Friday, August 17, 2012

Zucchini and Carrot Muffins

When it comes to baking, I don't usually make an effort to use "healthy" ingredients (at most I'll mix in some whole wheat flour with my white flour). I stick with butter and sugar and am usually please with the results. Sometimes, though, I really want to have a breakfast muffin that doesn't make me feel guilty for having consumed something so unhealthy at 9 am (and lets face it, I usually have at least 2). I actually came across this recipe on accident and was really, really skeptical about the ingredients. I thought I would give it a try since, oddly enough, I had everything required at home. I was not expecting to like these. I was hoping that they would be good enough for an on-the-go type of snack or a quick breakfast option, but didn't think I would love them. I was so very wrong. Turns out these muffins were so good that the first batch of 20 were gone within 2 days and I made another batch a week later. I even made a third batch to put in the freezer so I could just snack on these when I wanted.

Now to clarify a few things. These muffins are probably not considered healthy by people who bake with alternative ingredients and count their calorie intake. They do contain sugar and white flour, but they require much less of both ingredients than many muffins do. There are also tons of healthy ingredients baked into the muffins, like zucchini, carrots, almonds, and apple. I also cut down the amount of oil required in half and added some apple sauce to the mix to keep things slightly healthier. They are unbelievably moist and stay that way even a few days after you bake them. I stored mine in an airtight container and they were still great on day 3.

Adapted from Loretta Blaine
Makes 20 muffins

2 cups shredded carrots
1 cup shredded zucchini
1 cup chopped and peeled apple
3/4 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup chopped almonds
2 teaspoons orange zest
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, lightly beaten
6 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
6 tablespoons apple sauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 375F/190C. Line a muffin tray with paper liners.

In a bowl, gently mix together the carrots, zucchini, apple, coconut flakes, almonds, and orange zest. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.

Mix together the eggs, oil, apple sauce, and vanilla. Stir this mixture into the flour until the batter is just moistened. Fold the carrot mixture into the batter.

Spoon the batter into your lines muffin tray. Bake for 20 to 23 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow muffins to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing. Pin It Now!

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