My friends and I spent a lot of time in the library in college. I realize that sounds incredibly un-exciting, but let me tell you, it was the place to be. We would camp out in the morning, and spend the rest of the day there. The thing is, I went to a pretty nerdy school, so that meant that once you secured your Sunday afternoon spot, You. Did. Not. Leave. Not even for lunch. This meant you were left looking for a snack around 2pm and we often fell prey to the bakery muffins from the library cafe. They were huge, delicious, and approximately 600 calories each.
Even worse, as my friend always said, “the muffins have eyes!” We truly believed they could see you through the walls of the library, and begged you to come eat them. Well, like I said, we spent a little too much time cooped up in a library. It does things to you.
I love muffins, but somehow they usually become an excuse to eat cake for breakfast. Delicious, but not something I want to do every day. I’m labeling these “Breakfast Muffins” because I declare them real breakfast food. They’re full of good things like carrots, apples, and nuts. You could certainly make them with whole wheat flour if you have it around. Even better, there’s very little added sugar in each large muffin.
That means you can top them with some coconut glaze. That’s right. I may have turned these breakfast muffins back into cake, and it was totally worth it. I had some coconut milk leftover from making these last week, so I mixed it together with some powdered sugar, and drizzled the tops of the muffins. It was the perfect way to make these healthy muffins, not quiiite so healthy. You could make the glaze with regular milk, but I loved the subtle coconut flavor to echo the coconut in the muffin.
Drizzled with glaze, or eaten just as they are, these are all about great texture combined with great taste. Just look at all those goodies hiding in there! These muffins are kept moist from a combination of applesauce and vegetable oil. I haven’t tried making them without oil entirely, but might experiment in the future. The grated carrots, apple and coconut provide great texture, and make you feel like you’re eating a hearty muffin without that super dry crumbly texture you so often find in a “healthy” muffin recipe.
If these muffins are making eyes at you, I strongly encourage you to answer their call.
Carrot Apple Breakfast Muffins
Adapted from: Morning Glory Muffins
Cook time: 25 minutes; Total time: 40 minutes
Yield: 18 regular muffins (or 12 regular and 12 mini muffins)
1/2 cup raisins
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups peeled and grated carrots (about 6 medium carrots)
1 large tart apple (I used a granny smith)
1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
3 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup water (from soaked raisins)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons coconut milk (or regular milk)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray the insides of a muffin tin with non-stick spray (I don’t suggest using muffin liners for this recipe, as I found they stuck to the muffins quite a bit). Place raisins in a small bowl and cover with warm water. Set aside to soak.
In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Grate carrots and apple and add to flour mixture. Add coconut and nuts, then stir to combine. Drain raisins and reserve 1/4 cup water. In a separate medium bowl, combine eggs, vegetable oil, applesauce, vanilla, and water from the raisins. Add liquid to the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Stir in raisins.
Divide batter between muffin tins – go ahead and fill them almost to the top. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes if making full size muffins, or 15 minutes for mini muffins. Let cool for a few minutes in the pan, then move them to a wire rack to cool completely before adding glaze, if desired.
To make the glaze: combine powdered sugar, coconut milk, and vanilla in a small bowl. Whisk until combined.