Monica's favorite supplies for
making Magic Muffins
These pack a big nutritional punch; plus they can replace eggs, oil, and butter in muffins.
This whole grain flour adds flavor, texture and nutrition to these muffins. (click below for other flours)
Also available: brown rice flour, barley flour
This is perfect for mixing the muffin batter and storing it in the fridge.
Also available: wire whisk
I prefer these over one pan with 12 cups for more flexibility in a crowded oven & smaller batches
Convenient for making a few or a lot. Safe for oven and microwave use. Dishwasher safe.
This is a handy tool for adding equal, tidy portions to the muffin tins. I also use it for forming cooking dough and meatballs.
Also available: Microplane zester/grater
This has the flavor and nutrition of peanut butter without the fat and calories.
Also available: crystallized ginger

Make-Ahead Magic Muffins

12 healthy flavors from one multigrain refrigerator batter


Keep this batter in the fridge so it's easy to bake or microwave fresh muffins throughout the week. The magic of chia seed gel replaces the added eggs and fat found in most muffin recipes. Made with 100% whole grains, you can make these a regular part of a healthy breakfast in everyone's favorite flavor.

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Years ago there was a bran muffin refrigerator batter making the rounds that I remember being so convenient. The batter was mixed and stored in the fridge for a quick, freshly baked muffin at a moment's notice. Like my other make-ahead breakfasts (refrigerator oatmeal, oatmeal smoothies, and healthy Egg McMuffin copycats), I wanted to figure out a new version of make-ahead muffin refrigerator batter--one more way to make mornings easier with a quick, healthy breakfast.

After considerable experimenting, I came up with today's recipe. I made one basic batter that can be quickly and easily adapted for an endless number of muffin flavors. 

Where's the magic in these muffins? 

  • they have no added oil or butter (most muffin recipes have lots)
  • they have no eggs (most muffin recipes do)
  • they are made with a combination of 100% whole grains without a heavy texture or taste
  • they use the magic of chia seeds to form a gel when mixed with liquid that replaces eggs & butter/oil and creates a moist muffin (read about the big nutritional benefits of chia seeds in my previous post); chia seeds have a neutral taste and magically take on the taste of the other ingredients
  • the batter can be made ahead and will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days (bake one or more fresh muffins whenever you like)
  • one basic batter recipe magically transforms into endless muffin flavors--directions for 12 flavors are included here
  • they can be baked in 20 min. in an oven or toaster oven, or cooked in 1 minute in the microwave
  • these freshly baked muffins disappear right before your eyes--like magic!

Nutritional Info (for one plain Magic Muffin):

  • 124 calories, 1.4g fat, 173mg sodium, 24.6g carbs, 2.7g fiber, 8.9g sugars, 3.3g protein
  • Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 3 points

 

Step-by-step photos for making
Refrigerator Multigrain Magic Muffins

Step 1. Assemble the ingredients: buttermilk, baking powder, baking soda, honey, salt, cinnamon, vanilla, plus these seeds and whole grain flours (available at many grocery stores and Whole Foods):

  • ground chia seeds--grind your own in a blender or food processor, or buy them ground 
  • oat flour 
  • brown rice flour 
  • barley flour 

About the flours: I settled on this combination of healthy flours to achieve a good flavor and texture. Feel free to experiment with substituting other flours, but I can't personally vouch for the results. The brown rice and oat flours are also available in gluten-free varieties.

  • Gluten free? No problem. Make sure you use gluten-free oat and brown rice flour, and substitute buckwheat flour for the barley flour.

About the baking powder and baking soda: Make sure these are fresh (check their expiration dates). These are the leavening for the muffins. Old ingredients result in flat muffins.

Buttermilk substitute: You can make a substitute for buttermilk by combining 1 tablespoon vinegar with enough lowfat milk to make 1 cup total liquid. Set aside for 10 minutes before combining with other ingredients.

  • Vegan? No problem. You can make a vegan buttermilk substitute by combining 1 tablespoon vinegar with enough non-dairy milk (soy, almond, or coconut) to make 1 cup total liquid. Set aside for 10 minutes before combining with other ingredients. Use maple or agave syrup in place of the honey.

About the sweetener: I used honey to sweeten these muffins. You may substitute maple syrup, agave syrup, brown sugar, or another preferred sweetener. These muffins are mildly sweet. If you like a more cake-like sweetness, increase the honey or other sweetener.

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Step 2. Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together.

Step 3. Combine the wet ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk together.

Step 4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir just until moist. Don't over mix; batter should be lumpy.

Step 5. Allow batter to rest for at least 30 minutes before baking muffins. (This is necessary to allow the chia seeds to soften and form a gel, promoting moister muffins.) OR... Cover batter and refrigerate overnight or up to 5 days.

Magic_Muffins12.jpg

NOTE: Whether you use the batter right away or after several days in the refrigerator, the batter should not be re-stirred or re-mixed before scooping or spooning it into muffin cups. This helps the texture of the muffins remain light.

