There are two schools of thought on muffins: Either you can think of them as a small cake or turn them into a healthy, yummy treat or even breakfast on the run.
Carrot muffins are especially tricky if your kiddo is a picky eater with veggies. The idea is not only getting them to eat their vegetables but to enjoy them. Carrots are a rich source of beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant that also promotes healthy skin and supply the body with essential minerals, vitamins and enzymes.
The negative of these muffins is that some recipes are loaded with sugars and white flour. We found an amazing recipe from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe adapted from 100 Days of Real Food that combines whole wheat flour, honey and unsweetened applesauce to give the muffins that sweet taste. We also included a delish and healthy recipe for cream cheese frosting from Ceara’s Kitchen Your kiddos will be asking your to make these all the time, plus they pop nicely into lunch boxes. Warm them up on a cool fall day and you have the perfect after school snack. PS: The at home smell from these muffins baking in your oven just shouts homemade love! Enjoy!
Healthy Applesauce Carrot Muffins
• 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 2 tablespoons butter, melted
• 1/2 cup honey
• 1 egg, lightly beaten
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
• 3/4 cup finely shredded carrots (about 2-3 medium carrots)
• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
• In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt.
• Make a small well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the butter, honey, egg, vanilla, and applesauce.
• Stir ingredients together until just combined and there are still some spots of flour remaining.
• Fold in the shredded carrots just until combined (don’t overmix or the muffins will be dense).
• Distribute the batter evenly among the muffin liners. Bake for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
Remove to a wire rack to cool completely. These muffins freeze wonderfully and keep well if covered at room temperature for 2-3 days.
½ cup raw cashews soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes or overnight
1½ tbsp maple syrup
1½ – 2 tsp lemon juice
pinch sea salt
¼ tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp cinnamon
•Drain and rinse soaked cashews (make sure your cashews are thoroughly soaked for the icing to be silky smooth). With an immersion or small blender blend the cashews together with maple syrup, lemon juice (1½ tsp), sea salt, vanilla extract and optional cinnamon until silky smooth (this took me about 3 minutes). Taste test and add an additional ½ tsp of lemon juice if necessary (I prefer it will 2 whole tsps of lemon juice). The icing should be thick like traditional cream cheese icing. If necessary add a little bit of water if the icing is too thick.
• Once carrot cake is cool, ice cake with icing and garnish with optional walnuts or pecans.