One of my favorite things to have in the morning is a muffin. Nothing beats the warming comfort and texture of a fresh baked muffin. Store bought muffins are full of sugar, oils, artificial flavors, and preservatives. Since I love muffins but wanted a healthy alternative to the store produced ones, I decided to do some experimenting and make some of my own. I wanted a muffin that was high in protein and fiber but low in sugar. I came up with the carrot cake muffin recipe listed below. As an added bonus this recipe is gluten free, egg free, and dairy free!
In my carrot cake muffin recipe I decided to use soy flour for the base of the muffin. Soy flour is an excellent source of protein and it also makes the muffins more moist then a traditional white or wheat flour. I choose carrots because of their fiber content, pleasing texture and the sweet flavor that they would bring to the muffins. As an oil substitute I selected unsweetened apple sauce. Unsweetened apple sauce is probably one of my favorite ingredients to add to baked goods. It keeps the baked good moist while adding a touch of sweetness.
Instead of traditional sugar I decided to use Stevia extract. Stevia is a wonderful sweeter that is natural, low in calories and will not effect your insulin levels. I purchase my Stevia extract in a powder form from Nuts.com. The Stevia powder that Nuts.com offers is Stevia in it’s purest form. Most, if not all, of the Stevia extract you will find in the stores have added fillers like dextrose or erythritol (a sugar alcohol). With the pure Stevia extract you do not need to use as much and is far cheaper then purchasing any of the Stevia produces in the store. If you do not like the bitterness that some say comes with Stevia then any other sweetener would work in it’s place. Since Stevia is stronger by volume then most other sweeteners you most likely need more of what ever sweetener you used in place of the Stevia.
Carrot Cake Muffin Recipe
2 cups grated carrots
2 cups soy flour
2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup almond milk
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon Stevia powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a standard 12 muffin pan or line the pan with muffin cups. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk together the applesauce, vanilla and almond milk. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Fold in the grated carrots and stir to combine.
Scoop the batter evenly into the muffin pan or muffin cups. Fill the pan or cups about 3/4 full. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until the tops of the muffins will feel firm to the touch. Cool muffins completely. Muffins can be stored in an airtight container or they can be kept longer in the freezer.
Please note due to the soy flour, this recipe produces a dense type muffin. The carrot cake recipe can be varied by adding walnuts and/or raisins. Also if you wanted a fancier muffin you could add cream cheese frosting!