“Sunshine” Muffins with Apple and Sweet Veggies

Assortment of Muffins

By Cat, Oct 2019 (image, right, from Wikimedia Commons); for photo of the Sunshine Muffins, see the San Diego Union Tribune (1)

I found the original recipe for 24 muffins in the Daily Inter Lake newspaper but originally from an article by Chris Ross in the San Diego Union-Tribune. Its name intrigued me, and I was hooked when I saw the interesting list of:

  • Fruits and veggies: apple, carrots. red beets. and zucchini;
  • Spices: cinnamon allspice and nutmeg;
  • Nuts: walnuts and pecans (optional)

It also includes raisins which I don’t care for; I prefer  Zante currants.

I’ve not yet tested this recipe.

See also: 1. Muffins, Quick-breads, etc Menu; 2. Herbs and Spices (About); 3. Nuts & Seeds: Soaking, Sprouting 

Sunshine Muffins

I’ve adapted this from the original 24- muffin recipe published in the San Diego Union-Tribune (1), but also in the book “Fraiche Food, Full Hearts: A Collection of Recipes for Every Day and Casual Celebrations” by Jillian Harris and Tori Wesszer.

My adaptation is for only 12 muffins (half recipe), and includes some changes to the ingredients and order of steps.

Many people think allspice is a mix of spices, but it is actually from the dried fruit (berries) of a tree in the myrtle family, and is native to West Indies and Central America.

Ingredients & Equipment:

(photo, right, from eBay (2))

Mouli-Sredder (vintage)

  • Presoak nuts:
  • chopped walnuts and/or pecans to fill ½ cup
  • Spices and other powdered ingredients
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch cream of tartar (only if your baking powder is past its expiration date
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
  • Fruits and veggies:
  • 1-2 large McIntosh apples (from my own tree), peeled and grated to make 1 cup
  • 1-2 medium carrots, scrubbed and grated to make ¾ cup
  • 1-2 medium red or golden beets, peeled and grated to make ¾ cup
  • 1 small zucchini or other summer squash, grated to make ½ cup
  • Other ingredients:
  • 1 cup Zante currants or raisins
  • 3 local eggs from pastured hens
  • ¾ cup Organic olive oil or avocado oil (do not use vegetable oil from corn, soy or canola)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp powdered stevia extract plus ¼ tsp maple syrup or raw local honey (or ¾ cup Rapadura, coconut or Organic white sugar instead of stevia/syrup combo)
  • 1¼ cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup unbleached white pastry or all-purpose flour
  • For topping (optional):
  • 12 pecan halves
  • Equipment:
  • Food processor with a shredding blade, or hand operated grater/shredder, such as the Mouli-Shredder in image above (I have one of those!)
  • 1 custard cup or small coffee cup
  • 2 small mixing bowls
  • 2 medium bowls
  • 1-large bowl
  • 1, 12-cup muffin pan, or 2 each 6-cup muffin pans; muffin liners are optional


  1. Day before: Chop the walnuts/pecans to make ½ cup; then presoak them overnight in a small mixing bowl (see Nuts & Seeds: Soaking, Sprouting  for details). If you don’t want to presoak them, chop them the same day as making the muffins and set them aside with Zante currants or raisins.
  2. Day of baking:
  3. If using two each 6-cup muffin pans, position racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven; if using one 12-cup muffin pan, position rack in middle of oven.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  5. Grease muffin cups with butter or line with paper liners; set aside.
  6. Drain the pre-soaked nuts.
  7. Add Zante currants or raisins to the chopped nuts (pre-soaked or not); set aside.
  8. In custard cup or small coffee cup:
    1. Measure  spices, baking soda, baking powder and optional cream of tartar;
    2. Mix well and set aside.
  9. In medium bowl, sift together the following, and set aside:
    1. Whole wheat and white flour
    2. Spice and baking powder/soda/cream of tartar mix
  10. In another medium bowl, beat eggs well with sugar (if using)
  11. If using stevia: dissolve it in the vanilla extract in the empties custard cup/small coffee cup. Stir in the maple syrup or honey.
  12. In large bowl:
    1. Prep fruits and veggies (peel or/scrub as indicated above), then grate/shred them into large bowl.
    2. Add egg mix, olive or other oil, and vanilla extract (or vanilla extract/stevia/maple syrup or honey mix).
    3. Stir all well to combine.
    4. Stir in the flour/spice mix until well combined.
    5. Fold in the mix of nuts and  Zante currants (or raisins)
  13. Fill the muffin cups about three-quarter full. Top each muffin with a pecan half (if using).
  14. Place muffin tin(s) into oven and bake for 10 minutes, then rotate tin(s) from front to back; and if using 2 tins, also rotate from top to bottom.
  15. Continue to bake another 10-15 minutes, until golden brown and they pass a toothpick test (insert it into the center of a muffin; if it comes out clean, they are done)
  16. Remove tins to a rack to cool. Leave the muffins in the tins until cool, then remove them.
  17. Store in a resealable container at room temperature for a few days, or in the freezer up to 1 month. But they will be so good, you probably won’t need the freezer.


not yet


  1. Recipe from San Diego Union-Tribune: sandiegouniontribune.com/lifestyle/food-and-cooking/story/2019-10-15/muffin-recipe-is-loaded-with-fruit-and-vegetables
  2. Mouli shredder/grater image from eBay: ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-1949-MOULI-JULIENNE-ROTARY-GRATER-SLICER-SHREDDER-4-BLADES-IN-BOX-FRANCE-/252771251157

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