Ok, I’ll admit it right up front, this is the third time I’m posting a variation of this recipe – first as carrot cupcakes, and the second time as carrot zucchini muffins. But I promise, these muffins keeps getting healthier AND better, so even if you’re sick of hearing about them, I want to remember what I did!
If you recall, one of my complaints about this recipe is that I found the muffins to be very sticky. I thought maybe it was due to the agave, but substituting mostly granulated sugar didn’t seem to help. Then, when I re-read the recipe this time I had an epiphany – these muffins are practically fat free! There is fat in the shredded coconut, but very little in the batter (only from the egg yolks) – no wonder they stuck! I would have liked to replace the apple sauce with canola oil this time to see what would happen, but I am moving next week and trying to clear out my pantry, which meant I was down to about 1 tablespoon of canola oil. Instead, I finished up my canola oil, filled up to 1/4 cup with olive oil, and then kept apple sauce for the other 1/4 cup.
I was also interested in cutting the sugar in this recipe, so since I am out of agave as well, I decided to use all brown sugar (pantry is really bare – I’m out of regular sugar, too!) The third change was in the shredding of the carrots. I tend to buy baby carrots, but have found they are basically impossible to grate by hand and a total pain in the tush to grate with the food processor (I end up with huge chunks of carrot in the bowl – anyone else have this problem??). So instead, this time I just threw the carrots in with the chopping blade and processed until I practically had a puree. And the final change was to cut back 3 eggs to 2 because, well, I just couldn’t figure out how these muffins could possibly need 3 whole eggs!
And the outcome? As you have probably already guessed, total success – muffins did not stick at all, even without liners, but still got nice and brown on the outside while maintaining a moist interior. They are different from a carrot cake in that you can’t see the shredded carrot, but I actually like that they have a more traditional muffin texture. They are also definitely less sweet than the original, but again, I am ok with that given that I’m using these as a muffin instead of a cupcake (if I were making cupcakes with the glaze, I might keep the sugar at 3/4 cup while still using some oil in place of applesauce). I hope you enjoy these – please let me know what you think!
Carrot Coconut Muffins
adapted from me!
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups grated (or very finely processed) carrots (approximately 1 lb)
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup sugar (I used packed brown; regular granulated should work, too!)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350. Line a muffin tin with paper liners or spray with oil.
In a medium bowl, whisk together whole wheat pastry flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt. In a large bowl, mix together carrots, coconut, sugar, eggs, oil, applesauce and vanilla. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir just until well blended.
Pour batter into prepared muffin tins. Bake for approximately 20 minutes for mini-muffins (regular muffins will probably take about 25 minutes, although I didn’t test this myself) until brown on top and a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in pan for a few minutes and then remove to cool completely on a rack.
Makes 24 mini-muffins (should make 12 standard size)