Welcome to another work week, friends! I hope you had a lovely weekend! Even with the chillier temps, Philip and I had a fun weekend away in Illinois. We drove down on Friday to spend time with his parents. It was so nice to have no agenda and to just be able to connect and enjoy each other’s company. And yes, I absolutely love my in-laws. In fact, I’m pretty sure this trip was instigated by yours truly. :)
Since I lived in Peoria for a year during my dietetic internship, there’s always a good chance I’ll be able to connect with a friend or two. This time, I felt like I hit jackpot; I spent the morning chatting away with a friend at a coffee shop and in the afternoon headed over to another friend’s house to meet up with another couple of friends while their kiddos played together. Lots of reconnecting and catching up was happening on this trip! I absolutely loved it. Laughter and time with friends is so good for the soul, isn’t it? And I’m a horrible blogger because no pictures were taken during the entire trip. *sigh*
For lack of a better transition, let’s just jump right in and talk about today’s recipe that I’m this excited for! Apple Carrot Cinnamon Muffins — while it sounds slightly too “healthy” to be good, these are, perhaps surprisingly, delicious and flavorful. When I made them a couple weeks ago, they were just as perfect as a dessert after dinner as they were for an afternoon snack or breakfast-on-the-go. So versatile!
And I don’t know about you, but apparently my Norwegian heritage runs strong in my blood and I absolutely always “need” to put butter on my muffins (because, really, butter goes on everything with Norwegians), but with these muffins I didn’t even feel the need. They’re moist thanks to the added applesauce and are sweet without being overpowering. Plus, the flavor of the cinnamon and apple is incredibly comforting and warming.
Gosh, just talking about these muffins makes me want to make another batch pronto. Because, unfortunately, these muffins did not last long in our house. Although, if you want to keep them fresh, store them either in the refrigerator or in the freezer. A short 30 – 60 seconds in the microwave will have them ready for a delicious breakfast/snack/dessert.
I can’t take complete credit for these muffins, though. I originally made these years ago when I was in college while visiting my aunt and uncle. My uncle had found the recipe in a magazine and was going to give them a try. I remember loving them then and I don’t know why it took me so long to recreate them again. This time I made the muffins with white whole-wheat pastry flour to give them a boost of fiber and nutrients not found in your all-purpose flour. I also cut down on the amount of sugar used and replaced the oil with unsweetened cinnamon applesauce (homemade from last fall…also ashamed we still have jars of it in our pantry almost a year later. What is our problem?!). Anyway, even with the swaps, this muffin tasted just as good as I remembered and I felt better about eating them, too. #winning
Really, there are all the reasons in the world to make these: Looking for a quick breakfast? This recipe is for you. Need an after-school snack for your kids? This recipe is for you. Or maybe just looking for a little something sweet in the evenings that won’t leave you feeling guilty? This recipe is for you. However you enjoy them, these Apple Carrot Cinnamon Muffins won’t disappoint!
Apple Carrot Cinnamon Muffins
Makes 12 – 14 small muffins
- 2 cups raw carrots (about 2 or 3 carrots)
- 1 large apple, peeled
- 2 cups white whole-wheat pastry flour (can use half whole-wheat flour and half all-purpose flour, although the muffins will have a heavier and nuttier flavor)
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 large eggs
- ¾ cup unsweetened cinnamon applesauce (plain applesauce would work, too)
- ½ teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Walnuts, chopped (if desired; I don’t like nuts in my baked goods, so I left them out of half of the muffins and added them to the other half for Philip)
- Preheat oven to 350°. Grease muffin cups or insert liners, if using. Grate the carrots and apple, setting aside for later.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, applesauce, ginger, and vanilla extract. Fold the wet ingredients and the grated carrot and apple into the flour mixture, stirring just until moistened. Add in the walnuts, if desired. Do not over mix or this can cause tough muffins!
- Divide the batter evenly between the prepared muffin cups and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.
Adapted from: Mother Earth News