Cran-Apple Carrot Muffins

Cran Apple Carrot Muffins
Stephanie Lang, MS, RDN, CDN
Total Time 55 min
Prep 30 min, Cook 25 min
Yield 12 muffins (154 calories each)

This muffin recipe uses whole wheat flour, flaxseed, applesauce, and Greek yogurt in place of a more traditional mix of white flour, butter, eggs and sugar, in order to transform your baked good into a nutritious breakfast.

This recipe calls for fresh cranberries, which are high in antioxidants called polyphenols, which may aid in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and stomach cancer. Combine this with Greek yogurt, which is a powerful probiotic that may help the immune system to fight against tumor cells, and omega-3 fatty acid containing flaxseeds, which may reduce inflammation and slow the progression of cancer. And let's not forget those oats! Oats contain a soluble fiber called beta-glucan, which strengthens the immune system and lowers cholesterol levels.

Ingredients

  • 1.25 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 2.5 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/3 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 4 medium carrots, grated (about 1 3/4 to 2 cups worth)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cranberries, roughly chopped

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Stir in the oats.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the ground flaxseed with water. Let sit for at least 5 minutes for it to start to gel (this acts like an egg in the recipe).
  4. Add the olive oil, yogurt, and applesauce to the "flax egg" and whisk together. Dump into the dry ingredients along with the carrots and cranberries.
  1. Using a rubber spatula, stir until the mixture is just combined. Do not over-mix otherwise the muffins will come out tough.
  2. Spoon the batter evenly among the muffin tin and bake for 24 to 28 minutes, until the tops are puffed and golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

If you are looking to add some green into this red and orange mix, try including a 1/2 cup of grated zucchini when you add in your grated carrots. Zucchini will increase the Vitamin C, potassium, and fiber content of these tasty muffins.

Cooking and Serving Tips

This recipe calls for a "flax egg" which is a mixture of 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds with 2 1/2 tablespoons water that, when left sitting for at least 5 minutes, gels up and acts like an egg in a recipe.

Flax eggs are great for making egg-free or vegan baked goods, and they are easy to prepare in a pinch when you run out of eggs at home.

Store ground flaxseeds in the freezer to preserve their freshness.

To increase the protein content of these vibrant muffins, try spreading a tablespoon of almond butter on top. Besides protein, almond butter will add heart-healthy fats and fiber to these soft treats. This cran-apple carrot muffin recipe is great for breakfast or a midday snack.

Make a batch at the beginning of the week and enjoy them warmed at home or room temperature and on-the-go.

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