Carrot Oatmeal Muffins

If its possible to have a love affair with a muffin, I’ve done it. I have found THE muffin: the muffin that tastes more delicious, has more texture, is more colorful, and is more healthy….than any other muffin, ever.

Meet these Carrot Oatmeal Muffins. What’s not to love? I’m talkin’ pineapple bits, coconut, cream cheese!!!! For added nutrients and fiber, let’s not ignore the whole wheat flour, rolled oats, and 2 cups of shredded carrots.

These muffins are so good, my cats tore into the plastic bag looking for them.

The bar has been set. Until another muffin scores more points…eat up!

Carrot Oatmeal Muffins

1 C all-purpose flour
1 C whole wheat flour*
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 C white sugar
1/2 C brown sugar
3/4 C unsweetened natural applesauce
1/4 C canola oil
2 large or jumbo eggs, beaten (3 if medium/small)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 C uncooked, rolled oats
1/2 C flaked coconut (sweetened is ok)
1/2 C golden raisins (more plump and delicious than purple raisins, I think)
2 C shredded carrot
8-oz can crushed pineapple, drained with juice reserved
4 oz cream cheese (half of one block)

*this is my second time baking with whole wheat flour, and I love it. You can’t tell a difference in flavor, but knowing that you’re eating whole grains which aren’t refined and bleached…that’s a good feeling.

1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray 2 muffin pans with Pam.

2. In a large bowl, mix both flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Make a well in the center of the dry mixture and add white and brown sugar, applesauce, oil, eggs and vanilla. Mix until just moist (I decided to forego the mixer and use a large spoon.) Fold in the oats, coconut, raisins, carrots and pineapple.

3. In a small bowl, soften the cream cheese by microwaving for 15-20 seconds. Stir until smooth by adding a tiny bit of the reserved pineapple juice. You want the mixture to be fairly thick, like yogurt.

4. In each muffin cup, pour a large spoonful of the batter, and a small spoonful of the cream cheese mixture, followed by another large spoonful of batter. Muffin cups should be about 3/4 full.

5. Bake 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

(see the little layer of cream cheese in there?!)

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