Monday, September 12, 2016

Carrot Cake Muffins

There was a cafe near my apartment when I lived in Boston that was conveniently located between my apartment and the gym. One of the first times I went to a gym class on a Saturday morning, I stopped into this cafe on my walk home, feeling very accomplished for the day. Being only 9am, I stopped in for a cappucino (a luxury then which has now become a routine) and a muffin. They had a muffin called a Morning Glory muffin which contained carrots and zucchini. I justified the muffin with the whole gym at 8am and containing vegetables thing.

Carrot Cake muffins are similar in that they contain vegetables and you're basically eating a cupcake but calling it a muffin. This version, however, was gluten free and has no refined sugar so it's even better! Granted, when I brought these to the office, I didn't mention the gluten free or sugar free part for fear no one would eat them. Embrace the change, people.

The first time I made carrot cake anything, I sat there using a grater to get shredded carrots. Then I got a food processor and it changed everything. Definitely use a machine if you have one! It saves so much time. Let's also add applesauce to the list of things not readily available in London. I ended up with one choice of applesauce that had cubes of apple. I could probably have pureed it in a blender or food processor but the chunks of apple were actually a nice touch. Once I go apple picking, I will just make my own for use in recipes.

Flour and oats are whisked together in a small bowl and set aside. In a larger bowl, whisk together your eggs, applesauce, baking magics (powder and soda), cinnamon, vanilla, salt and maple syrup. This is where we get our sweetness! Stir together the wet and dry ingredients until you can't see any flour. Next come the goodies! Raisins, carrots and walnuts are folded in. Be generous, be kind. Don't over fold, just get a nice distribution so you have a little bit of everything in each bite.

The batter is nice and thick, no pouring here. Spoon a large spoonful of batter into each muffin wrapper (about half-way). Bake for 15-20 minutes until firm and golden brown.

Allow to cool slightly before unwrapping, otherwise the paper will stick to the muffin and it gets a little messy. I served these the next day after storing in a tupperware container.

(makes 18-20 muffins)

  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1 cup gluten-free flour (oat flour would also work)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup (or honey)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups grated carrots
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners and set aside. Alternatively, grease the muffin pan instead of using liners.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the oats and flour. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, applesauce, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Whisk until blended.
  4. Stir the oats and flour into the bowl with the wet ingredients. Mix until just incorporated and you see no more dry ingredients.
  5. After using a food processor to chop up the carrots and chopping the walnuts into small pieces, fold into the batter. Don't forget the raisins!
  6. Once the carrots, walnuts and raisins are mixed in, spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin. Fill each cup about 1/2-3/4 of the way.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and firm. 

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