And so apparently my muffin obsession continues… and this time, it’s Carrot Muffins that’s been on my mind.
Sorry guys, I know I’ve already shared a great deal of muffin recipes lately, but I just can’t help it. The good news is, I think I’m almost all muffined out now. Almost! I may still have one or two more recipes in me, but I’ll try and hold them in for another couple of months, or at least weeks, before I test them out.
Mind you, if you’re anything like me, you simply can’t have too many muffin recipes. Especially not when said muffins happen to be as healthy and nutritious as these Carrot Muffins right here.
Not only are these guys made with nothing but wholesome nutritious ingredients, but they also contain NO ADDED SUGAR whatsoever. Fruits and carrots are the only ingredients in charge of giving these bad boys their sweet taste.
And contrary to almost all carrot cake or muffin recipes out there, these will not leave you frustrated in the carrot department. Every single bite harbors A MASSIVE amount of carrot, and these carrots, they’re not even trying to hide from you, either. You can clearly see strands of beautiful bright orange carrot proudly sticking out from the muffin tops, as if they were garnish.
Filled with hefty amounts of fruit like avocado, pineapple, dates, dried apricots and raisins, and containing close to a pound of grated carrots, I say that these muffins right here could definitely be considered a part of a healthy breakfast and sure would make for a real satisfying and filling snack!
To make these bad boys, start by preheating your oven to 425°F and line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix well with a flat whisk until they’re evenly combined; set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine the applesauce, crushed pineapple, date paste, mashed avocado and vanilla extract.
Oh, and there’s no need to drain the crushed pineapple: just measure half a cup, straight out of the can. I suppose you could also use fresh pineapple, if you preferred. Just make sure that you chop it real finely, probably with the help of a food processor…
Mix the applesauce, pineapple, date paste, pureed avocado and vanilla extract with a whisk until all the ingredients are well combined. That shouldn’t take much more than 30 seconds.
Then, add the eggs and resume whisking until they too get very well incorporated, about 30 seconds more.
Pour in the buttermilk…
If you didn’t have buttermilk on hand, you could make your own by adding a tablespoon of lemon juice to a cup of whole milk and letting it stand for 5 to 10 minutes. You could then use it exactly like you would regular buttermilk, although this homemade version will not be as thick as the real deal and would also contain little bits of curdled milk that may remain visible in your finished product.
Once the buttermilk has been added, resume whisking until it too, gets well incorporated.
Delicately fold in the grated carrots… the MOUNDS of grated carrots, that is!
Now add the chopped walnuts, dried apricots and raisins to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
This simple precaution will ensure that every last bit of dried fruit and nut gets coated in flour, which will prevent them from sinking straight to the bottom of the muffins as they bake.
Now throw all this right in with the grated carrots and wet ingredients…
And mix delicately with a rubber spatula until just incorporated, no more.
If you mixed your batter too much, your muffins would most probably turn out pretty dry and tough.
Divide the batter equally between the muffin cups — I still find that a large spring-loaded cookie scoop is the ideal tool for that!
If you know me, you know that I’m a fan of BIG muffins! So the batter WILL mound way higher than the paper cups, that’s perfectly normal — just try and shape the tops into nice rounded domes.
If you, however, preferred smaller muffins, I suppose you could very well divide the batter between 18 to 24 paper cups, instead.
Of course, you’d need to adjust cooking time accordingly.
Place the pan in the 425°F oven for 10 minutes and then lower the oven temperature to 375°F.
Continue baking for another 12 to 15 minutes, or until the tops are nice and golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
In case you’re wondering why the dual temp thing, well, the initial hotter oven temperature will help the batter poof up, and then lowering the temperature will ensure that the centers have time to bake before the tops get completely burnt!
Once out of the oven, let the muffins cool for a few minutes in the pan and then remove them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Store in a cool dry place in an airtight container for up to a week.
Personally, I like to store mine in the fridge. Call me weird, but I’ve always been a fan of cold muffins. Makes them that much denser!
And heaven knows I love me a dense muffin…
No Sugar Added Carrot Muffins
- 1 cup (240g | 8.5oz) unsweetened applesauce
- ½ cup (125g | 4.4oz) canned crushed pineapple
- ½ cup (150g | 5.3oz) date paste
- ¼ cup (55g | 2oz) avocado puree (about 1 small avocado)
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract (storebought or homemade)
- ½ cup (120ml) buttermilk
- 3 large eggs
- 3-1/4 cups (375g | 13.2oz) grated carrots (about 3 large)
- Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients and mix well with a flat whisk until evenly combined; set aside.
- In a seperate bowl, combine the applesauce, crushed pineapple, date paste, mashed avocado and vanilla extract and mix well with a whisk until all the ingredients are well combined.
- Add the eggs and whisk until very well incorporated, about 30 seconds.
- Whisk in the buttermilk and mix until well incorporated, then delicately fold in the grated carrots.
- Add the chopped walnuts, dried apricots and raisins to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined, then throw this mixture in with the wet ingredients; mix delicately with a rubber spatula until just incorporated, no more.
- Divide the batter equally between the muffin cups; the batter will mound higher than the paper cups, that’s perfectly normal. If you preferred smaller muffins, you could also divide the batter between 18 to 24 paper cups, instead. Of course, you’d need to adjust cooking time accordingly.
- Place the pan in the 425°F oven for 10 minutes and then lower the oven temperature to 375°F. Continue baking for another 8 to 10 minutes, or until the tops are nice and golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
- Let the muffins cool for a few minutes in the pan and then remove them to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Store in a cool dry place in an airtight container for up to a week.
Serving size: NF based on 1 of 12 muffins