My muffin-kick continues this week with spiced carrot muffins! One dessert that I happen to love, but rarely get, is carrot cake. Cake in general always just seems so tedious to make, and so I thought I’d simplify that craving into making carrot cake-esque muffins.
The result is delicious, healthy, sugar free, oil free, vegan spiced carrot muffins. They are soft, fluffy, and have a sweet, spiced flavor that makes me think of Thanksgiving for some reason. Either way, I highly recommend you give these a try!
Muffins Sweetened With Dates
There are actually three components to this spiced carrot muffins recipe that adds natural sweetness. The first ingredient, is in the dates.
I’ve written before about the amazing health benefits of dates. They’re a dried fruit that is packed full of nutrients and they’re especially high in fiber. The first step in this recipe is to take roughly 12 dates and chop them into small pieces.
Next, simply add them to a glass with some soy milk (of whatever plant milk you want to use) and let them soak for a few minutes. Often when a recipe online calls for a sweetener, I like thinking of healthier ways to sweeten a dish than using processed sugar. Dates have been my go-to replacement lately when inventing recipes. Soaking them for a few minutes in a liquid makes them soft and then you can throw them in a blender before mixing them with the rest of your ingredients.
The other two natural sweeteners I used in this recipe were unsweetened applesauce (this is what I use to replace oil in a lot of my baking) and plain shredded carrots. Now, you may be saying to yourself, hey, carrots aren’t sweet! But actually, they are! They have a higher sugar content than most vegetables, and when shredded and mixed with the other ingredients in this recipe it brought out their subtle, but naturally faint sweet flavor.
How To Shred Carrots
I no longer own a grater of any kind in my kitchen, so when it comes to “shredding” things I just rely on my blender these days. So “shredding” carrots for this recipe is very easy if you own a blender or food processor! Alternatively, you could use a grater if you have one.
I used about 2 large carrots for this recipe. First, chop them into large chunks (you do not need to mince them finely). Then, add them to your blender and on a low speed, blend them for a few minutes until they begin to break into smaller pieces. I happen to have a Vitamix blender that comes with a tamper stick for pushing things down into my blender while it is on. At first the carrots will bounce around a lot in the blender, but after a few seconds of using the tamper and pushing the larger pieces back down things eventually got very fine. I increased the speed gradually until the mixture came out to the consistency I wanted (see picture below).
The picture above on the right is what my shredded carrot mixture looked like in the end. It ended up being about 1 cup of shredded carrots. So I’d say 2-3 larger carrots will do.
The picture on the left is what my blended oats looked like out of the blender. In this recipe I use 1 1/2 cups of rolled oats, blended. After they’re done blending it should look like flour!
Making Spiced Carrot Muffins
After that, the process for creating these muffins is incredibly easy. Simply mix together all dry ingredients, then add in the wet ingredients. Mix, and finally fold in the chopped walnuts and shredded carrot mix.
When they’re done in the oven (bake for 30 minutes) they should have small cracks on the top and have a nice golden color to them.
And let me tell you, your kitchen will smell amazing while these are baking. There is cinnamon in this recipe, nutmeg, cloves, and together they create the perfect balance of spiced carrot muffins that resemble a carrot cake dessert. They’re sweet, but not overly sweet, and all of the sweetness comes from natural sources. They are oil free, and nearly fat free. If you wanted to make them completely fat free, just omit the chopped walnuts. I think the chopped walnuts give these a nice crunch though, on top of being moist, warm and soft just like muffins should be.
I’d say these muffins are perfect for breakfast, dessert, or as a snack. I ate these muffins throughout my week and enjoyed them at all times of the day! I hope you enjoy these healthy spiced carrot muffins. If you do try them, please come back here and let me know what you think!
Spiced Carrot Muffins
- 12 dates
- 1 cup of unsweetened soy milk*
- 1 1/2 cups of rolled oats or oat flour
- ¾ cup of almond flour*
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 1/8 tsp cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup of unsweetened applesauce
- ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 cup of shredded carrots 2-3 large carrots
- ½ cup of chopped walnuts optional
- Preheat the oven to 350 F
- Chop the dates and add them to a glass with the soy milk to soak and soften for a few minutes
- Add your rolled oats to a blender and blend until it turns into a powder/flour
- Combine all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix well
- Add your dates and plant milk to a blender and blend them together (then set aside)
- Chop your carrots into large chunks, then add them to a blender and blend until they become fine and shredded
- Add all wet ingredients (including the date/soy milk blend) to the dry ingredients and mix well
- Gently fold in the shredded carrots and chopped walnuts
- Pour your mixture into lined cupcake molds and bake for 30 minutes. The muffins will be done when cracks begin to appear on top, and/or a toothpick can be inserted and come out clean
- Let them cool in the pan 20 minutes before serving