These naturally-sweetened carrot apple muffins have a delicious, gently spiced flavor and moist texture. They're easy to make and perfect for breakfast or a snack.
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Apple are a huge favorite in our house, we get through them at a pretty good rate. And when we manage to go apple picking, I'm positive the kids eat even more. To be fair, I know I do as they do taste so good.
Apples are also great mixed in to baked goods both for flavor and natural sweetness. A common trick is to use applesauce instead of some oil and sugar to make healthier twists for cakes and muffins, for example.
These muffins are a little different and use grated apple for a little more texture. I first made these years ago and continue to make them now and then and they always go down well. Plus they are sneakily pretty great in the healthiness stakes.
Alongside the apple, the main sweetener in these is dates, as I have used in other muffins before. Then the apple and carrot combination gives a lovely moist base. Finally, the warm spices really round out the flavor to give a really taste bite.
How to make these healthier muffins
These come together quickly and easily. True, it's a teeny bit more than some other muffins since you need to soak then blend the dates and grate the apple and carrot, but these are both easy.
You soak the dates to soften them before blending, which saves getting little chunks in the muffins (not that this is bad, but this way helps the apple and carrot textures shine). Apart from that, you simple measure, mix and scoop.
See how they come together in the short video.
The spices make for a delicious smell as they bake and so it's hard to wait for them to cool before diving in. But it's worth the wait once you do.
The muffins have a lovely gently warm-spice flavor and are deliciously moist. They are healthy enough to call breakfast and portable enough to take as a snack.
So whether it's a grab-and-go breakfast, healthy after school snack or whatever the excuse, these naturally sweetened carrot apple muffins are an easy and tasty choice.
Try these other healthier baked treats:
- Healthy apple oatmeal cookies
- Healthy carrot and banana bread
- Chocolate beetroot brownie bites
- Plus get more snack recipes, sweet and savory, in the archives.
Carrot apple muffins
- 4 oz pitted dates 110g
- ½ cup water 120ml
- ½ cup whole wheat flour 65g
- ½ cup all purpose flour 70g plain flour
- ½ cup quick cook oats 48g (see notes for alternative)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda bicarbonate of soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- ½ cup buttermilk 120ml
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup apple 135g, grated, approx 1 apple
- ½ cup carrot 55g, finely grated
- Soak the dates in the water ideally for an hour or two but at least while you prepare everything else.
- Preheat oven to 375F/190C.
- In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients (wholewheat and all purpose flours, oats, baking powder and baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and salt).
- Puree/blend the dates (along with the water) to a paste then add the egg, buttermilk and vanilla and blend until they are well mixed.
- Add the date-egg mixture to the dry ingredients then add the apple and carrots. Mix everything so they are combined but try not to overmix.
- Spoon the mixture into lined or greased muffin tins then bake for approx 20 minutes until gently golden and a skewer put in the middle comes out clean.
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This post was first shared in November 2015 and has been updated, primarily with new photos.