Carrots are the perfect vegetable to use in dessert because of their naturally sweet flavor. Not only do they help sweeten these carrot cake muffins, but they also contribute to their light, fluffy, and moist texture. Plus, they’re perfect for getting more vegetables into your pickiest eaters.
Carrots are good for more than eye health
Carrots contain a slew of nutrients – fiber, beta carotene, vitamin K, potassium, and phytonutrients, to name a few. They’re linked to good eye health and healthy immunity. While carrots come in multiple colors, we recommend using orange carrots for this recipe, since they have the mildest, sweetest flavor which is perfect for dessert. They also have the highest beta carotene content. Carrots are arguably most known for their beta carotene content, which is a powerful antioxidant that is converted to vitamin A by the body.
It is most absorbable by the body when carrots are cooked, like in this recipe. Vitamin A is crucial growth and development in children, and immune function. Vitamin A comes in two forms: preformed vitamin A and provitamin A. We can get preformed vitamin A from animal sources like meat and dairy. Provitamin A is found in plant sources, like carrots, and has to be converted to vitamin A by the body. Since it is a fat-soluble vitamin, it’s important to eat vitamin A alongside healthy fat sources, like the ghee or coconut oil in this recipe. In a diet without optimal fat content, the body isn’t able to process fat-soluble vitamins.
Get those delicious antioxidants
Carrots are made up of a variety of antioxidants like beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, lutein, and lycopene. While our bodies do produce some antioxidants, it is important to consume plenty in our diet to further protect the body. As free radicals form in the body, left untreated they can cause inflammation and contribute to long-term illnesses. The antioxidants in our diet, like those found in carrots, have been linked to a decreased risk of chronic illnesses and overall longevity.
1 1/4 cup gluten-free flour
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups grated carrots
3/4 cup coconut oil, melted
2 eggs or flax eggs*
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 almond or cashew milk
*If vegan or cleansing, make flax eggs in place of whole eggs. Combine 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed with 4 tablespoons hot water. Let sit for 10-15 minutes, or until a gel consistency forms.
Frosting of choice
Walnuts for topping
Preheat oven to 350. Line a muffin pan with muffin liners. If using flax eggs, make them now. While the flax mixture sits, grate carrots.
Add all dry ingredients to a large bowl (flour, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, baking powder, and salt). Whisk ingredients until thoroughly combined.
In a separate bowl, mix together eggs (or flax eggs), melted ghee or coconut oil, vanilla, and milk. Once thoroughly mixed, fold in grated carrots.
Slowly add dry ingredients to wet, until fully combined. Evenly distribute mixture amongst 12 muffin tins, so they are approximately two-thirds full.
Bake muffins for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Optionally top carrot cake muffins with frosting of choice or chopped walnuts before serving.
Recipe and photography by Kaitlyn Noble
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