Monday, November 2, 2015

Pumpkin Carrot Muffins

Pumpkin carrot muffins, moist and delicious.


Fall in the Phoenix area has finally arrived. It's a beautiful time of year to be here. I know some of you are probably already in the chilly time of year, and it's funny to think that we're just entering into the 80s and sometimes 70s. We've been drinking hot tea again, and I've been enjoying baking again as well.

For the past two months I had been wanting to bake something with pumpkin. Last week, I tried a Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Bread, which was delicious, but really more like a Chocolate cake, and really sweet. This week, still craving something pumpkin, I made these perfect little bites. Pumpkin Carrot Muffins. I enjoy the healthier options of using white whole wheat, carrots, and pumpkin. Yes, they probably still could be a bit healthier, but I have to say, they really hit the spot.

The muffins are very moist and packed with flavor. The blend of spices is dynamic and deep, bringing a hint of smokiness to the otherwise bright flavor. You could always add nuts if you'd like, or sprinkle the top of the muffins with Flax seeds for added nutrition. Regular flour would work just fine too if that's what you have on hand. I use white whole wheat, since it still has the nutrition of whole wheat, but it bakes a little lighter.

These are lovely for breakfast, or for an afternoon snack with your favorite tea.

Enjoy! What Pumpkin things have you enjoyed this Fall?

Food for Thought:
I recommend trying this trick. Sift your dry ingredients using a metal sieve over your mixing bowl. I've really noticed a superior texture and proper mix of ingredients doing it this way. Just add a little of the dry ingredient at a time to the sieve, and lightly tap the edge while holding it over your bowl. The result is powdery and light. I started doing this when I realized just whisking wasn't enough (biting into a slice of freshly made Banana Bread and getting a salty bite of baking soda is not what I call a pleasant experience).

Recipe: Pumpkin Carrot Muffins
Time: 1 hr Yield: 14-16 Medium-Size Muffins

1 cup white whole wheat flour, sifted (I use Non-GMO flour)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
2-3 small-medium carrots, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
3/4 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
2/3 cup sugar, plus a little for sprinking (I use organic Non-GMO pure cane)
3 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup raisins (optional)

How To:
Preheat oven to 375ºF, with rack adjusted to the middle. Line a muffin pan with liners, or lightly butter.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. (I like to use a small metal sieve to sift pre-measured dry ingredients into a bowl.) Whisk ingredients, and set bowl aside.

In a large mixing bowl, add grated carrots, pumpkin puree, sugar, oil, and vanilla. Mix well with a spoon or spatula. Scraping the sides of the bowl. Add in one egg at a time, and incorporate well after each addition. Add in raisins (if using). 

In two batches, add the flour mix to the wet mix. Gently fold batter and mix until just blended and flour is no longer visible (do not overmix). 

Using a small baker's scoop (or icecream scoop), portion out batter into prepared pan. I fill each with about 1/4 cup batter. (I do it this way because I like smaller portions for my snacks. If you want a full size muffin, fill the cups about 3/4 full.) You may end up having extra batter for round two.

Sprinkle each muffin lightly with a little sugar. Bake for 16 - 20 minutes (oven temps always vary, so keep vigilant). The edges will be golden brown and they will have slightly puffed. Check with a toothpick for doneness.  Let muffins rest in pan for five minutes before removing.

Eat warm with a sliver of butter and a cup of tea. Hope you enjoy!

More Meal Planning Inspiration:
Want to try out another muffin recipe?

Try my Blueberry Muffins with Flaxseeds and Walnuts - great snack or breakfast on the go.

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