It’s sort of weird that I developed a muffin recipe, because I already refer to muffins as ‘breakfast cake’. Undeniably, most muffins are basically cake – just as high in calories and sugar as a similar-sized piece of your favorite dessert. And the ones that are ‘healthy’ are usually lower in calories because they are TINY, so of course that lowers the final count.

Anyhow, when my neighbor – who is also my chief taster for all my recipes – asked me for a bespoke recipe for ‘breakfast cookies or high protein muffins or something like that’, this recipe was born. I’m never one to shy away from a challenge, and I made 5 versions of these muffins before I got it exactly right. One of those versions was gluten-free and that one went from the muffin tin right into the garberator because it was so disgusting.

But I digress. This Month’s Recipe Redux challenge is a recipe that is full of nuts! These high protein, full-of-nuts muffins definitely fit the bill.

I wanted to make these muffins in a way that fixes the issues that most muffins have.

I made them big – no teensy muffins here. These are substantial and smeared with almond butter, make an excellent breakfast.

I made them high-protein. Regular muffins have puny protein counts and are just a carb load of nothing. With almond flour, walnuts, and 2 cups of 2% Greek yogurt, each of my high protein muffins comes in at 8 grams of protein, which is a lot for a muffin. Usually the term high-protein and any sort of baking mean than you’re in for a gross experience made worse with the addition of protein powder into your favorite treat. Not with these muffins, hell no! My protein comes from your favorite foods, not from a canister.

I made them with NO added sugar. Breakfast cake? No way! I used Medjool dates to sweeten these muffins, and that’s it. Not only do the dates sweeten the recipe, but they also add fiber. Score!

I made them taste incredible, with the flavors of the season. It took a lot of tweaking with the spices, but using apples, pears, and cinnamon, mace, cardamom, and ginger, these are delicious. They’re also extremely tender and not dry.

I made them healthy. Calories are 227, protein 8 grams, sugar 8 grams per muffin. They have plenty of healthy fats from the nuts, whole grain from the oats and flour, and fiber from the nuts and the fruits.

A tablespoon of almond butter on one of these will make you a high-protein, healthy breakfast that you’ll love.

Apple Pear High Protein Muffins

Muffin Apple Pear High Protein 3


Makes 15 large muffins

1 cup raw oatmeal

1 cup whole wheat all purpose flour

1 cup almond meal

1/2 cup milk

1 cup Medjool dates, packed

2 cups 2% Greek yogurt

2 large eggs

1 apple roughly chopped and cored

1 pear roughly chopped and cored

2/3 cup raw walnut halves or pieces

1/3 cup butter, softened or melted

1t vanilla

1 t baking soda

1 t baking powder

1/4 t salt

2 t cinnamon

1 t ginger

Seeds from 2 cardamom pods

1/2 t mace

Preheat your oven to 350F, and either grease your muffin tin or line them with liners (I love the parchment ones).

In a large bowl, combine the oatmeal, flour, almond meal, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and mace. ** the cardamom seeds go into the processor with the wet ingredients, FYI ** Stir well to combine, and set aside.

Toast the walnuts in a toaster oven or in a dry frying pan. Don’t worry about chopping them.

Place all of the remaining ingredients in a high powered blender or food processor and blend until the mixture is smooth.

Combine the wet and dry ingredients, mixing gently until just combined and there are no more pockets of dry ingredients. Don’t overmix them.

Divide the batter among the muffin cups and bake at 350F for 30 minutes.

Sorry that these make 15 and not 12 – because you’ll either have to have 2 muffin tins or do two batches. In any case, you’re welcome. Enjoy.