5 Nutritious, Low-Calorie Muffin Recipes
Written by Lauren Panoff, MPH, RD on September 16, 2019
Muffins are a popular, sweet treat.
Though many people find them delicious, they’re often full of added sugar and other unhealthy ingredients.
Plus, due to dietary restrictions, many people need alternatives to traditional muffin recipes to avoid eggs, dairy products, or grains.
Here are 5 healthy, low-calorie muffin recipes, including ways to make them vegan, paleo, or gluten-free.
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Blueberry muffins are a classic favorite that many people enjoy for breakfast or an afternoon snack.
You can make them even healthier by going heavy on the blueberries and light on any sweeteners. Plus, using unsweetened applesauce instead of oil can further reduce the calorie count.
- 1 3/4 cups, plus 1 teaspoon (210 grams total) of white or whole-wheat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) of olive oil or applesauce
- 1/2 cup (170 grams) of honey
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup (227 grams) of plain Greek yogurt
- 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
- 1 cup (140 grams) of blueberries
Mix together the dry ingredients, except for the extra teaspoon of flour. In a separate bowl, combine the oil (or applesauce), eggs, honey, yogurt, and vanilla.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and gently stir. Toss the blueberries with the remaining teaspoon of flour and fold them into the batter.
Divide the batter into 12 muffin tins and bake at 400°F (250°C) for 16–19 minutes.
One muffin has 200 calories, 8 grams of total fat, 200 mg of sodium, 27 grams of carbs, 1 gram of fiber, 14 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein (1).
You can make a gluten-free flour blend at home by mixing 1 1/4 cups (180 grams) of white rice flour, 3/4 cup (120 grams) of brown rice flour, 2/3 cup (112 grams) of potato starch, and 1/3 cup (42 grams) of tapioca starch. This can replace wheat flour in muffins in a one-to-one ratio.
- To make vegan. Instead of honey, you can substitute agave nectar or maple syrup. To replace one egg, you can mix 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds with 3 tablespoons (20 ml) of water. Nondairy plain yogurt can replace Greek yogurt.
- To make paleo. Use a grain-free flour blend and replace 1 teaspoon of baking powder by using a mixture of 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda, 1/4 teaspoon of cornstarch, and 1/2 teaspoon of cream of tartar.
- To make gluten-free. In place of wheat flour, try a one-to-one gluten-free flour blend, which you can either make at home (see above) or purchase premade.
View the full recipe here.
Chocolate muffins may sound dessert, but they don’t have to be just a special treat. Chocolate can be a great vehicle for nutritious ingredients puréed fruits and vegetables.