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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Vegan Carrot Walnut Muffins

If you follow me on pinterest (what? You don't follow me on pinterest? What the heck is your problem? I pin cool stuff.) you may have noticed recently that I have been pinning a lot of vegan recipes. I invited over some friends for dinner the other night, one of whom had noticed this trend, and was concerned she may be served some kind of crazy hippie vegan meal! I assure you this is not the case.
However, one of my loved ones has recently adopted a low fat vegan diet for health reasons, which has piqued my interest and challenged my cooking chops. I've started experimenting with various vegan recipes, more specifically baked goods, and a lot of muffins!
Because who doesn't love a muffin? Muffins are great. They are like a dessert people don't judge you for eating at breakfast. I've been tinkering with a couple different muffin recipes, banana, blueberry, pumpkin... and today, it happened. This guy here. He's the winner.

This is by far the most delicious muffin I have made. A little bit sweet, a little spicy, good texture (a lot of them tend to be very dense), and plenty of carrot-y goodness. This Carrot Walnut muffin is completely vegan and also low in fat. But it doesn't have any strange ingredients in it. So many times I find a vegan recipe that looks like a winner, and I have to google half the ingredient list just to know what it is and where to get it. No fun. Likely, you already have every ingredient here in your pantry. Or you at least won't be scratching your head reading the list. You're welcome.
And bonus... your kitchen is going to smell awesome while they are baking! You're welcome again.

Vegan Carrot Walnut Muffins
  • 1 cup white flour*
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour*
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup carrot puree**
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/8 cup finely chopped walnuts (for topping)
Preheat oven to 375.
Whisk together dry ingredients.
Mix wet ingredients (+walnuts and raisins)
Add dry to wet, and stir until combined. Batter will be quite thick.
Scoop 1/3 cup into 12 lined muffin pans. Sprinkle tops with walnuts.
Bake 18-20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
*I like to go half and half on my flour... whole wheat flour makes them hearty, white flour makes them a lighter pastry.
**I shred my carrots in a food processor. I cooked down about 1/3 cup of shredded carrots then threw them back in the food processor with the blade and a little water to make the puree... it seems like a lot more work, but it's not really, and it makes them very carrot-y and delicious.

Try and wait until they have cooled a smidgeon before digging in... because you can't fully appreciate the yumminess if your mouth is blistered. AHEM I've heard... I wouldn't do something so compulsive as putting a lava hot muffin on my tongue because I'm impatient.
I really hope you enjoy these. My family definitely did, they were a huge hit! Tasty enough you might not even guess they were low-fat and vegan... if you didn't know!
But you do know... and don't you feel good about it. :)

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