We are getting this first snow of the year as I am writing this today. Just some flurries, and I doubt we will see much in the way of accumulation, but still. The day it first snows is not my favorite day of the year.
I do like getting back into baking mode though. Also soup, casserole, stew, roast and chili modes are pretty great. And I am really enjoying being back in bread baking mode!
So, in keeping with taking my blessings as they come, we had some rather over enthusiastic carrots left in the garden, that become too large for eating as a vegetable. They are great for grating up and making these sweet, lemony carrot muffins though!
You don’t need to use overly large carrots either – any old carrots from the Farmer’s Market or grocery store will do just fine. I also recommend using organic carrots, as they are quite widely available and usually not much more pricey than the regular kind. Best of all would be to find a local market or CSA – they will both likely have fresh carrots for some time to come.
After doing Farmer’s Market this summer, I can definitely tell you that local people who are growing great food, would love to see more of you enjoying the bounty they offer.
On to the muffins – these are not like the typical carrot cake that you often find in muffin form. These are simple, and a bit healthier, with some whole wheat flour, wheat germ, coconut oil and buttermilk or yogurt. They also have lots of carrots, which is kind of the point!
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- ¼ cup wheat germ
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon fresh nutmeg
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- ⅓ cup coconut oil
- Juice and zest of 1 large lemon [2 if smaller]
- ¾ cup buttermilk, or plan regular yogurt
- 2 cups grated carrot
- Preheat oven to 400º. Line a regular muffin tin with paper liners or butter the cups generously.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, wheat germ, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and eggs.
- Whisk in the coconut oil [which may clump up a bit - no problem] lemon juice and zest and buttermilk.
- Mix the carrots into the egg mixture.
- Using a large rubber scraper, fold the wet ingredients into the dry. Don't over mix, which will result in a tough texture - a few dry bits here and there are not a problem.
- Portion the batter evenly in the muffin tin.
- Bake at 400º for 5 minutes, and then lower the heat to 350º and continue for about 25 minutes, turning the tin half way through to ensure even baking.
- Test for doneness- a toothpick or skewer inserted near the center of a muffin should have no more than a few moist crumbs on it.
- Turn the muffins out on a rack to cool for a bit, and then serve warm with soft butter, cream cheese, jam or whatever you like.
- Wrap leftovers tightly - they will stay nice for a few days, though you may want to rewarm them.
These are nice weekend baking project, to be enjoyed for breakfasts through the busy week. if you like – or as a nice after school snack with some peanut butter and jelly.
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