Thursday, February 11, 2010

Guilty/Healthy Carrot Muffins

I have been feeling a little bit guilty these days, not because I did anything wrong, but because things have been so good. In this case good means cheesy, rich, and decadent, but so not New Year's resolution-y. If I have singlehandedly ruined your hopes of trimmer waistlines and physical perfection in time for bathing suit season, I apologize. I will take full responsibility for any disappointment you may feel in the coming months. My guilt is clearly so overbearing, that in the hopes of mending my wrongs I decided to try and make a healthy treat.
After making two batches of these I feel guilty yet again because even though the second batch was far superior and worth sharing the recipe for, at the end of the day these are still health muffins (read: a bit of a let down). As it turns out health muffins can never be great, they can be fine and make a decent breakfast, but delicious, fantastic or exquisite are not adjectives that will ever be applied to health muffins. The truth is that most of the time health muffins aren't actually healthy at all. They can often be worse for you than regular muffins because of the amounts of sugar and fat added to make them palatable. Anyhow, that point aside, I still feel a little bad that this recipe may not live up to the standards of TBD.
I am being a little bit hard on myself, these (unlike most commercial versions) actually are healthy and in that context they really are enjoyable. They're well spiced, slightly sweet, very moist and have a lot of crunchy pecans. The best part is obviously the sprinkle of turbinado sugar on top, but we're trying to keep such things to a minimum, well at least for today. To be candid, if you're looking for a delicious muffin, don't make these; if you're looking for a health muffin, then these will definitely not disappoint. It's your call, but at least I can't say I didn't try.
Carrot Health Muffins
(yield 12 muffins)

1/2 c. wheat bran
1 1/4 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1 c. applesauce (unsweetened)
1/2 c. yogurt
1/4 c. oil
1 egg
1/2 c. turbinado sugar (reserve 2 tbsp. for sprinkling)

1 c. shredded carrots
1/2 c. toasted pecans or walnuts

1) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together all the dry ingredients together (wheat bran through nutmeg).
2) In the bowl of a mixer with the whisk attachment beat the wet ingredients (applesauce through sugar) for 5 minutes. The additional air helps these guys be a little fluffier. Add in the dry ingredients a bit at a time, until it is fully incorporated.
3) Fold in the carrots and nuts. Divide among 12 greased muffin tins.

• You may notice that I used muffin liners, I don't suggest this as they stuck to the muffins leaving bits of not-so-yummy paper behind (Although I think they look pretty cute in the pictures, like skirts).


Dawn said...

I have been eyeing all things carrot cake lately and the fact that these are so healthy is wonderful. I may have to try these!