They're a little more work; I'm not going to lie. But I actually have written numbers of everything, and I'll try to give good directions for those of you trying to learn to cook/bake who are intimidated by my lackadaisical attitude toward measurement. They also may contain a few ingredients that aren't currently staples in your pantry. For me, that used to be the ground flaxseed. Flax is incredibly good for you - a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, for starters, and it lends nuttiness and lightness to a lot of baked goods.
I've adapted this recipe from something my mother used to make (which I loved, but thought could still be bumped up a little in terms of nutrition). The original is cranberry citrus, which may explain the full cup of sugar. I've cut that down a lot. You could try further reducing it or experimenting with molasses or honey if you like. It was already a half whole wheat flour recipe, but I've cut out all white flour - while retaining the fluffy, nice crumb texture that I loved from the original. The ground flax helped me get away with that (you may want to try this in pancakes, biscuits, and other baked goods, too).
1/3 c sugar
¾ c milk (I use unsweetened almond or coconut, but I think whatever is fine)
1/3 c ricotta or yogurt (if all you have is sweetened yogurt, cut back on the sugar a little here)
2 T grated orange or lemon rind (this should help you get away without as much sugar - you can use half of each, also)
½ c orange or lemon juice (not only does this moisten, the acidity from the juice will curdle your milk a little, which here is actually good. It'll help lighten your batter.)
Add 3/4 c oatmeal and let soak.
(Soaking the oatmeal will soften it a little so that your muffins aren't grainy/chewy if you want a cake-like texture.)
Whisk into wet ingredients:
2 T veg oil
1 T vanilla
1 t almond extract
Sift (yes, sift. Since we're using denser dry ingredients, we need to aerate them more to get the same texture.) and whisk dry ingredients in separate bowl:
0.25 c ground flaxseed
1.5 c whole wheat flour
1 T baking powder
1 t baking soda
½ t salt
Fold in gently to dry ingredients, if desired:
1.5 c cranberries (or blueberries, or appropriate amount of mini chocolate chips - I like the minis because they distribute more evenly, disrupting the structural integrity of the cake less and giving more chocolate flavor with a smaller amount)
Make a well in the center of the dry mixture and add in the wet ingredients. Stir, using a spoon or spatula (no more whisking!) these just until everything is incorporated - by adding the flax and oatmeal, we've reduced the total amount of gluten in this recipe (although it isn't, of course, gluten free), and we don't want it to start breaking down because we've overworked the batter. Don't worry if there are a few lumps.
Bake in greased muffin cups, mini bundt pans, or regular pan. I like Nordic Ware pans because they distribute the heat super evenly, and my oven doesn't, but use whatever you have. I'm not a fan of paper muffin cups for a number of reasons - I have to purchase them and keep them around, for one. They're not very environmentally friendly, either. But mostly, I hate it when my muffins stick to them, which seems to happen a lot with fruit muffins.
I scoop into my muffin pans with an ice cream scoop that has a lever release on it - it's quicker and keeps them all pretty much the same size, which means that they'll bake more evenly.
If your oven shows more love to one side or the other, rotate the pans halfway through.
For regular muffins, bake 16 minutes at 400 degrees F. You'll need to bake longer the bigger the cup/pan, generally, although my Nordic Ware mini bundt pan is essentially a double muffin size and still cooks in 18 minutes (I'm going to see if I can get away with a touch less next time). When done, they should be golden on top and toothpick inserted middle should come out clean.
After a couple minutes, gently loosen the edges with a thin knife and transfer to a wire rack if you have it (I don't, so I just leave them on a plate). If you leave them in a hot pan, they'll continue to cook in there and could end up more done than you want.
I'm not sure how long these will keep on the counter; especially if you add cranberries or blueberries, I would either eat them within a couple days or keep them in a cool place.