Procedure for adding batter and flavors to muffin cups
The procedure for adding batter and fruit/nut flavors to muffin tins is the same for every flavor. Fruits/nuts are added in two layers so that they are more evenly distributed in the muffins. By adding the fruits/nuts to each muffin individually, you can make a variety of flavors using the same batter.

Step 6a. Spray or grease the number of muffin cups you will be filling. If you aren't adding fruit or flavors to the muffins: without remixing the batter, use a scoop or spoon to fill each muffin cup 2/3 full. Skip to Step 9. 

  • Hint: Paper muffin liners aren't recommended. Because of the lack of fat in this recipe, muffins will stick and are very hard to remove from the paper.

Step 6b. If you are adding fruit/nuts/flavors: without remixing the batter, only add enough batter to fill 1/3 of each muffin cup. (See 12 flavor combo suggestions below.)

  • Hint:  If fruit is juicy or wet, blot it off before adding it to muffin batter.

Step 7. Sprinkle on fruit, nuts, or other flavors. 

Step 8. Repeat with another layer of batter topped with more fruit/nuts/flavors. Each muffin cup should be approx. 2/3 full.

Step 9. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-23 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

  • view on Amazon:  medium scoop (I used this for neatly portioning batter)

Magic Muffins

12 Fruits/Nuts/Flavor suggestions
Here's how to use the plain batter to create flavored muffins. 

1. Blueberry Muffins 
2. Raspberry Muffins 
3. Blackberry Muffins 

  • sprinkle fresh or frozen berries on 1st layer of batter, add more batter, and top with more berries.

Magic Muffins

4. Cranberry Orange Muffins -- Sprinkle dried cranberries and orange zest on bottom batter layer; repeat on top layer. Use a Microplane to zest the orange.

Magic_Muffins2.jpg

5. Apple Cinnamon Muffins -- Sprinkle bottom layer with diced apples and cinnamon; repeat on top layer.Magic_Muffins3.jpg

6. Mango Muffins -- Sprinkle bottom layer with diced mango; repeat on top layer.

magic muffins

7. Granola Muffins -- Sprinkle bottom layer with granola; repeat on top layer. Use store bought granola, or make your own. Here's my granola recipe.

magic muffins

8. Ginger Muffins -- Sprinkle bottom layer with minced crystallized ginger; repeat on top layer.

Magic_Muffins6.jpg

9. Banana Nut Muffins -- Sprinkle bottom layer with diced banana and walnuts or pecans; repeat on top layer. To avoid unappealing darkened bananas on muffin tops, press bananas on top layer into the batter so they are immersed, then sprinkle with nuts.

Magic_Muffins7.jpg

10. Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chip Muffins -- Sprinkle bottom layer with PB2 and chocolate chips, repeat on top layer. Hint: after sprinkling on PB2, gently mix it into batter with a toothpick.

  • What is PB2? It's an amazing powdered peanut butter. It's simply peanut butter with 85% of the fat removed. With all of the flavor and protein of regular peanut butter, PB2 is recommended as a great way to reduce calories in all of your favorite peanut butter recipes.
    Available at Whole Foods, health food stores, and some grocery stores.
  • view on Amazon:  PB2 powdered peanut butter

Magic_Muffins8.jpg

11. Pineapple Coconut Muffins. Sprinkle bottom layer with shredded coconut and minced pineapple; repeat on top layer.Magic_Muffins9.jpg

12. Peach Almond Muffins. Sprinkle diced peaches on bottom layer; repeat on top layer and sprinkle with almonds.Magic_Muffins10.jpg

Ready to bake! They take about 20 minutes in the oven or toaster oven. I made one of each flavor so you could see how they should look. Chances are you won't make this many flavors at one time; but, as you can see, there are endless possibilities. Get creative and invent your own flavors, too!

  • Muffin tins: I use two 6-muffin tins rather than one big 12-muffin tin. That way it's easy to make small batches, or I can more easily fit the smaller tins around other items in a full oven. These also fit in most toaster ovens.
  • view on Amazon:  6-muffin tins

Magic Muffins

Ready to Microwave! You can also cook these in the microwave using silicone muffin cups (unlike many plastics, silicone is considered safe to use in the microwave). It only takes 1 minute to cook a muffin. They look a little funky--the tops look dry and lumpy--but the inside texture is light and the muffins are moist. Taste great and can't beat the convenience. You can make them with flavors like those shown above, or make them plain. Microwave up to 4 muffins at one time, adding 20-30 seconds for each additional muffin. (Microwave times can vary, so you may have to do a little trial-and-error in the beginning to get the cook time in your microwave exactly right.) You can also microwave muffins in small ramekins or custard cups.

