Is this a healthy muffin? Is there such a thing as a healthy muffin if it contains sugar?

I mean sure, you can make all sorts of paleo “blah-blah-naturally-sweetened-with-bananas” type things… but those aren’t really muffins. Muffins are fluffy, and slightly sweet, with a delicious crusty top. They’re basically cupcakes without the frosting if we’re being honest with ourselves. They’re cupcakes we can feel better about eating.

However, if there was such a thing as a healthy muffin – this would be it! It does contain sugar but also has pumpkin purée, apple, carrot, and zucchini (courgette) inside. Not to mention pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.

It might not seem like the kind of recipe for the beautiful sunny weather we’ve been having, but I think it works. The flavours may feel like fall (with the pumpkin, cinnamon, and cloves) but the fact that it’s healthy makes it feel like summer to me! I can’t be the only one who craves salad and other healthy foods once the weather heats up? Goodbye, hearty and rich stews – hello BBQ!

In my humble opinion, if carrot cake is acceptable all year round, why not these?

So if you’d like a morning treat, or something to bring to the office, and are looking for healthier options – why not try these? I can guarantee you that you won’t be disappointed.

Vegan Veggie Muffins

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


  • 450 g all-purpose flour
  • 300 g whole-wheat flour
  • 14 g baking soda bicarbonate
  • 26 g baking powder
  • 10 g ground cinnamon plus extra for sprinkling
  • 6 g ground ginger
  • 6 g salt
  • large pinch all-spice
  • large pinch ground cloves
  • pinch ground cardamon optional
  • 74 g sunflower seeds
  • 74 g pumpkin seeds plus extra for topping
  • 450 g sugar plus extra for sprinkling
  • 284 g pumpkin purée
  • 224 ml neutral oil sunflower
  • 116 ml apple juice
  • 6 ml vanilla extract
  • 134 g grated zucchini courgette
  • 100 g grated carrot
  • 92 g grated apple


  • Preheat oven to 170°C convection (340°F). Line 2 muffins trays with paper cases (24 total).
  • In a large bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients except for the sugar, and seeds. Mix in the seeds, and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the sugar, along with all the wet ingredients. Stir in the grated veggies and fruit.
  • Mix the wet into the dry, until no flour remains. (The mixture will be thick)
  • Mix together a tablespoon of extra sugar with a sprinkling of cinnamon to dust the muffins with.
  • Spoon the mixture evenly into 24 muffin cases, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, and top with a few extra pumpkin seeds.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 30+ minutes, turning partway through. Check with a toothpick to see if done.
  • Cool on baking racks, then store in an airtight container.


If you are using the larger tulip paper cases, then you’ll only get about 18-20 muffins, and may have to bake longer.

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