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Kitchen Sink Carrot Muffins: Healthy Treat


So, what do you bake when your family is tired of Thanksgiving pumpkin muffins and you want something that will be reasonably healthy but really good--bakery worthy, even? How about Kitchen Sink Carrot Muffins? You mix them up in a bowl, not the sink, but they do contain all sorts of good things besides carrots. White whole wheat flour gives them texture and beneficial nutrients as well as fiber. Coconut, walnuts, dried cranberries, orange zest, and lots of warm spices keep the simple, not too sweet muffins interesting. You'll need to use the food processor or a blender to grate the carrots--preferably pretty finely--but otherwise the preparation for the muffins is quick and easy. The recipe makes a big batch--24 muffins--so you'll have plenty to eat and share. Maybe you can take some muffins to work for your coworkers for a special treat?

Kitchen Sink Carrot Muffins -- Makes 24

2 cups of white whole wheat flour

1 tablespoon of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice

2/3 cup of sugar

1/3 cup of brown sugar

1/2 cup of canola oil

2 eggs

1 cup of low-fat milk

1 teaspoon of vanilla

1 cup of raisin bran

1/2 teaspoon of coconut extract

Grated zest of an orange or a couple of clementines

2 cups of grated carrots

1/2 cup of shredded coconut

1/2 cup of dried cranberries

1 1/2 cups of chopped walnuts, divided

Raw (turbinado) sugar, optional

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and coat 24 muffin wells with non-stick cooking spray or line them with cupcake liners and spritz the liners with a bit of spray. In a large bowl, whisk together the white whole wheat flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. Stir in the raisin bran. In another bowl, whisk together the sugars, canola oil, eggs, milk, vanilla, coconut extract, and orange zest. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and stir just until everything is barely moistened. Stir in the carrots, shredded coconut, dried cranberries, and 1/2 cup of the walnuts. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Sprinkle the remainder of the walnuts evenly over the filled muffin cups, and, if you'd like, sprinkle a little raw sugar over top of the walnuts in each filled muffin cup. Bake the muffins for 20-24 minutes or until golden and a pick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

#carrots #coconut #walnuts #spices #orangezest #driedcranberries #whitewholewheatflour

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