Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Carrot Applesauce Muffins

 Since the birth of my fifth baby I have been all about getting things done ahead of time. I value my time and my sleep in ways that I never have before. So, in order to make my life easier, I embrace my crock-pot any chance I get, and I also make large batches of things so I can freeze some for later meals. I need to think ahead. Get things done when I can so that on the far too often occasions that I cant get things done I have a back-up plan.
   One of my new found loves is making breakfasts in advance. I am extremely blessed in the fact that my two oldest children pretty much get themselves up and ready for school in the morning while I'm taking care of the baby. There are a couple downsides to this though; like interesting choices in attire, and questionable breakfast choices. Not that I don't enjoy sending my daughter to school in her fashionable tu-tu, jeans, cowboy boots, t-shirt and snow jacket; but I would rather my kids eat more than a banana, a piece of peanut butter toast, or cereal in the morning before school. My solution is to make hearty breakfasts in advance that can be used on multiple occasions. That way the kids can still get their own breakfasts in the morning, but I know it will stick with them and help them to have a better day at school. These muffins are one of those things.
    I found a recipe for Carrot Applesauce Muffins on a blog I follow called 100 days of real food.  This mom of two got fed up with all the junk the food companies are putting in our foods, and she took her family on a 100 day journey to better eating. They have cut out highly processed foods and eat only whole, organic, unrefined foods (as much as possible). While my family and I are not there yet, I have been cutting back on our consumption of processed foods as much as possible. Our meals lately mainly consist of organic veggies, fruits, proteins, and whole grains. I mainly shop the outside isles of the grocery store (produce, meat/seafood, dairy), with the occasional trip down the grains and baking isles. That being said, I love my sweets (as you can tell by one quick look at my abundant dessert recipes), and I highly doubt we will ever cut out sugar completely. But I do recognize that refined sugar is not the best choice and I should try to substitute more natural, unrefined sugars (like honey) more.
   Taking all this into consideration, I made these muffins last night. I doubled my recipe, making 32 muffins so I had enough to freeze some and have some on hand to use throughout the week. I tweaked the original recipe I found in order to make it even healthier, and they are a big hit. Very moist, sweet and delicious.
     I did this in one of my short pockets of time last night, after the kids had gone to bed, so there are no step by step pictures. The recipe couldn't be easier, though. It's practically dump, stir and bake. I hope you and your family likes them as much as we do!
Here's the recipe:
adapted from Whole-Wheat Carrot Applesauce Muffins

*You can substitute another fat/oil, and flour if needed or desired.
Organic ingredients are best, but not required.
Carrot Applesauce Muffins
makes 16 regular sized muffins
1½ cups *flour (whole-wheat or regular white)
1/3 cup organic ground flax seeds (I used Bob's Mill organic golden flaxseed meal)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup *organic coconut oil, melted
½ cup honey (I used raw cherry honey from a local orchard)
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup organic unsweetened applesauce (I used homemade)
¾ cup grated organic carrot (about 1 large carrot)
1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line muffin tins with liners (I used paper liners). Whisk together the flour, ground flax, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Add the warm coconut oil, honey, vanilla and beaten egg. Stir until mostly combined, and then gently stir in the applesauce, grated carrot, and nuts until completely combined. Don't over mix, or the muffins with be tough. Using a scoop, divide the batter evenly among 16 muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the muffins start to brown a little, and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Turn muffins out onto a towel or wire rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature. They can be put into a labeled zip-top freezer bag and frozen for later use.

1 comment:

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