Friday, May 15, 2015

Coconut Carrot Muffins

Everyone's talking about coconut oil these days. It's the new thing. (Actually, I'm pretty sure it's been a thing for a while now, and I'm just behind the times.) I've heard the virtues of using coconut oil for cooking, cleaning, baking, moisturizing...pretty much everything under the sun. It was high time I gave this newfangled oil a whirl, and Coconut Carrot Muffins seemed like the perfect opportunity.

These healthy muffins are vibrant with carrots and pineapple, studded with sweet raisins, and rich with coconut flakes and coconut oil. And with a pinch of orange zest stirred in, each bite is fragrant with citrus. Geez, are these babies good.

Let's get cooking!

Carrot Coconut Muffins
Makes 36 mini muffins
Adapted from these Morning Glory Muffins

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour*
2 tablespoons oat bran
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 whole eggs
2 egg whites
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
8 ounces crushed pineapple
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon orange zest (optional)
1 1/2 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a muffin tin or line with paper liners and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together all-purpose flour, whole wheat pastry flour, oat bran, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, stir together whole eggs, egg whites, brown sugar, applesauce, coconut oil, pineapple, vanilla, and orange zest. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir in carrots, raisins, pineapple, and coconut.

Fill prepared muffin tins with batter. I filled my mini muffin cups to the top and ended up with 36 muffins. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes, until muffins spring back when you touch them and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Allow to cool in the muffin tins for 5 minutes, then remove the muffins to a wire rack to finish cooling.

I made mini muffins, but you could certainly make regular-sized muffins. I would guess they'd need about 25 minutes to bake. If you try it, let me know!

*I happened to have 1/2 cup of whole wheat pastry flour that I was looking to use up. If you don't have whole wheat pastry flour, feel free to use entirely all-purpose flour or substitute whole wheat flour. Also, if you have more whole wheat flour on hand than I did, by all means use more!

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