My toddler son is rapidly becoming a true New Englander between his love of lobster and how excited he got going apple picking a few weeks ago. It was just as well we opted for a big bag to allow him to keep picking, but it has meant we have had quite a pile of apples to work our way through. Luckily we all like apples and they can go in a whole range of things from oatmeal to Yorkshire pudding not to mention all the dessert options like pies, crumbles/crisp and baked apples. They are also good in baked goods and these tasty carrot and apple spice muffins are a great, healthy option to use a few more. They have become an instant hit with my toddler and I am happy for him to have them, there’s such a great set of ingredients in there.
These muffins are easy to make, have no added sugar and are full of lots of good ingredients but are deliciously tasty too. They have some similarity to other muffins I have made using dates as one of the main sweeteners and using a mix of flours and oats. The apple and carrot combination gives a lovely moist base that’s given lots of delicious additional flavor from the various spices.
How they’re made
To make them you soak the dates while you mix the dry ingredients then blend the dates, add the egg, buttermilk and vanilla then mix this in to the dry ingredients along with the grated apple and carrot. Then scoop it into your muffin tin and bake. 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 are sweet without being overly sweet, flavorsome and moist. They would be great any time but they particularly have that slight fall flavor so are perfect this time of year. They are healthy enough to call breakfast and portable enough to take as a snack – I recently made a batch to take to my son’s preschool for snack time and was a little sad there weren’t any left for me. But at least they are easy, I can make some more soon (or my son can make them and I can help, as seems to be the way these days). I hope you’ll give them a try, too, they are both delicious and healthy – what more can you look for in a muffin!?
A tasty mix that's healthy too - great for a grab and go breakfast or snack.
- 4 oz pitted dates 110g
- 1/2 cup water 120ml
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour 65g
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour 55g plain flour
- 1/2 cup quick cook oats 48g
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup buttermilk 120ml
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup apple 135g, grated, approx 1 apple
- 1/2 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, add egg, buttermilk and vanilla and blend so mixed together.
Add the date-egg mixture to the dry ingredients and add apple and carrots and mix so combined but try not to overmix.
Spoon the mixture into lined or greased muffin tins then bake for approx 20min until gently golden and a skewer put in the middle comes out clean.
Try these other healthier sweet snacks: