Can I just tell you that my five year old loved these muffins so much that she ate 2 of them today? She had one before dinner (and still ate a really good dinner, somehow!) and one after as her evening snack. I'm amazed at the things this kid will eat, but I guess that is because I am constantly introducing her to new things. Seriously, I can get her to put anything in her mouth to try it once, and it usually turns into a bunch of yumming and more eating!
It is so important to me that she eat a wide variety of (mostly) healthy things. Every kid deserves some ice cream or cookies, but they shouldn't be the only things they consider to be sweet treats. Most nights I can get her to choose fruit over ice cream as a snack, she understands protein/carbs/veggies, loves a veggie packed salad, and I can only hope that she keeps making good food choices as she grows up.
Getting your kids involved in preparing food is a great way to get them to try new things, too. She helped me every step of the way with these muffins, from putting papers in the muffin tins and measuring out ingredients to cracking the eggs, chopping the walnuts and mixing everything together.
As soon as these came out of the oven and cooled for just a few minutes we shared one (well, she gave me one bite and she ate the rest). The texture was amazing - soft with juicy raisins and crunchy walnuts. The sweetness came from the carrots and maple syrup, and the cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg added great flavor.
These are the perfect breakfast on the go, mid-morning or afternoon snack, or after dinner treat with a cup of coffee, milk or tea.
Healthy Carrot Muffins with Raisins and Walnuts
Adapted from: Cookie and Kate
Makes 16 muffins
- 1 3/4 c whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cardamom
- 2 cups peeled and grated carrots (I used one huge carrot and it was plenty, but it is probably 3 regular sized carrots)
- 1/2 c roughly chopped walnuts
- 1/2 c raisins tossed in 1 tsp whole wheat flour
- 1/3 c extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 c pure maple syrup
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- 1 c plain, fat-free Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp sugar for sprinkling on top (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line muffin tins with papers or grease with butter or non-stick cooking spray
- In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom. Add the grated carrots, chopped walnuts and floured raisins and stir to combine.
- In a medium bowl combine the oil and maple syrup, beating together with a whisk. Add the eggs and beat well, and then add the yogurt and vanilla and mix well.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with a big spoon until just combined (a few lumps are ok).
- Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups and sprinkle the tops of the muffins with a pinch each of sugar.
- Bake for 13 minutes, or until the muffins are golden on top and a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.
- Place the muffin tins on a cooling rack to cool. Once completely cooled, store covered for 2 days or in the fridge for up to 4 days. Original author notes that leftover muffins can be frozen for up to 3 months.