Carrot and Orange Muffins

If you have visited my blog before, you may have stumbled across the 'Recipes' platform. If so, you'll notice that there tends to be a pattern to my baking and cooking; I prefer to create quick and easy recipes that require less time in the kitchen. That's not to say I grumble at cooking Sunday Roasts, as I really enjoy putting together all the trimmings alongside a joint of beef or roast chicken. However, when it comes to cooking midweek meals and snacks; the less convoluted the cooking, the better! So, you will not be surprised to learn that my latest recipe is no different. 

To satisfy those mid-afternoon sweet cravings, I decided to get baking a batch of muffins earlier this week. Keen to avoid adding any refined sugars or saturated fats though, I went in search of healthier muffin recipes. That's when I reached for my 'juice' recipe book by best selling author, Liz Earle. I soon found the ticket! The most delicious, dairy-free 'Carrot and Orange Muffins' that are packed full of fruit and veg. (Don't run a mile, they are really tasty, I promise!) This recipe requires just ~10 minutes of prep, and an additional 20 minutes of cooking. So, let's get started!

1 carrot

1 orange

75 g raisins

100 g dark muscovado sugar

2 eggs (try and use free range if possible)

3 tbsp of sunflower oil (I used coconut oil as a healthier alternative)

75 g desiccated coconut

200 wholemeal self-raising flour (I used brown self-raising flour)

1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon

Pinch of nutmeg (I used 1/2 tsp)

*This recipe makes 12 muffins. As you can see, I have adapted the recipe slightly)

First, preheat the oven to 180 degrees and pop 12 cupcake cases into a muffin tin. Next, roughly peel the orange and carrot then place them into a juicer. Don't throw away the pulp!

 

Pour the juice on top of a bowlful of raisins and leave to stand.

Whilst the raisins begin to soak up all that vibrant goodness, you can prepare the rest of the ingredients. Whisk two eggs with 100 g of dark muscovado sugar until all lumps and bumps have disappeared.

Now add in 3 tbsp's of coconut oil and combine until smooth and creamy. Then pop in the rest of the ingredients (so that's 75 g desiccated coconut, 200 g brown self-raising flour, the raisins and juice, plus the pulp). Finish with 1/2 tsp each of the spices. Carefully fold all of the mixture together until you have a thick batter. If it resembles a thick porridge, then it's spot on!

Drop a large spoonful of the mixture into each cupcake case until you have evenly distributed all of the batter. Pop in the oven and put your timer on for 20 minutes...

Wait for the kitchen to fill with the gorgeous aroma of freshly baked muffins! Once the timer springs into life, then you can retrieve the muffins from the oven. Ideally, you want to leave them on a cooling rack for 10 minutes or so, but, if you can't resist the temptation...

...put them straight onto your serving platter instead!

Admittedly, they taste totally divine fresh and piping hot from the oven. You could of course add ice cream, clotted cream or a dusting of icing sugar on top, but if you want to be good, enjoy them just as they are. 

A sweet snack to enjoy without feeling guilty! As Liz Earle says, "juicing the fruit and vegetables but then adding back the pulp gives great fibre." So, when those daily sugar cravings kick in, swap a cheeky chocolate bar for my Carrot and Orange Muffins, and you'll soon see why they hit the spot! I hope you'll enjoy them as much as I do!