A good morning begins with a good muffin
The original Morning Glory muffins were invented in 1978 by Pam McKinstry, Nantucket restaurateur and culinary consultant to the organic produce company Earthbound Farm. Gourmet Magazine picked up the recipe in 1981, and a decade later it was chosen as one of the magazine’s 50 favorite recipes of the last 25 years.
Morning Glory muffins have come a long way since the 1970s – a Google search turns up 323,000 hits, with companies like King Arthur Flour weighing in with its own version (made with King Arthur flour, natch), which purports to date back to the ’60s, though it hews closely to the McKinstry version. Cooking Light has an unusual take with banana and dried pineapple, Taste of Home rides its reputation as the tacky home-cook magazine and rips off the McKinstry recipe nearly verbatim without credit, and Allrecipes.com offers so many uploaded knock-offs that it lists not only a Morning Glory Muffins I and II but a Better Morning Glory Muffins and a Protein Morning Glory Muffins recipe as well. The Whole Foods version is appropriately snooty, with whole wheat pastry flour, “natural brown sugar” (as opposed to the plastic kind, I suppose), and “expeller-pressed” canola oil.
So why tweak something that’s already been tweaked a million times? Surely someone, if not Ms. McKinstry herself, has already found the perfect version of these muffins. They probably have. But I couldn’t resist rewriting the recipe just a tiny bit. Here’s my take – brown sugar instead of white (which, frankly, is more down-to-earth and hippie than the original, written in the 1970s, when white sugar and shortening ruled the earth), and a cup of zucchini instead of one of the cups of carrots.
One of these babies makes a great, healthful replacement for a doughnut or a cream cheese-slathered bagel. Just pour yourself a travel mug of coffee and you’re ready to go.