recipe also has added flavor with Mexican spices and salsa. To complete the taste of a taco, this cornbread has an unexpected ingredient: ground beef.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

307

Calories

19 g

Protein

28 g

Carbs

13 g

Fat

Ingredients

2 packages (7 oz. each) sweet yellow cornbread mix

1 cup milk

2 large eggs

1 cup (4 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese (plus more for garnish)

1 lb. lean ground beef (or ground turkey)

1 packet taco seasoning

1/2 cup salsa, divided

1/4 cup sour cream (about 1 tsp. per muffin)

1 green onion, sliced

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Double Chocolate Black Bean Muffins

Serves 12

Not everyone is on board with making baked goods out of beans. Yet when you make these chocolate muffins, nobody will be able to discern the secret ingredient. There’s nothing about the texture or flavor to give these muffins away, especially when there are chocolate chips to melt in your mouth. And instead of eggs, these chocolate black bean muffins rely on chia seeds.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

211

Calories

5 g

Protein

37 g

Carbs

6 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 Tbsp. chia seeds

3 Tbsp. warm water

3/4 cup black beans, drained and rinsed

2 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted

2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 cup unsweetened almond milk, room temp.

1/2 Tbsp. vanilla extract

1 1/3 cups whole-wheat pastry flour

1/4 cup unsweetened cicoa powder

2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips

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Goat Cheese Muffins with Black Olives

Serves 12

These savory muffins are rustic, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t impressive looking and tasting.

Black olives totally transform when baked, taking on a mellower flavor. While the baked black olive muffins share tasting notes similar to high-quality olive oil, they take it to a whole other level while giving you something to sink your teeth into.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

206

Calories

7 g

Protein

13 g

Carbs

14 g

Fat

Ingredients

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

2/3 cup corn flour

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1 small container (5.3 oz.) nonfat plain Greek yogurt

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup black olives, finely chopped

1 cup (4 oz.) goat cheese, crumbled

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

4 large eggs

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

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Blue Sky Bran Muffins

Serves 12

Bran muffins don’t have to be dry, flavorless, and only good to eat when slathered in butter.

Since these are studded with fruit – anything on hand, from strawberries to cherries, pineapple to oranges – these muffins are moist and full of flavor. And that’s not the only way that the recipe is adaptable. If you don’t have buttermilk, substitute kefir or sour cream.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

144

Calories

4 g

Protein

20 g

Carbs

7 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 1/3 cups buttermilk

1 large egg

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Pinch of citrus zest (optional)

1 1/2 cups wheat bran

1 cup flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

2 tsp. granulated sugar, divided

1 cup chopped mixed fruit

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Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins

Serves 12

Compared to carrots, zucchini blend into baked goods a little better. The softer texture helps the veggie disguise itself in the muffins, and the milder flavor adds a little something without being too savory or too sweet.

These are also gluten-free muffins, using a combination of oat flour and cashew meal to avoid wheat.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

190

Calories

4 g

Protein

92 g

Carbs

8 g

Fat

Ingredients

2 Tbsp. coconut oil

1/4 cup pure honey

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 1/3 cup gluten-free oats, ground to flour

1/3 heaping cup cashew meal

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp. salt

1 cup grated zucchini

1 large banana

1 cup dark chocolate chips, divided

1 Tbsp. coconut sugar

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Carrot Muffins

Serves 16

These muffins taste just like carrot cake – but healthier!

You could even decorate the top with cream cheese icing, and no one will know these tender muffins aren’t technically cupcakes. While muffins are easy to mix together, a cake batter tends to start by creaming together butter and sugar. The difference in the two baking methods affects the texture. Muffins tend to have a coarse crumb, and cakes end up being a bit finer.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

255

Calories

5 g

Protein

28 g

Carbs

15 g

Fat

Ingredients

1 cup whole-wheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 Tbsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

3/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/4 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt

3 large eggs, room temp.

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups finely shredded carrots

1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

1/4 cup old-fashioned oats

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