Thursday, March 1, 2012

Paleo Carrot Cake Muffins

Did I recently say that we don't make a lot of Paleo treats? I lied. Well, it wasn't technically lying. We do try to keep the desserts and Paleo-ish snacks (I'm looking at you coconut flour waffles and raw chocolate truffles) to a minimum. But we bought the most beautiful purple carrots this week at the grocery store and I wanted to do something special with those special carrots.

I did have one failed attempt at integrating these carrots into my yummy homemade lara bars to create a carrot cake flavor bar, but we won't get into that. I don't like to live in the past. Let's just say a few of these carrots sadly went to waste, but my frustration got the gears turning in my brain again. These purple carrots would not defeat me!

I used to looove carrot cake. The moist, spiced cake, the cream cheese frosting, and the cute little icing carrot on top. I always tried to snag the piece with the icing carrot. I had something of a frosting problem. But, I digress. I turned my thoughts back to healthier fare and threw together these carrot cake muffins.

I made these over at my sister's house after dinner last night. It was definitely a bit of an experiment. I wasn't sure they would turn out at all. We mixed up the batter and confirmed that it did look like other muffin batters we had seen. We crossed our fingers and left them in the oven to bake. The true test was when my almost four year old nephew wanted to try one and said it was good. He then handed half of it back to my sister and said he didn't want to eat the whole thing. I think he just wanted to watch more cartoons, though. Because the adults all agreed that these were delicious.

I've included a few optional (well, I consider them vitally necessary, but I am not going to tell you what to do) add-ins such as raisins, nuts and shredded coconut. Maybe you will come up with some other way to put your own little spin on these muffins. If you do, drop me a line and let me know because I will definitely be making these again!


Paleo Carrot Cake Muffins
Yield: 12 Muffins
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients

-2 1/4 cups almond flour
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 tsp sea salt
-2 tsp ground cinnamon
-1 tsp ground nutmeg
-1/2 tsp ground allspice
-1/2 tsp ground cloves
-1/2 tsp ground ginger
-3 tbsp ghee or coconut oil, melted
-3 eggs
-2 tbsp honey
-1 tbsp vanilla extract
-3/4 cup shredded carrot (about 1 medium carrot)
-1/2 cup raisins (optional)
-1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
-1/4 cup shredded coconut (optional)

Directions


-Preheat oven to 350 F.
-In a large bowl, add almond flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, clove and ginger. Mix well and set aside.
-In a separate bowl, add melted ghee or coconut oil, eggs, honey and vanilla into a bowl. Whisk until smooth.
-Pour wet ingredients into bowl with dry ingredients and mix well.
-Stir in shredded carrot and your mix-ins.
-Spray a muffin tin or line with muffin liners. I also spray the liners just for a little extra insurance that the muffins won't stick.
-Pour about 1/4 cup of the batter into each tin until they are all evenly filled. Each tin should be about 3/4 full.
-Bake muffins for 18-20 minutes (until a toothpick entered into center of the muffin comes out clean).

27 comments:

  1. Yum, I love carrot cake especially with cream cheese frosting...I would have been the one to wrestle you for the slice with the piped frosting carrot! ~sigh~
    This recipe looks great, very similar to one I make often...I haven't tried them with shredded coconut, but I will! Have you ever tried crushed pineapple in carrot cake? I haven't but I've seen a lot of recipes with it...I might try it in lieu of the honey (although I love that it's only 2 T.).

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    1. No, I have never heard of the pineapple - I will have to try that! That sounds yummy!

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  2. These look great! I've tried to make something similar before, but with carrot pulp... they came out a bit dry. It was my first time baking with almond flour and pulp. Right now, I have a lot of carrot pulp again and I've been trying to come up with ways to moisten it up so I can make a carrot bread or muffins that are more successful than my first. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks!

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  3. I don't have any experience with carrot pulp, but you may want to just add a little extra oil/ghee or use a bit less flour if the carrot pulp is drier than plain old shredded carrot. I don't know what the consistency of carrot pulp is, but you might also try soaking it in water before using? Sorry I couldn't be more help. Let me know how they come out!

