Carrot, apple, nut muffins

I’m currently obsessed with making (and eating) uber-healthy muffins. The idea is to pack as much of the stuff my body needs, with as little of what it doesn’t, into little baked goodies I can eat on the go.

I’ve been playing with fruit, veggies, nuts, grains, spices, etc., and I encourage you to do the same.

The recipe below is from today’s batch (I’m actually eating one while typing) where I made a point of writing down measurements. I work off of what we have in the house when I’m cooking, so things rarely come out the same twice, but who cares as long as it tastes good, right? The trouble is, I’ll mention having made something yummy recently and, of course, the common response is to ask for the recipe.

I say all of this so you’ll realize that you can make a gazillion variations of the muffins below. You can substitute any dried fruit for the dates, applesauce for the apple, pumpkin or sweet potato for the carrot, use any kind of nut, any kind of milk, etc.

The sweetness from the natural sugars in the carrots, apple and dates mean you only need a touch of actual sugar, and using oatmeal cuts down on the amount of flour required. Real sugar and whole grains mean you’ll stay full longer and keep your blood sugar level stable.

If you do make the muffins according to the recipe below, you can feel good about getting a boatload of vitamins, potassium, fiber, folic acid, beta carotene, calcium and omega-3, just to name some of the goodness. Whether you have these for breakfast, a treat, or a snack, you will be making a better decision than you will with most alternatives. I love to have one (or two) with a cold glass of skim milk. So yummy!

Carrot, apple, nut muffins

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 cup baby carrots
  • 1 apple (quartered)
  • 3/4 cup pitted dates
  • 1/4 cup raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats (not instant or quick oats)
  • 2 Tbsp wheat germ
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ea baking soda and powder
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
Preheat oven to 350/180. Combine first 9 ingredients in the food processor and let it do its thing. Combine the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Transfer wet ingredients from the processor to the dry mixture and stir. Grease a muffin pan and fill up the cups. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Enjoy!

Recipe: Reconnecting with the Muffin Man

The problem…

The Muffin Man has let himself go.

Seriously, you’d think muffins were using steroids or had been exposed to some bad nuclear waste considering how large they are now.

Along with their size growth, they’ve also increased in calories, fat and sugar content by preposterous proportions.The only thing that hasn’t grown about the muffin is its nutritional benefit.

Come on! There are places that only sell “muffin tops” now (as if any of us needs anything by that name). Anytime you can sell only a portion of something because it’s so large in its entirety, you have to suspect something is amiss.

I grew up on bran muffins and blueberry muffins, but today you’d be hard pressed to find the bran or the blueberries buried beneath all the sugar. We managed to take an innocent, healthy muffin and corrupt it, and now it only poses as healthy.

The solution…

Here is a muffin recipe you can feel good about.

Fiber and protein dominate, and it’s a blank enough slate that there is room for you to add in some of your favorite, healthy muffin ingredients (i.e. ripe banana, pureed carrot, blueberries, lemon and poppyseed). I’ve skipped the butter, eggs, flour and refined sugar; opting instead for applesauce, yogurt, almond meal, oats and honey. The honey, applesauce, vanilla and orange zest combine to create a light sweetness, and although I’m not a big fan of “fake” substitutes, I did opt for some Molly McButter to add a bit of the rich, buttery taste I like in a muffin.

These are gluten-free, and you can also make it vegan by using soy yogurt. I hope you’ll try it and let me know if you come up with any yummy suggestions to add to it.

This recipe yields exactly twelve muffins, and they make great snacks as well as a yummy breakfast. Eat up, and feel good about it!

Almond-Applesauce Muffins

  • 12 oz. natural applesauce (unsweetened)
  • 1 small, single-portion container of plain, greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp Molly McButter / Butter Buds
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. orange zest
  • 2 cups almond flour/meal
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
Mix all of your wet ingredients in one bowl, and dry ingredients in another. Combine wet and dry ingredients to create batter, and spoon muffin batter into a greased muffin pan. Bake at 350 (180 C) for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.