Healthy Carrot Muffins

Hello again! It’s been about a month, but I haven’t forgotten about you! And before I forget, I’d like to thank everyone sooooooo much for reading this blog, making comments about it, and telling me what you liked and what you’ve tried making. I love hearing that people enjoy the recipes I put up here, and knowing that I’m sharing something that I love!

It’s been a very busy month as I’m sure many of you can identify with, but it was absolutely fabulous spending time with friends and family over the holidays. They ended all too soon, and now I’m back to school but also back to cooking and baking delicious food to relieve stress and make it through the dreary weather.

I have also been dealing with some camera issues that have put a damper on documenting my baking adventures, so unfortunately you’ve missed things like baked chocolate donuts, cookies n’ cream peanut butter bark, and Jamie Oliver’s Festive Strudel (using leftover Christmas pudding!), but no fear, because I know that there will be many tasty adventures in the future!

 Of course I’m going to share another muffin recipe with you, because they’re pretty much the most perfect food ever invented. I love that you can make them as healthy or unhealthy as you desire, and there’s an endless possibility of flavours and combinations you can try.

Carrot muffins tend to have copious amounts of oil and sugar in them, which I really wanted to pare down on since we just finished holiday season. I used a combination of dark brown sugar and molasses to give them depth of flavour without excess sugar, and crushed pineapple keeps them moist without using additional fat. Walnuts, raisins, and unsweetened coconut get added in the end if you so desire, to ensure that every mouthful is full of goodies and different flavours.

Healthy Carrot Muffins

Ingredients
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (or 3/4 cup all-purpose & 1/2 cup whole wheat flour)
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp molasses
2 Tbsp old fashioned oats
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
Pinch of salt
2 large eggs
1/3 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 medium-large carrots finely grated
Heaping 1/2 cup crushed pineapple, drained (don’t go overboard on this, a little juice will add moisture)
Optional mix-ins (I included all of them):
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup raisins (I used sultanas)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line twelve muffin cups with paper muffin liners.

Whisk the flour, brown sugar, oatmeal, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In another medium bowl lightly whisk the eggs, then whisk in canola oil, and vanilla extract.

Quickly and lightly fold the wet ingredients with a rubber spatula. Stir in the carrots, pineapple, and any mix ins you’re using just until evenly moist; the batter will be very thick. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the centres comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Turn muffins out of the tins and cool on a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

(Adapted from Food Network Kitchens)

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