Finding a recipe for carrot muffins (often called carrot cake muffins, just because it sounds more decadent) that fulfills all your dietary requirements may seem like a true challenge. And it definitely was for me. You may not realize (yet) what a gem I’m sharing with you here but guys, stick with me and you’ll understand. Let’s start with a little intro…
Have you experienced that odd feeling when you’re just staring out with the plant-based diet and every trip to the grocery store seemed like a mine field?* I mean, you either had to read all the ingredient lists on EVERY. SINGLE. PRODUCT (!) or you were risking finding out at home that your “healthy granola” had palm oil as a main ingredient or there was gelatine in your cookies. Well, I know that feeling. And it sucks!
*If you still get this feeling, don’t worry. We’ve all been there. I can promise you that in a couple weeks you’ll turn into a true plant-based ninja warrior. Not only will you do your groceries with your eyes closed, but you’ll also sense animal products additives without even looking at ingredient lists and your groceries bill will reduced by half.
Becoming a ninja warrior of the whole food plant-based diet
Why the heck am I talking about shopping in a post about homemade carrot muffins? Well, I’ve been kinda experiencing that feeling all over again when I decided to gradually switch to the whole food plant-based diet. The recipes that I use ae usually full of oil and sugar – both are not recommended on a WFPB diet. And searching for new recipes that are more WFPB friendly kinda feels like those first trips to the grocery store. I know it’s gonna get easier once I get a new collection of recipes but now, it’s a bit challenging.
So you can imagine my excitement when I’ve discovered a recipe for The Famous Carrot Cake Muffins by Happy Herbivore that is super tasty and super easy and after a little modifications, it requires very little sugar and NO OIL! You’ll find the original recipe here (it totally deserves its name – those beauties should be famous!) or you can keep reading to see my version of this FAB recipe.
What are FAB carrot muffins?
- tasty – for an everyday kind of muffin, the FAB carrot muffins are suprisingly delicious. Not to sweet, not to fancy, not extremely calorie dense. I’d say they are a perfect compromise between tasty and healthy.
- moist – a generous amount of applesauce makes the FAB carrot muffins nicely moist and fluffy.
- a way to eat more vegetables,
- great to convince the unconvinced to a plant-based diet,
- a nice recipe to try out with kids on a busy thursday afternoon.
Are FAB carrot muffins a right recipe for me?
Let’s get this straight. You have probably eaten a tastier muffin in your entire life. Maybe you’ve gone to a fancy schmancy cupcake shop and ate a cupcake that looked amazing and tasted amazing. If you’re comparing our FAB carrot muffins with that cupcake, you’ll probably be (a tiny little bit) disappointed. Let’s sum up.
FAB carrot muffins are for you if:
- you are trying to cut the amount of oil and sugar in your diet,
- you’re looking for ways to introduce more vegetables in your life,
- you want to impress you family and friends with your baking skills and not all the sugar and fat in your pantry,
- you like to indulge yourself but you don’t want to gain weight.
Are carrot muffins healthy?
Yeah, let’s address the elephant in the room. If you hope that making (and eating) a batch of carrot muffins is somehow healthier than eating a batch of regular muffins, I must disappoint you. Eating a batch of pretty much anything is not gonna be the best health option. However, the muffins in this recipe are as healthy as it gets and still tasting fabulous (hence the name: FAB carrot muffins and the affiliation to the illustrious group of FAB recipes).
So, to answer the question. Are FAB carrot muffins healthy? Yes, they are as healthy as possible if consumed in moderation. I’d say one muffin for dessert is a great option.
Can I skip the applesauce in this recipe?
No. In this particular recipe the applesauce is one of the main ingredients. Not only it adds sweetness to the mixture (if your applesauce is particularly sweet feel free to skip sugar altogether), it also replaces oil (making the muffins tender and moist) AND eggs (glueing all the ingredients).
You can, however, replace the applesauce with a different kind of puree, f.e. pumpkin puree or even carrot puree. I haven’t tried it in this particular recipe but I think carrot muffins with shredded carrot and carrot puree sounds like a very intriguing idea, especially if you’re a carrot lover.
Be sure to check out my recipe for a quick, homemade applesauce as it will work great in this recipe (and maaaaaanyothers).
Do I have to shred the carrot?
Shredded carrots have a form of long, thin strips that you get by using the second smallest size of a standard grater (I’ve just discovered that it’s supposed to be a hard cheese grater! Ha! Ha!). It’s perfect because the muffins get baked quickly (larger chunks of carrot would still be raw) and are moist without turning into a gooey half-baked cake.
That said, I have a confession to make. I HATE shredding carrot. I’m always afraid that I’ll hurt my finger (it happened on several occasions and boy, it doesn’t heal easily!) and I’ll destroy the batter with my blood (yes, I’d NEVER use a cake batter with my blood in it!). So, I use my Thermomix instead and just cut the carrots into small enough chunks so that I know they’ll bake easily and still just before they turn into the puree.
FAB carrot muffins
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 2 tbsp cane sugar You can skip it if your applesauce is very sweet.
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda You can replace it with baking powder if necessary.
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 carrots, shredded It's roughly a cup of shredded carrot (100-120g)
- 1 tbsp peanut butter Optionally.
- 1 ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tsp vanilla extract Optionally.
- Preheat the oven to 350F (180°C).
- Mix all the dry ingredients apart from the sugar (flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon).
- Add the rest of the ingredients (shredded carrots, applesauce, peanut butter and vanilla extract) and combine roughly. If the batter is too thick, you can add 1-2 tablespoons of plant milk or water.
- Try the batter for sweetness and gradually add the sugar until it's sweet enough. You can skip the sugar altogether.
- Fill the ¾ height of the muffin cups.
- Bake in 350F (180°C) until the toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool the muffins on the wire rack.
- Please note, that the prep time is 12 minutes only if you need to shred the carrots by hand. Otherwise it’s about 3 minutes to combine all the ingredients.
- It is a one-bowl recipe so it’s great for lazy cooks who do not like to wash their dishes.
- It’s a great recipe for making with kids especially if your little helper likes to lick the spoon (or a bowl). As with most vegan recipes, there is no danger of salmonella or any other disease related to raw animal products. You could eat the whole bowl of raw batter and you’d be just fine (except maybe not because eating a whole bowl of anything is not that great for you… But hey, no judging here! 😉
The recipe for the FAB carrot muffin is one of my latest discoveries and I’m still thrilled every time I make them. I hope you’ll give them a try, too. If you happen to make them, eat them, share them etc. in social media, I’d love you to tag me @introverts.guide and my blog #theintrovertsguide.
Also, I loooove getting your messages and reading your comments. All the baking tips and tricks are much appreciated.