When Anuradha circulated this 'healthy' muffin recipe last week, I, for once, didn't tremble with fear. I had ducked out of town for the last healthy muffin two weeks ago, and have been hearing rave reviews about it ever since. As a result, I figure An knows what she's doing in the healthy muffin department, and believe it or not, I didn't do anything to make this muffin unhealthy. I didn't even add cream cheese! (Though, trust me, that was a challenge.)
This healthy (or, perhaps, 'healthier') muffin had perfect timing, too, considering I just had one of those weeks where I decided that enough is enough: If I want to cover everything in cream cheese, I need to be hitting the treadmill a few more times a week.
I liked how this recipe left lots of room for interpretation with its variety of choices. (You can see my choices below in the recipe.) If you give this girl the option, however, I will probably choose what I consider to be the tastier (at times unhealthier) ingredient. Admittedly, it also helped me ease into the idea of a muffin that's not ridiculously fattening. Is that so wrong?
Carrot Spice Muffins
Adapted from Whole Foods For The Whole Family (LaLeche League International Cookbook)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional - an option I took!)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/3 cup honey or 1/3 cup brown sugar (I used brown sugar)
1/2 cup buttermilk or 1/2 cup yogurt (I used yogurt)
1/3 cup oil or 1/3 cup melted butter or 1/3 cup applesauce (I used butter, of course)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
Preheat the oven to 400F. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients- flour, soda, powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice. In another bowl, mix together the wet ingredients- honey/brown sugar, egg, buttermilk/yogurt, oil, vanilla and the carrots, raisins and nuts. Gently fold the wet and dry ingredients together until just moistened. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
While baking, I tend to haphazardly spoon and splatter the batter into the pans and let the oven work its magic, melting the batter into a nicer shape. I had second thoughts about my methods this week, however, when I was crouched in front of the oven watching the lack of melting and rising happening. The batter was a completely different consistency than I'm used to working with.
In the end, I actually quite liked their misshapen appearance! My terrible methods and habits will remain intact for one more Muffin Monday, it seems.
A cinch to make, these Carrot Spice Muffins were wonderfully aromatic. The carrots, raisins, spices and walnuts created delicious layers of flavour and texture. A great muffin to welcome autumn!
Muffin Monday is an initiative by Baker Street. A culinary journey of sharing a wickedly delicious muffin recipe every week. Drop in a quick line to join her on her journey to make the world smile and beat glum Monday mornings week after week.