Monday, March 31, 2014

Healthy No Sugar Carrot Cake Muffins

Healthy No Sugar Carrot Cake Muffins

Carrots, raisins, and dates--sweetened with honey and maple syrup--combined with whole wheat flour and rolled oats for a deliciously sweet treat 

Healthy No Sugar Carrot Cake Muffins | Farm Fresh Feasts




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As much as I enjoy baking in my kitchen, fixing goodies for my family or something just for me, it's a treat to go out for a snack.  Choosing amongst the variety of offerings in the bakery case is Big Fun for me, and that's how I was inspired to make these muffins.

Our local military spouse group met for coffee at the grocery store down the street.  As previously mentioned, I'm a tea drinker and fancy coffee drinks are just plain lost on me.  However, I like the conversation--I always learn something new that makes my life smoother.  I was peckish, so I scanned the muffin case and saw Good (or Better?) Morning Muffins.  The muffin was yummy, and got me wondering why I haven't combined my finely shredded Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share carrots into a muffin before.
I played around with my key muffin recipe to come up with these, and the result is a whole grain muffin using honey, maple syrup, raisins and dates for sweetness.

Healthy No Sugar Carrot Cake Muffins | Farm Fresh Feasts


I'm not normally one to throw the word "healthy" around, because I believe it can be interpreted in a wide variety of ways and I'm not about to say which way is best--and it's not a One Size Fits All definition anyway. I'm confident in saying that something that tastes as good as these muffins, that doesn't happen to contain refined sugars and does pack in some protein and fiber, is healthy--at least compared to a slice of iced carrot cake that is, and if you're not allergic to the components of the muffin, that is.  And since it's got some of my favorite parts of carrot cake--I'm going with an easily searchable recipe title though I hope I don't prevent myself from making an even carrot cakier type of muffin!

For the penultimate recipe of hashtagcarrotweek, following the Rustic Roasted Carrots and Unagi Rolls with Carrot Sushi Rice [we'll take a short intermission for Grilled Cheese Sandwiches--3 of them--and Creamy Tomato Soup] may I present these [deep breath] Healthy No Sugar Carrot Cake Soaked Oat Raisin Date Muffins.


For more recipes using carrots, please see my Carrot Recipes Collection. For more recipes using dates, I'm working on a Date Recipes Collection. These are part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me looking to eat seasonally and locally and use up all the vegetables. I'm pinning more muffins on Pinterest, follow me there. I'm sharing interesting recipes and articles on my Facebook page, follow me there. I'm sharing a carefully curated look behind the scenes on Instagram, follow me there. Want to know How To Use This Blog?


Healthy No Sugar Carrot Cake Muffins | Farm Fresh Feasts

Carrot Raisin Date Soaked Oat Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup finely shredded carrot
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ⅛ cup (1 ounce by volume) maple syrup
  • ⅛ cup (1 ounce by volume) honey
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup (4 ounces by weight) whole wheat flour (soft winter wheat)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup golden raisins (you know, use the brown kind if you've got them)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped dates

Instructions


  1. Soak oats and carrot in buttermilk for 4 hours or up to overnight [stored in the fridge, this keeps up to 5 days].  
  2. When you're ready to bake, preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and spray a 12 well muffin pan** with vegetable oil spray or line with paper liners.  
  3. In a large bowl, combine soaked oats, egg, oil, maple syrup, honey and vanilla until thoroughly mixed.  
  4. Dump dry ingredients on top and stir until just combined, adding raisins and dates at the end of mixing.  
  5. Scoop** (Amazon affiliate link to my handy dandy muffin scoop) mixture evenly into cups and bake for 15 to 18 minutes until top is lightly browned.  
  6. Cool in pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to completely cool.  Or eat them warm with a bit of butter--yum!

Healthy No Sugar Carrot Cake Muffins | Farm Fresh Feasts


**My scoop holds 3 Tablespoons (1 ½ ounces) by volume, though the muffin batter is mounded in the scoop so I'm pretty sure I'm putting a good 3 ½ to 4 Tablespoons into each muffin well.  The muffin wells in my regular muffin pans each hold 3 ounces by volume.

This post is shared with Simple Supper TuesdaysTasty TuesdaysWhat's Cookin WednesdayFresh Foods Wednesday,  Fiesta Friday, From the Farm Blog Hop, Strange But Good, and the Clever Chicks Blog Hop, Food on Friday(twice)

24 comments:

  1. These look delicious, and will fit nicely into my "no sugar" diet at the moment. Thanks for the inspiration!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I admire your willpower--I chafe at restrictions and would suck at a no sugar diet!
      I hope these inspire you to greatness!

      Delete
  2. These muffins are totally the type of thing I'd make! They look and sound SO wonderful. I'd love one right now with my afternoon tea. =)

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    Replies
    1. Amy,
      These muffins are yummy with afternoon tea. Thanks!

      Delete
  3. What wonderful muffins! Pinning to try them. I love that you use natural sweetners in them, like maple syrup and honey. Thanks for sharing at Simple Supper Tuesday

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    Replies
    1. Cindy,
      I admit my first 'sugarless' muffin was a complete accident, but since that happy accident I've been having fun swapping out refined sugars for fruit, honey, and maple syrup. I'm glad to feed these to my kids and they're glad to eat them.
      Thanks for hosting!

      Delete
  4. So I just so happened to be out of granola, but I have a whole bunch of buttermilk soaked oats, carrots, raisins and dates so these are definitely in my near future. Tomorrow if I'm lucky and actually want to eat breakfast (and you know I do).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Meghan,
      I ate breakfast 4 days in a row! First we were in Chicago and breakfast was included in the hotel rate, then my daughter's birthday Bacon & Chocolate Chip Pancakes. Whew--I need a break from breakfast ;)
      I'm glad you enjoyed them.

      Delete
  5. These look delicious! They are going in my recipe round-up to wrap up #carrotweek on my blog tomorrow!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Julie,
      Thanks for including them in your wrap up! I have no more "weeks" planned--I'm leaping from Easter to Grilled Cheese Month to Cinco de Mayo to Spring and just bouncing all around.

      Delete
  6. LOVE these! What a fabulous use for carrots.

    ReplyDelete
  7. These sound really good! I like the "no sugar" part and the use of honey ...yummy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Arlene,
      I love honey. I could go off on a Winnie the Pooh tangent, but I'll just leave it at that.
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  8. This is my kind of muffin! I eat low-glycemic and don't use sugar, so this is right up my alley and looks really yummy! I love carrot cake!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lori,
      I am glad that this muffin works for your dietary needs--it's darn tasty, too.
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  9. I love when healthy and delicious meet! Sounds delicious,

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    Replies
    1. Laura,
      What is it, Walgreens that has the tagline "at the intersection of ___ and ___"? Could be a useful tagline to sub in healthy and delicious.
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  10. I love carrot muffins! I've only done them with apples... must try those dates. Second only to carrot cake. ;)

    Checking out your roasted carrots now...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Laura,
      Carrot and apples sounds really good together--I need to try that myself. My daughter loved the combination on her snack plates, you just know it would be good in a muffin.
      Thanks for hosting!

      Delete
  11. I enjoyed these muffins so much I came straight home and made a batch. They are so good. They will be part of my regular repertoire. Thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hilda,
      Thanks a bunch for letting me know you enjoyed them. I appreciate it!

      Delete
  12. I am home sick today, and I am so happy that I have both carrots and apples on hand! This will brighten up my sick day. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's amazing to me how a tasty muffin can perk up an otherwise dreary day--I hope you enjoy them!

      Delete