I make these carrot spice muffins pretty regularly. They’re freakishly healthy, and I say freakishly because they are just ridiculously delicious. The spices are a perfect blend with the carrot base, the texture is moist but fluffy, the turbinado sugar on top gives them an extra bite of crunchy sweetness, and they’re full of good-for-you ingredients even beyond the cup and a half of carrots: flax seed, yogurt, applesauce, cinnamon, agave, whole wheat white flour, and contain nothing unhealthy beyond a mere quarter cup of sugar across the entire batch.
I tried something different this time because my friend Bridget is finally heading back to Canada after spending a few glorious weeks with us, and I wanted her to have something to eat on her road trip that would also keep up her energy and make her feel good. I could make her a batch of cookies or chocolate cheesecake bites, but they wouldn’t have the same effect after hour six of the drive. And mini muffins seemed just right for a long car ride, little bites that don’t leave crumbs, that you can pop into your mouth whole while you’ve got one hand on the steering wheel.
I started with carrots, remembering only after one false start that they should be grated (via box grater) and not shredded (via Microplane).
Carrots are a messy business.
Dry ingredients, less so. Whole wheat white flour, cane sugar, flax seed, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves all went into one big bowl.
I scaled back a tiny bit. the Last time I made these I think I had a touch too much nutmeg, maybe a bit too much ginger too, so I stuck to more precise measurements than usual. (I tend to be rather liberal with my spices.) I whisked.
Into my next bowl went the liquid ingredients: agave, applesauce, low fat vanilla yogurt, water, and vanilla. Those, too, were whisked together.
And, in the usual fashion, that was poured into the dry ingredients, and stirred well but not overmixed.
I folded in the carrots. There was a lot of shredded carrot and I always worry that there’s too much of it to fold in properly, and I’m always wrong. Sometimes it’s good to be wrong.
I scooped the batter into mini muffin cups, and had enough left over for a mini loaf. I sprinkled a little turbinado sugar on the top and popped everything into the oven.
The mini muffins were done in 8 minutes, the loaf took about 20, and they both came out baked to perfection.
I took the mini loaf to work, where it was happily devoured by people who were very surprised to find out how healthy it was. Honestly, that’s my favorite kind of baking.
I’d brought my new Canon to work in the hopes of getting some pictures of NYC in the snow. It was snowing like crazy when I left the house and the snow was piled high on the ground and still falling. It’s rare that Manhattan gets that kind of snow, so I thought it was worth dragging the big camera in.
Alas, when I stepped out of Grand Central, it was snowing all right, but not a speck of snow sat on the city streets. If you only looked down, you’d think it was raining. Not a snow picture to be had.
Sam, who works with me, and happens to be a great baker, helped me make the schlep worthwhile. We took some pictures of the piece he sliced off the mini loaf. I call it: Carrot Loaf Slice On Napkin.
Bottom line: these are great as big muffins, little muffins, mini loaves, and I bet you could make a great full size loaf as well. (Loaf!) It’s taking all my willpower not to eat the rest of the mini muffins right now, but we’re trying to save them for Bridget, who leaves in a few hours.
I guess I’ll just have to make them again.