Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Carrot Muffins

Today I was making some carrot juice (LOVE my Champion juicer!) and thought that it would be nice to make some muffins or something with the carrot pulp that's leftover. So, I headed to Google and found a recipe on Allrecipes.com. It sounded pretty simple, so I thought it would be worth a try. However, as I was going through, I realized that it called for lots of salt and LOTS of oil! I altered the recipe some and this is what I ended up with:

Carrot Muffins:

1 cup dried blueberries (The original recipe called for raisins, but my hubby doesn't eat raisins, so that's why I used the dried blueberries. I think dried cranberries would also be good. Or maybe chopped prunes. I suppose pretty much any dried fruit would work. Just get creative!)
2 cups warm water

1 cup spelt flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
(Originally, this recipe called for 2 cups of all-purpose flour. As mentioned before, I thought they asked for too much salt and oil, and of course it didn't really dawn on me until I had everything measured, so to make up for that I just added an extra cup of flour. I've started using spelt flour recently because of its nutritive value, and always try to use whole wheat, but I thought with both of those together it might be too heavy, thus the 1 cup of all-purpose flour.)
1/4 -1/2 cup wheat bran (I didn't measure, just dumped some in. Not in the original recipe. Another thing I added for a little extra punch.)
1 Tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon

4 eggs
1 cup oil
(I used a combination of extra virgin olive oil and walnut oil. You can't taste the olive oil at all, and it's much healthier than regular vegetable oil. And walnut oil has essential Omega-3)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
Sqeeze of agave nectar
(Probably could have used a little more of this)
1/4 cup applesauce
(For a little extra moisture since I had added extra flour)

3 cups grated carrots
(I used the pulp leftover from juicing...works great! I think next time I might mix it in with the wet ingredients though...it didn't want to mix very well at the end.)
1/4 cup sliced almonds

1. Combine blueberries and water in a small bowl and set aside to soak while you prepare the other ingredients.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin tins, or line with paper liners. This recipe, how I altered it, made 30 muffins.
3. Sift together flours, wheat bran, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. In a separate bowl combine eggs, oil, sugar, molasses, agave nectar and applesauce and beat well. (You could add the carrots in at this point, or save them to mix in at the end.) Combine egg mixture with flour mixture; mix just until moistened. Drain blueberries and fold into batter along with carrots (if you haven't already added them) and almonds. Spoon in to prepared muffin cups.
4. Bake 20-30 minutes. I think I baked mine about 23 minutes. Let cool and then enjoy!

These are not sweet, cupcake like muffins. They are hearty and have a very rustic look. But they are packed full of good stuff and are delicious with a little butter and honey on top. I know, I added quite a bit of extra items, but I love to see what healthy things I can sneak into everything I make. Now that I think of it, ground flax seeds would be another great thing to throw in there! I suppose the possibilities are endless!

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