Back-to-school, off-to-work Monday mornings need cake. Allow me to recommend my delicious, uber-healthy, carrot cake-y muffins to make the dream a reality.
It’s exciting to get back into a routine, but that does not necessarily mean it’s easy. Some solace is helpful in the transition, and that’s where these muffins come in. They are full of the familiar flavors and comforts of carrot cake (perhaps my favorite cake, ever), but they are simultaneously the very thing you need to eat for the energy and confidence you need to face any and all of the realities of Monday morning.
Moist, tender and cakey, they also happen to be very fast and easy to make.
The ingredients are familiar, and likely on hand already. I chose to use coconut milk (the beverage variety, available in tetra paks) and coconut sugar to add a subtle hint of coconut flavor, but you can use any plain milk that you like or have on hand, as well as sub brown sugar for the coconut sugar. These are Monday morning muffins, designed for minimizing stress and avoiding special trips to the grocery store for ingredients.
Carrots, oats, seeds (I used sunflower and pepita), spices, vanilla, the milk and the sugar: toss them into the blender and blend until smooth.
Pureeing the carrots right into the batter adds to the gently sweetness of the muffins while keeping the added sugar low. It adds plenty of moistness, as well as an appealing, golden-orange hue, to the finished muffins, too. Win, win and win!
Post blending, simply pour the batter into 10 muffin cups. I like to add a sprinkle of seeds, oats and finely chopped coconut, too, for visual appeal, as well as toasty crunch, but it’s up to you whether you choose to do the same. Slide the muffin tin into the oven to bake for a spell (roughly 25 minutes), and you, my friend, are done. Take a look at what your minimal efforts can yield:
Wholesome oats, vegetable first thing in the morning, heart-healthy fats, courtesy of the seeds, and, best of all, warm, delicious, carrot cake goodness. These are seriously frugal, too, so go ahead an pat yourself on the back for strting the week with a budget-conscious mindset.
These are great travelers for your commute, and children munch them up (although I recommend leaving off any extra toppings I you do; it seems to deter from their muffin aesthetics. Adding a few mini chocolate chips, however, is an approved enhancement).
Don’t forget to munch one before a workout, too, for cake empowerment.
- 2 cups rolled oats (certified gluten-free as needed)
- ½ cup sunflower seeds or pepitas
- 1 large carrot (about 7.5 inches), peeled, trimmed, cut into chunks
- ⅓ cup coconut sugar (or packed brown sugar)
- 1 cup coconut milk beverage (or milk of choice)
- ⅓ cup water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ teaspoon vinegar (cider vinegar or white vinegar)
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Optional toppings: a couple tablespoons each of rolled oats, sunflower seeds or pepitas, finely chopped flake coconut
- Preheat oven to 375F.Line 10 cups of a standard muffin tin.
- Place all of the ingredients (except optional toppings) into a blender (food processor will work, too); blend until smooth. Divide batter evenly between prepared cups. Sprinkle with optional toppings.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes until centers are puffed and muffins are golden brown.
- Cool in tin set on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Remove from tin and serve warm or cool completely.