In my mind, there are two kinds of muffins… Unfrosted cupcakes and muffins.
You know what I’m talking about… There are those “muffins” that you find at bakeries and coffee shops that are not much different than a rich chocolate cupcake. The difference is that they are usually larger than a cupcake and don’t have frosting. Don’t get me wrong… I have a soft spot for these so-called muffins. They are delicious.
But, my waistline can’t afford for me to eat jumbo unfrosted cupcakes for breakfast on a regular basis. So, I try to make my own jumbo muffins at home that are a bit healthier, while still tasting good. If they are packed with whole grains and don’t have too much sugar, I don’t feel too bad having one for breakfast.
(For the record, I do make my share of less healthy muffins, but I tend to make them in more reasonable portion sizes. I also try to give them away and not eat them for breakfast every day!)
While I am certainly not claiming that these ginger carrot muffins are the healthiest breakfast option out there, they certainly beat my favorite double chocolate chunk muffins from the bakery in the nutrition department. I used applesauce to cut back on some of the fat and sugar in the recipe. The addition of the carrots also adds some extra nutrients. And, the combination of flax, oats, and whole wheat flour adds fiber and protein!
Overall, I was happy with the way these muffins turned out. They may not be as light and fluffy as a bakery muffin, but they certainly weren’t dense and heavy either. I loved the flavor of the ginger (with some added oomph from both ground and fresh ginger) combined with the carrots. Oh, and did I mention that they taste a lot like carrot cake?
Ginger Carrot Muffins
Makes 6 jumbo muffins
(or 12 regular muffins)
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup finely shredded carrots
- 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats, pulsed in the food processor
- 1/4 cup ground flax
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a jumbo muffin pan with 6 large paper muffin cups (or lightly grease), and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition until the egg is completely incorporated into the creamed mixture. Add in the shredded carrots, apple sauce, fresh ginger, and vanilla. Beat until well mixed.
Meanwhile, in a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, rolled oats, ground flax, baking soda, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, mixing on low speed until the dry ingredients are just incorporated.
Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool the muffins in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.