I like to consider these muffins nature’s candy. They have it all; fruit, veggies, nuts, and spice. And they taste absolutely amazing. Seriously. I make these constantly and everyone (even the kiddos) love them. With 3 servings of fruit and veggies and protein from the almonds and eggs, they are perfect for a quick and healthy breakfast or snack with absolutely no guilt.
If you want to make them gluten-free, all you have to do is swap out the wheat flour for almond or coconut flour. Because this recipe calls for so much fresh produce, I like to opt for all organic ingredients as well. It just makes them that much healthier.
The preparation for these muffins can be daunting at first, but it’s well worth it and a lot easier than it seems. If you have some helping hands around the kitchen, put them to use. It makes for a great bonding experience and makes the time more enjoyable.
Start by shredding the carrots and zucchini in a food processor first. It takes seconds to do and honestly, it’s one of my favorite things! Then chop up your apple. Don’t chop it too fine; otherwise it will become applesauce once it’s mixed in. I highly suggest using a grinder for the nuts. Chopping them will take too long and become too messy. Once you zest the orange, you’re ready to mix everything together. Grab a bigger bowl so nothing spills out. It’s too good to waste! If you want, you can add in unsweetened shredded coconut (3/4 cup) but I leave it out.
Once you add the flour mixture to the eggs, you only want to mix it minimally until everything is blended (over-mixing causes the batter to become tough). Don’t worry if there are still some flour pockets. Make sure your pans are sprayed with a non-stick spray or use baking cups (If You Care has unbleached, chlorine-free cups I like to use when I’m making them for an event).
Once they’re done baking, let them cool a few minutes on a cooling rack. I love to eat them right after they’re baked. The inside is warm and the outside is a bit crunchy. You can always reheat them in a toaster oven for this affect later on. Enjoy as breakfast with your coffee or tea, or as a snack. As springtime rolls around, you’ll have some delicious fruits and veggies to make them even more delicious!
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 cup shredded zucchini
- 1 Golden Delicious apple, cored and finely chopped
- 3/4 cup golden raisins
- 3/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)
- 1/2 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup vegetable oil
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease muffin cups. Mix all ingredients except eggs and oil in large bowl. Beat eggs and oil in another large bowl to blend. Stir flour mixture into eggs. Spoon ¼ cup batter into each cup. Bake until tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes about 24 muffins.