Let’s make guilt free carrot muffins that are so good you’ll think they’re bad for you. It’s the perfect time of year to do it. Everybody wants to eat a few warmly spiced, carrot filled baked goods in the fall, right?!?!
Well … I suppose I can really only speak for myself, but I DO. If you do too, then keep reading because this is a recipe you’re going to love.
It’s not a sweet cake like muffin at all, which makes it a great breakfast option. And it’s a fabulous snack too.
Are Guilt Free Carrot Muffins REALLY Good For You?
This guilt free carrot recipe is full of healthy wholesome ingredients. There are just two ingredients that one could make an argument against the nutritional value of; dark brown sugar and all-purpose white flour.
While sugar is best avoided in your daily diet, it is a rarity that one can stay 100% sugar free in modern society. Unless you are able to prepare every bit of food you consume, sugar is likely to seep into your diet somewhere.
This muffin recipe uses just 1/2 cup of sugar. And it makes 8 muffins, which works out to 1 tablespoon of sugar per muffin. That’s pretty easy to live with.
I can also live with a little all-purpose white flour. I make sure mine is organic, because that’s important to me. It has not been exposed to chemicals and contains more nutrients than non-organic flour.
But if you would prefer to use an organic whole wheat flour for your muffins, it substitutes beautifully in this recipe.
Ingredients For This Recipe
BUTTER – Farm fresh butter is the best option for this recipe. If you can’t source farm fresh butter, simply use salted butter from the grocery store.
DARK BROWN SUGAR – Dark brown sugar is the preferred sugar for this recipe, as it lends a really nice warm flavor to the muffins. Feel free to substitute a different sugar if you prefer.
EGGS – Farm fresh eggs are always the healthiest choice if they are available to you.
CARROTS – Organic carrots will impart more carrot flavor to your muffins than commercially grown carrots.
APPLESAUCE – Unsweetened applesauce should be used for this recipe. If you have homemade unsweetened applesauce available to you, that is even better.
VANILLA EXTRACT – Pure vanilla extract blends beautifully with the other warm, fall flavors in this recipe.
ALL-PURPOSE WHITE FLOUR – Organic all-purpose white flour is what I use when making these guilt free carrot muffins. Feel free to substitute organic whole wheat flour if you prefer.
OAT FLOUR – Oat flour is perfect for this recipe. You can make your own oat flour by grinding whole rolled oats in a food processor until they become the consistency of flour.
FLAX MEAL – The flax meal in this recipe gives it a similar taste to bran muffins. It’s one of the finest features of the recipe. You can make your own flax meal by grinding flax seeds in a coffee or herb grinder.
BAKING SODA – Baking soda gives these muffins their rise.
CINNAMON & GINGER – These two spices are a big part of this recipes flavor profile. They are very common in fall inspired dishes and your tastebuds will recognize that right away.
SALT – There is just enough salt to enhance the other flavors in these muffins, without lending them a salty flavor.
How To Make Guilt Free Carrot Muffins
Guilt free carrot muffins are really not made any differently than any other muffin. The basic steps are the same.
There is a full, printable recipe available for your convenience at the bottom of this post. But I’ll touch on the basics for you here.
The first thing you’ll need to do is cream the butter and sugar together. Then you’ll add in the eggs, and cream it all together well.
Next, you’ll add the remaining wet ingredients to the mixture and stir it all together by hand.
In a seperate bowl, you’ll mix all of the dry ingredients together with a whisk. Then you can blend the wet and dry ingredients together by hand to create a batter.
Finally, you’ll spoon the batter into cupcake wrappers that have been laid out in a muffin tin. And bake them until a knife inserted in the center of them comes out clean.
At that point, they can be removed from the oven and set out on a cooling rack to cool. Once they are completely cool, the only thing left for you to do is to enjoy them!
Natural Sweet Toppings For This Recipe
Carrot muffins are often topped with a sweet icing. Confectionary sugar glaze and cream cheese frosting are the two icings that come to mind, as they are so commonly used to top carrot based baked goods.
If you want your muffins to remain a healthy snack, I would steer away from both of these choices. Or, at the very least, make just a small amount of confectionary sugar glaze and drizzle it lightly over the top of your muffins.
This will lend them the classic icing flavor that is so closely associated with carrot muffins, without hitting your body with a full on blast of sugar.
The better way to top them, if you must make them a bit sweeter, is to simply drizzle some honey or maple syrup over them.
Using either one of these natural sweeteners is not only the healthier way to go, but it will keep your guilt free carrot muffins guilt free.
Add-Ins For This Recipe
On occasion it’s nice to add a little something extra into your guilt free carrot muffin batter. And there are really a lot of great options available for doing this very thing.
Nuts and seeds taste really great in these muffins. So, add a bit of walnuts or some pumpkin seeds if you’re inclined.
Dried fruits like coconut, raisins, or cranberries all work really well as additions to this recipe. Or maybe try some fresh pineapple pieces for a less traditional twist.
How To Freeze Guilt Free Carrot Muffins
It’s a really great idea to make a double or triple batch of this guilt free carrot muffin batter while your already in the kitchen. They freeze really well, and it’s nice to have a few extras in the freezer.
You can pull one out and warm it in the oven for breakfast. They’re great reheated with a bit of butter in a cast iron pan. And they make a terrific take along for work days.
They’re a terrific option for curbing the inclination to grab less healthy treats while you are out running errands as well.
So … make a few extra, freeze them individually on a parchment lined sheet pan, and then store them in a ziploc baggie in the freezer.
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Making guilt free carrot muffins is easy to do. And they are the perfect healthy snack for the fall season.
- 1/4 c butter, salted, room temperature
- 1/2 c dark brown sugar, lightly packed
- 2 eggs
- 1 c shredded carrot
- 1/2 c applesauce, unsweetened
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 c all-purpose white flour
- 1/2 c oat flour
- 1/4 c flax meal
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Place butter and sugar in a medium bowl and cream together with a hand held mixer.
- Add eggs and cream them in.
- Add carrots, applesauce, and vanilla. Stir together by hand.
- In a seperate bowl whisk white flour, oat flour, flax meal, baking soda, cinnamon, sugar, and salt together.
- Blend the wet ingredient mixture and the dry ingredient mixture together by hand to create a batter. Do not overmix.
- Place 8 cupcake wrappers in a muffin tin. Divide the batter between them.
- Bake them for 20 minutes, or until a knife inserted in their center comes out clean.
- Place them on a cooling rack and allow them to cool.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 226Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 382mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 2gSugar: 13gProtein: 5g
This data was provided and calculated by Nutritionix on 9/29/2022. Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.