In the winter my CSA sends lots of carrots my way. After making various soups with carrots, I was looking for a new way to use up all my carrots. There is nothing better on a cold winter day than the smell of fresh baked goods, and one of my favorite cakes is carrot cake. But I wanted to find a healthier alternative to carrot cake, that I could include in a boxed lunch as a mid-morning treat that I didn't need to feel too guilty about. So I modified various muffin and carrot cake recipes to come up with this carrot muffin recipe - its high in fiber from the carrots, oatmeal and wholemeal flour, low in sugar and has lots of juicy flavor from the orange and raisins, plus some great crunch from walnuts, and the Pepita/Sunflower Seed topping. Don't skip on the topping - the sweet crunchiness on top really adds to the overall flavor of the muffin. If you prefer sweeter muffins, you can always double the sugar. —aussiefoodie
all purpose flour
zest of 1 orange
stick unsalted butter, melted
carrots, freshly grated (from about 2 large carrots)
freshly squeezed orange juice
pure vanilla extract
walnuts, chopped finely
raw, unsalted shelled sunflower seeds
In This Recipe
Combine all the dry ingredients (including orange zest) in a large bowl, and whisk to combine
Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl until combined, add the melted butter, yogurt, orange juice, agave syrup and vanilla. Whisk until smooth.
Mix the grated carrot, raisins and walnuts into the dry ingredients. Then pour in the wet ingredients and fold together stirring until combined.
Pour tablespoonfuls of the mixture into medium sized muffin pans, lined with muffin papers.
For the topping, combine all ingredients and sprinkle teaspoonfuls on top of each muffin. Press slightly into the muffin with the back of the spoon to ensure the seeds are stuck to the muffins and won't fall off after baking.
Bake at 400F for ~20 minutes, rotating the pans part-way through cooking. The muffins are cooked when they are golden, springy to touch and a skewer inserted comes out clean. Leave the muffins in the pans to cool for about 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.