Monday, March 28, 2011

Delicious and Healthy(ish) Muffins

I'm not sure how muffins became a commonly accepted breakfast food.  It's basically a cupcake without frosting.  Yes, I know there are other differences between cupcakes and muffins; but nutritionally, I don't think there's much difference between the two (other than the frosting, of course).  Anyhow, I rarely ever make muffins because I really don't need the temptation of having them in the house.  They do make for a quick and easy breakfast, which means I'll probably be more likely to grab a muffin if it's there, rather than have a healthy breakfast.

Anyway, something got into me last week and I decided to make a batch of muffins.  They actually ended up coming in quite handy, as we had some early doctor appointments this week and were up before the sun.  We were able to grab a muffin and eat on the run.  I had also come across a muffin recipe that was somewhat healthy...or at least healthier than most other muffin recipes I've seen.  It called for carrots and zucchini, which I just happened to have extras of in my refrigerator, so I thought this would be a perfect way to use them up.  The author of the recipe on Allrecipes said she came up with this recipe to get her kids to eat vegetables.  However, I can't suggest using this as a substitute for veggies.  Your kids would have to eat a lot of muffins to get a whole serving of veggies, considering there's only 2 cups in the whole batch!!!  As is my style, I didn't stick with the original recipe, but was thrilled with how my version came out.  My hubby and daughter loved them too! 

Healthy(ish) Carrot Zucchini Muffins
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup quick oats
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
3 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used canola)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup vanilla yogurt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup shredded zuchhini
1 cup shredded carrots
Chopped almonds, raisins, walnuts, pecans, dried cranberries, chocolate chips, etc. (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Lightly grease 21* muffin cups.

In a medium bowl, mix the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, oats, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg until combined.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine eggs, vegetable oil, applesauce, yogurt, sugar, honey, and vanilla; mix well.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing just until all ingredients are combined.

In a paper towel or clean kitchen towel, squeeze most of the liquid out of the carrots and zucchini.

They will clump together, so use your fingers to separate them a bit so as to not end up with clumps of veggies in your muffins.  Fold carrots, zucchini, and any other desired ingredients (raisins, dried cranberries, nuts, etc.) into muffin batter. 

Fill muffin cups 3/4 full and bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes; transfer to wire racks to cool completely.  These are amazing when they're warm.  You can place any leftovers in a zip-top bag and freeze them if you're not going to eat them within the next few days.  I made half of these plain and half with dried cranberries and chopped pecans. 

*The original recipe said 24 muffin cups.  I think I filled mine more than 3/4 of the way, so I only got 21 muffins.


Susan said...

Another great healthy muffin recipe is Bob's Red Mill Bran Flax Muffins ( If you use raisins, you can cut the brown sugar in half. I love baking with flax seed meal, because, like applesauce, it's often an effective substitute for vegetable oil.

Sarah said...

Yummy! I love zucchini bread, so I'm sure I'd love zucchini muffins. :) I'll have to try these.

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