Sunday, September 11, 2011

You'll Never Believe These Are Good For You

A couple weeks ago, I went home for a friend's wedding. While hanging out at my parent's house, I decided I wanted some muffins to eat for breakfast. I had seen a recipe on the Food Network for some muffins made with carrots and zucchini. Lately, I've been trying to incorporate more veggies into each meal and these muffins peeked my interest.

Now, when I made these back home the first time, I wasn't sure what to expect; but let me tell you...the taste surpassed anything I could have imagined. The were dense, moist, soft and the cinnamon gave a wonderful warmth and depth to the flavor. If you have kids and want them to eat more veggies...they'll never know they are in here. You can't even taste the carrots or zucchini. They melt right into the muffin.

The only problem was, they didn't rise at all. In fact, they sunk a bit in the middle. I tried again when I returned back to Saint Paul, making a couple changes. I substituted for the brown rice flour to make them grain free and added a reactant for the soda to help them rise. These ones were still wonderfully delicious, but a little more fluffy than the first ones.

They are both delicious, grain free, sugar free and can be made egg free. If you want a denser muffin, leave the apple cider vinegar out. If you want them fluffier, leave it in. Its a recipe that adapts well to change! I personally prefer them more dense and sunken...without the vinegar.

Spiced Carrot and Zucchini Muffins

1 cup almond flour
1/4 cup sorghum flour (can sub brown rice flour but they won't be grain-free)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup canola or grapeseed oil
1/3 cup good maple syrup
1 tsp apple cider vinegar (leave this out if you want a denser muffin - I choose to leave it out) **see NOTE at the end
1 egg ( or 1 chia egg...1 TBSP ground chia mixed with 3 TBSP warm water, let sit for 5 min to gel)
1/2 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup grated zucchini
1/2 cup dried cranberries or raisins

Line muffin tin with liners.
Combine together almond flour, sorghum flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, syrup, vinegar (if using) and egg. Stir in carrots and zucchini. Add dry ingredients to the wet. Fold together to combine but don't over mix. Fold in cranberries or raisins.
Fill tines 3/4 way full. (If leaving out vinegar, you can fill them almost all the way.) Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Cool completely.

I frosted a couple of mine with a mixture of 2 TBSP cream cheese and 1 tsp honey.

They keep well for a couple days in an air tight container on the counter. Then freeze the rest. (We didn't have any left to freeze!)

The muffins with the vinegar were great the first day, but they were fairly dry the next day. If you are going to eat them all the morning you make them, they work well with the vinegar to keep them fluffy. If you are making them as a week-long breakfast item, I suggest leaving the vinegar out. They stay moist much longer that way.

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