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  4. Hi, Can I make this recipe with all purpose flour, not almond flour. I can't cook with almonds. Thanks, Jill (email is rjalston@shaw.ca)

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    1. Hi Jill! I am really not 100% sure. I know there are some differences in measurements when using almond flour. I have heard 2/3 cup of almond flour per 1 cup of all-purpose flour so you may try that, but I haven't tried it. If it works out for you let me know!

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  5. I made these tonight and they were good. I added a bunch of mix-ins. 1/2 cup of fresh pineapple, 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts and a 1/4 cup of shredded coconut. I will make them again. Thanks for the recipe!

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  6. Thanks for this! It's the first flour-free muffin recipe I've tried that made me say, "Oh, this is good!" rather than, "Well, that's ok." I will try increasing the honey just a bit, and I think I'll add some dried pineapple this morning, too.

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    1. Thanks! Pineapple sounds sooo good with this. I've found the longer that I go without most conventional "sweets" the less sweetener I use in my recipes, but I love me some honey!

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  7. Tarah - can you provide a substitute for Almond Flour? I really want to try this recipe!

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    1. I know you could substitute coconut flour, but the measurements would be different. I believe you can find conversion calculators online - good luck - they are well worth it!

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  8. Just made these and were very bland. Thy were very fragrant and the texture was just right but it tasted like it needed a lot more sweetness.

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    1. Our taste buds have definitely changed after a year of eating next to nothing with added sweeteners. The honey could be modified to your desired level of sweetness. Just add a bit more next time and they should be perfect!

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  9. Just made a batch of these to take camping with me and I couldn't resist trying one straight from the oven. Was very impressed with so little effort very tasty and moreish. I only added shredded cocnut and walnuts as that's all I had, but would like to try dates or raisins

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    1. What a good treat for camping! Now I want to go camping :)

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  10. Made these last week for my daughter, who's participating in the 90-day Cross Fit Paleo challenge. Followed your recipe, adding the optional rasins + walnuts.

    OMG, she loved them! The texture was very nice & moist. My husband thought they needed a bit more sweetness, so going to make up another batch today adding 1/2 granny smith apple, diced very small + 1 T. extra honey.

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    1. That rocks! Let me know how they are with the addition of the apples, that sounds delicious!

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  11. They were Awesome! My daughter minced 1/2 the granny smith apple pretty small, left the skin on...they cooked up perfectly and added more texture, as well as fresh 'appley' sweetness.

    Also, by adding the 1/2 apple, we got a couple extra muffins from the batch ~ a bonus! Next time we make them, we'll keep the apples in.
    Thanks so much for the recipe.

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    1. Sounds so good - maybe next time I make them, I will try the apple and I can update the post with the apple variation.

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  12. Hi I am making them right now and just about finished mixing the dough and it looks more like cookie dough, it is absolutely not liquidy at all... I followed the recipe to the letter...Where did I go wrong? and more importantly: how can I fix it? Will try adding almond milk, but really...it doesnt look at all like muffin dough... I think it's not too much almond flour?

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    1. I do think the dough is a little thicker - more like cookie dough than cake batter. I hope they came out okay after baking them!

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    2. Thanks Tarah, unfortunately, they didn't. The taste was good but the consistency so tough they were actually uneatable :(
      I am new to Paleo cooking and am in the experimentation phase with all the desserts. One thing I have noticed is how these new "replacement" flours, such as almond and to a greater degree coconut flour, need so much more liquids to perform as expected. I am not sure if you used almond meal instead of flour, which contain still the oil of the almonds, but in my case it was flour, so I think maybe half the flour or twice the eggs might have worked better.

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    3. So far I have found that they are interchangeable, but you may choose the almond meal and see how they turn out.

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  13. Hello, How many eggs to ypu pour in there?

    thanks

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  14. I wonder could you make a cream cheese frosting by mixing softened cream cheese with vanilla and some sweetener of choice?

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    1. We don't eat cream cheese so I am not sure. I bet you could do a google search for a good cream cheese frosting recipe, though!

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