Carrot Apple Nut Muffins

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In my last post, I reminisced about summer. It’s hard not to when you can hear rain pounding pavement from inside and warm weather feels too far off. Here I go again. The other day my mom and I were talking on the phone about the huge garden we had while living in Florence, Montana. It had upwards of 12 beds and a clawfoot bathtub sitting in the middle–there is nothing my mom enjoys more than bathing in a clawfoot bathtub.

Every year, she tried to grow tomatoes, but for some reason the Montana weather wasn’t conducive. At the end of the summer, while harvesting the last vegetables, we looked solemnly at the half-ripened tomatoes. One thing led to another and soon my mom was pitching me tomatoes while I swung at them with a metal bat. We laughed hysterically as I hit tomato after tomato, sending innards and seeds flying. We walked back into the house covered in tomato slime.

While it may not actually be summer, and I can’t make muffins with fresh blueberries, these fall-winter inspired goodies are exceptional. The finely grated apple and carrot folds into the batter effortlessly. Probably best as a breakfast muffin, these are lightly sweet and positively moist. The nuts add a great variety in texture. They are best warm out of the oven, split and spread with butter. I froze half the batch after they cooled and just heat them up in my oven when I want a muffin in the morning.

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Makes 16 muffins/Adapted from Williams-Sonoma

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup oat bran or wheat bran
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups vanilla yogurt
  • 4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/4 cups grated, peeled tart apple
    (about 1 large)
  • 1 1/4 cups finely grated, peeled carrots
    (about 2 medium)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, toasted
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 2 Tbs. granulated sugar mixed with 1 tsp.
    ground cinnamon (Optional)Preheat an oven to 400°F. Butter 16 standard muffin-pan cups or line with paper liners. (I sprayed a muffin tin with coconut oil spray.)

    In a large bowl, stir together the all-purpose and whole wheat flours, bran, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and brown sugar. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until blended. Stir in the yogurt and butter. Pour over the flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula just until half combined (Williams-Sonomas says 8 to 10 strokes.) Add the apple, carrots, nuts and raisins and stir, careful not to overmix.

    Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each cup about three-fourths full. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar evenly over the tops. (These muffins are great without the extra cinnamon and sugar too.) Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 15 to 18 minutes.

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