Magic Muffins

Here's a platter of my oven-baked muffins. Don't expect them to be the sky-high, cupcake-like muffins you find at Panera. These healthy muffins have a nice texture and flavor, but they don't rise or have the sweetness of the high fat, high calorie versions. Like all muffins, they're much better when freshly baked. That's the great thing about this refrigerator batter--they can be eaten freshly baked every time!

Magic Muffins

Due to the lack of fat and sugar in the muffins, they don't brown much on top, but they still look appealing with the added toppings. 

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It's the flavor and texture on the inside that will sell you on these. Adding the fruit in two layers ensures that it is well distributed. This blackberry muffin was delish with my morning coffee.

Magic Muffins

Make it a Yummy day!

You might like this recipe.
A Magic Muffin is baked in the bottom of a mason jar.

Make-Ahead Healthy Breakfast Bread Pudding

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Link directly to this recipe Print this recipe
Refrigerator Multigrain Magic Muffins
By Monica              Servings: 12 muffins
Ingredients
  • 1 cup whole grain oat flour
  • 1/2 cup whole grain barley flour
  • 1/2 cup whole grain brown rice flour
  • 2 tablespoons ground chia seeds
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk*
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • fruits, nuts, additional flavors**
Directions
In large mixing bowl, add oat, barley, & brown rice flours, chia seeds, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; whisk until well combined. In separate medium bowl, combine buttermilk, water, vanilla & honey; whisk to combine. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients; stir just until moistened. Don't over mix; batter should be lumpy. Let batter rest at least 30 minutes before baking. Or, cover batter and refrigerate overnight and as long as 5 days. Recipe may be doubled or tripled.

To bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease or spray muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray. Without remixing batter, spoon or scoop it into muffin cups, filling 2/3 full. Bake 20-23 minutes until toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean. Let rest 5 minutes before removing from pan to cooling rack.

To microwave a single muffin, use silicone muffin cup, or glass custard cup, ramekin or small mason jar. If using glass, coat with cooking spray. Fill 1/2 to 2/3 full and microwave for 50-65 seconds (microwave times will vary). To microwave multiple muffins at one time, increase cooking time 20-30 seconds for each additional muffin.

*To make buttermilk substitute: Add 1 tablespoon vinegar with enough low-fat milk to total 1 cup. Let rest for 10 minutes before adding to batter.

**TO ADD FRUITS,NUTS & FLAVORS. May use fresh, frozen, canned or dried fruit. Blot off juice or liquid before adding to muffin layers. Fill muffin cups 1/3 full with batter, sprinkle on fruit or other flavors; top with batter to 2/3 full and add more flavors on top, pressing them into the batter slightly. Bake 22-24 minutes until toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean. Let rest 5 minutes before removing from pan to cooling rack. Suggestions:

Blueberry -- Sprinkle 4-5 berries on bottom layer; repeat on top layer.
Raspberry -- Cut 4-5 berries in half. Sprinkle 4-5 berry halves on bottom layer; repeat on top layer.
Blackberry -- Cut 4-5 berries in half. Sprinkle 4-5 berry halves on bottom layer; repeat on top layer.
Banana Walnut -- Sprinkle 2 teaspoons diced banana and 1/2 teaspoon chopped walnuts on bottom layer; sprinkle 2 teaspoons diced bananas on top layer and press into batter until immersed (to avoid darkening), sprinkle top with 1 teaspoon chopped walnuts
Peach Almond -- Sprinkle 1/2 tablespoon diced peaches on bottom layer; repeat on top layer; also sprinkle 1 tablespoon sliced or slivered almonds on top.
Apple cinnamon -- Sprinkle 1/2 tablespoon diced apple on bottom layer, add a light sprinkle of cinnamon; repeat on top layer.
Pineapple Coconut -- Sprinkle 1 teaspoon diced pineapple and 1 teaspoon shredded coconut on bottom layer; repeat on top layer.
Peanut butter, chocolate chip -- Sprinkle 10 chocolate chips and 1 teaspoon PB2 on bottom layer; sprinkle 1 teaspoon PB2 on top, swirl into batter with a toothpick; sprinkle 10 chocolate chips on top.
Mango or Apricot -- sprinkle 2 teaspoons diced fruit on bottom layer; repeat on top.
Ginger -- Sprinkle 1 teaspoon minced crystallized ginger on bottom layer; repeat on top.
Granola -- Sprinkle 1/2 tablespoon granola on bottom layer; repeat on top.
Cranberry Orange -- Sprinkle 4-5 dried cranberries and 1/2 teaspoon orange zest on bottom layer, repeat on top.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION for one plain muffin: 124 calories, 1.4g fat, 173mg sodium, 24.6g carbs, 2.7g fiber, 8.9g sugars, 3.3g protein;
Weight Watchers PointsPlus: 3 points
Print this Recipe   Share this Recipe

This post was updated 11/2013.



Posted on Sunday, May 13th, 2012








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