Carrot Applesauce Muffin Bread

I had a bunch of baby carrots left over from an untouched crudite platter, and they were looking a little dry.  In my daughter’s world, this means they are completely inedible and ‘yuck’.   Never one to waste food, I threw them into the food processor and whirred them around until I had a nice bowl of shredded and decidedly not-dry looking carrots.

Now, what to do with them?  I considered a carrot-ginger soup, but also anticipated a “yuck” response to it, so I went in search of baked goods recipes.  When I came across a few for Carrot-Apple muffins, I figured I’d hit the jackpot.  When the “apple” turned out to be applesauce, I was even happier since it meant no peeling and chopping required. 

Although the recipe I found from WholeFoods was pretty healthy, I decided to take it a step further and reduce the sugar and eliminate the oil entirely.  Applesauce can often be substituted for oil in baked items, and since this recipe already had applesauce, I simply added a bit more to replace the oil.  I also split the recipe so instead of a dozen muffins, I made six muffins and one mini loaf of quick bread. 

The results were met with mixed reviews.  They definitely were not sweet, which for an adult is fine, but the kids didn’t care for them as much.  My kids also didn’t love the not-so-sweet cream cheese frosting I used to top the muffins.  I also think it’s best to process the carrots a bit more finely so there are no “chunks” in the batter (grating them on a box grater is probably the best idea).  The recipe below takes all this into consideration, and yields a tastier, more kid-friendly muffin bread.

Maybe I should have stuck to the soup…

Carrot Applesauce Muffin Bread

Makes 2 mini-loaves

(adapted from WholeFoods)

1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon non-aluminum baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup finely grated carrots 
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon real vanilla extract

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1 tablespoon turbinado sugar

canola oil or other non-stick spray

Preheat oven to 350°.

Spray two mini -loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In another bowl, combine carrots, applesauce, eggs, milk,  and vanilla.

Add half the carrot mixture to the flour mixture, stir until blended then add the rest pf the carrot mixture.

Pour batter into prepared pans and top with chopped walnuts and a sprinkle of turbinado sugar.

Bake about 30 minutes or until a toothpick in the center of bread comes out clean. Serve warm.

Click here for more information about Tracy’s Connecticut cooking classes, or to read her The Secret Ingredient Blog.
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