Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Healthful Carrot Cake Muffins

We do a lot of juicing at our house and I hate that the pulp is left over, so I always make an effort to use it up. It's loaded with vitamins and minerals; mainly fiber and it's incredibly healthy stuff. I find that the easiest way to use it up is to throw it into a muffin or pancake batter and even toddlers gobble it right up! You can also throw it into soups and stews to thicken them, I haven't done this yet because I am always distracted with the thoughts of muffins first, ha ha! These muffins have everything you love about carrot cake but without the fat and sugar, they are super moist and delicious and you can feel good about eating them or serving them to your family. I don't have a super supportive extended family when it comes to healthy muffins, they always want the bad so when I fed them these muffins and then gave them the ingredient list, suddenly they were healthy muffin converts! I promise you won't even miss the fat and sugar, it will still taste like you are eating a great bakery muffin.

When I looked up healthy muffin recipes I mostly came across vegan or gluten free versions and wasn't thrilled about the recipes so I decided to do some experimenting on my own, I did end up using the base recipe of another healthy carrot muffin from Gen Y Foodie, but I did tweak it quite a bit to make it my own. The first attempt to cut out some of the sugar ended up a disaster and I had to throw away the whole batter with about 10$ worth of olive oil in it, that wasn't a pretty sight. I ultimately ended up just using the sugar, just less of it and then sprinkling the tops with a little bit of brown sugar. This gives your taste buds a direct hit of sugar and tricks them into thinking they are sweeter than they actually are, brilliant! Slathered with a bit of Earth Balance while still hot from the oven and you will never know that these are whole grain and loaded with fruits and veggies, pure muffin perfection.

This recipe makes 12, very large muffins.
This recipe was adapted from a similar recipe on Gen Y Foodie.

Ingredients

1 1/4 Cup unbleached, organic all purpose flour, I used King Arthur.
1 Cup whole wheat, organic flour, I used a locally milled, stone ground from Vermont.
1/4 Cup flax meal, or ground flax seeds.
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced.
1 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1/3 Cup organic, fair trade, brown sugar
3 Tbsp local maple syrup, I used one made from the trees on my parent's property in NY, http://www.nysmaple.com/buy-local/ click the link to find a local maple syrup maker in your area.
2 farm raised, organic eggs
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 Cup unsweetened, organic apple sauce
1/4 Cup olive oil, I used Saratoga olive oil, butter flavored.
1/2 Cup vanilla almond milk
2 Cups carrot/apple, juice pulp, you can use any combo of carrot pulp for this. If you don't juice you can just use 2 cups of shredded carrots and apples, about 3 carrots and 1 apple, make sure to drain them well after you shred.
1/3 Cup organic raisins, I used flame raisins which are said to be some of the healthiest you can buy and are very sweet.
1/4 Cup walnuts
12 Muffin cups
2 Tbsp brown sugar for sprinkling on the top of the muffins.

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large bowl combine flours, flax, baking soda, baking powder, salt, spices, and brown sugar. Mix well.

In a small bowl combine maple syrup, eggs, vanilla, apple sauce, olive oil and almond milk. Mix well.
Add wet to dry and mix just to combine, do not over mix. Fold in carrots, apples, raisins and walnuts and just mix quickly to incorporate.

Line a muffin pan with the cups and spoon batter into the cups, it will be heaping into the cups and the batter will be thick, they don't rise much so the cups can be over filled. Sprinkle the top of each muffin with brown sugar and bake for 20 minutes. The muffins are done if they bounce back when pressed. Allow to cool slightly.

Serve with a schmear of butter or apple butter and enjoy!





True healthcare reform starts in your kitchen, not in Washington
               - Anonymous


5 comments:

  1. We make our own maple syrup as well from trees on our upstate NY properties! Love how big these muffins are and plan on making them soon! Do you by any chance have nutriional info (looking for fat, protien, carbs, & fiber grams)??

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    1. Im sorry I am just a home cook so I do not have that info. There are lots of places you can plug in the ingredients and get an estimation of that, I know on weight watchers you just plug in the ingredients and you can get that information.

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    2. I hope you love them, we certainly do!

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  2. These sound absolutely wonderful!! I think I will double the batch and freeze half, that way, I will have some to reheat when the mood strikes me. Thank you for posting these. Yummy!! :)

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    1. Thank you so much! I hope you love them!

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