Carrot Muffins

Carrot muffins…starring (in my opinion) the vegetable most amenable to baking in dessert…carrots!

(source)

Carrot cake is one of my favorite desserts everrrrr.  I can eat a huge slice of carrot cake like it’s nobody’s business (for example, read the first sentence of this post.)    The aromatic cinnamon flavor, smooth and rich cream-cheese frosting, and natural sweetness from the carrots – yum!  Not to mention all the little embellishments that are often added – raisins, shredded coconut, chopped nuts – which provide even more flavor and texture.

It would be great if I could eat carrot cake everyday, but alas, my health would surely suffer if I did such a thing.  Fortunately, desserts such as carrot cake can easily be made more nutritious. 🙂

Carrot Muffins (adapted from Katie’s recipe)

  • 1 1/2 cups flour (I used white whole wheat)
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrot
  • 1 “flax” egg (mix 1 tbsp ground flax with 3 tbsp water and let sit for a few minutes to thicken)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 2/3 containers applesauce (the half-cup containers)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp liquid (non-dairy milk or water)
  • up to 1/2 cup brown sugar (I used about 1/4 cup, not packed, so they were only a little sweet)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder

Of course, you can also add in the ingredients I referred to above: shredded coconut, raisins, or chopped nuts (such as walnuts and pecans.)

Preheat oven to 350F and line a muffin tin.  Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl, then add and mix in wet.  As with all muffin recipes, be careful not to over-mix!  Pour the batter into the muffin liners – the recipe will make 9-12 muffins depending on how large you like your muffins.  Bake for 12-15 minutes, or longer if they still don’t look done to your liking.

In place of cream cheese frosting (again, one of my LOVES), I spread a thick pat of coconut butter.  It is definitely a tasty alternative!  I know coconut butter and oil have gotten a bad rap in the past for being for having too much fat (and saturated fat, at that), but it’s actually beneficial for your health!  (See this NYTimes article for some information, and I’m sure there’s other articles about it on the web.)  It’s such a pure, creamy flavor, and since the muffins themselves don’t have any fat in them (the applesauce replaces the fat), all the more reason not to be stingy with the coconut butter.

It may not taste like “traditional” carrot cake, but it still fulfills me at every bite.  And in case you were wondering – I quickly devoured that muffin above right after I took the picture. 😉

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