If you've spent any time here, you might have noticed I have a thing for baked goods. More specifically, I. love. cake. In fact, cake in almost any form, whether it be sky-high layers, cutesy cupcakes or diminutive petit fours, is, hands down, my favorite food. Unfortunately there are times when it's not a good idea to have your cake and eat it too, so to speak. For example, it's usually a good idea to include foods other than cake for, say, breakfast, lunch and dinner (okay, so that would be most of the time). Since I teach group fitness classes regularly, I realize the need to be fueled with a wide variety of nutrients beyond butter, sugar and flour in order to function well and feel good. Also, I would like to someday fit back into my pre-pregnancy pants and let's just say that right now, THINGS ARE NOT LOOKING GOOD.
Well, thank goodness for healthy muffins and quick bread. They are quick and easy to whip up, can be filled with all sorts of healthy add-ins, don't require frosting and can be eaten at almost any time of day! Most importantly, they are somewhat reminiscent of CAKE! These muffins in particular, are actually a little reminiscent of carrot cake and would be even more so if topped with some fluffy cream cheese. In other words, they are a lovely, delicious and actually quite healthy way to start your morning or fuel up your afternoon without resorting to buttercream.
Whole-Wheat Apple Carrot Muffins
Makes 18 standard-sized muffins or one large loaf of bread.
Note: Since we can't eat 18 muffins in one day, I like to store them in a freezer-safe airtight container, in the freezer. This helps the muffins stay fresh longer and keeps them ready for quick breakfasts whenever we need them. Thaw/warm one or two at a time in the microwave for about 30 seconds at 50% power.
- 2 cups white whole-wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- dash of nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 cup cereal flakes (I used Flax Plus Multi bran flakes but any bran flake would work)
- 3/4 cup finely chopped apple
- 3/4 cup shredded carrot
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 3 T turbinado sugar
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Line 18 muffin cups with muffin liners
- Whisk together the flour, baking soda, spices, salt and sugar in a medium bowl.
- In a large bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, oil and vanilla until creamy.
- Stir in cereal.
- Gently stir dry ingredients into wet with a rubber spatula until the batter is just combined.
- Fold in fruit and pecans.
- Divide evenly into muffin cups (they will be pretty full), sprinkle tops with a little turbinado sugar.
- Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes for muffins, 50-60 min for bread or when tops spring back when lightly pressed.