Oh-so-healthy & delicious fall-flavored carrot muffins
Soooooo I tried did a little experiment with this recipe. My intention was to create muffins without any butter or sugar and to replace these two by healthier, more nourishing ingredients. And for the dough, this wasn’t a problem at all, because I just used avocado instead of butter and dates instead of sugar. I’m really impressed with the result: super moist, carrot cake spiced muffins with a little twang from the lemon-lime drizzle.
After making the first set I proudly presented them to my room mate and project manager at work, but was initially not met with the same enthusiasm when I said they were without butter or sugar. However, this changed when they tried and noticed the amazing soft and moist texture that stems from using avocado. For sweetening, I used dates, which have this amazing honey-flavor to them, to complement the vanilla, cinnamon and cloves.
I decided after the first set that I wanted a bit more excitement in the muffins in form of a lemon-lime drizzle to add a hint of freshness as contrast to the spices in the muffins. I racked my brain for days on how to replace the confectioner’s sugar to achieve the same consistency until at some point I just stopped. You see, healthy, natural food is my passion, but I don’t see a point in frantically replacing ingredients when there is not obviously better ingredient. So I chose to go with good old sugar.
Of course I would be grateful if you have any ideas on natural alternatives for the sugar in the drizzle, so please do share!
Anyway, those muffins are real brainfood and provide tons of vitamin A, good fatty acids, proteins and minerals, since they mainly consist of avocado, carrots, pumpkin seeds, almonds and dates.
Let the baking begin! 🙂
For 15-20 muffins
For the muffins
150g ripe avocado, de-stoned
100g soft dates, destoned, chopped
100g apple, decored, roughly chopped
5 large free-range eggs
zest of 1/2 orange and juice of 1 orange
2 slightly heaped tsp baking powder
100 g ground almonds
100 g chopped pumpkin seeds
1 heaped teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch ground cloves
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
250 g carrots , peeled and coarsely grated
For the drizzle
100g icing sugar
juice and zest of one lemon
juice of 1/2 and zest of one lime
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350ºF. Grease your muffin tray.
2. Place chopped dates, avocado flesh, apple, orange juice and orange zest in a food processor and blend at high pace until you get a smooth, buttery paste. Put in a bowl and beat in the egg yolks. Then stir in sifted flour and baking powder, and add the ground almonds, about 3/4 of the pumpkin seeds, spices and grated carrot and mix together well.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff, then gently fold them into the cake mix. Scoop the mixture into the prepared muffin tin and cook in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes until golden and risen. You can check to see if the cake is cooked by poking a cocktail stick into it. Remove it after 5 seconds and if it comes out clean the cake is cooked; if slightly sticky, it needs a bit longer.
4. Once the muffins are ready, leave them to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn it out on to a rack and rest until cooled off.
5. In the mean time, gently roast the remaining pumpkin seeds until golden. Sift the confectioner’s sugar into a small bowl and add lemon und lime juice and zest. Whisk until smooth.
6. Once the muffins have cooled off, drizzle with the lemon-lime syrup and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds.