Quick, Healthy, Homemade Breakfast – Carrot Muffins - Recipe

I have been eating Quaker Cinnamon Oatmeal Squares but I would rather eat something homemade. Muffins are the perfect breakfast food; they are cheap, easy to make, they can be made very healthy and they are portable. The trick is to find a delicious healthy muffin. My good friend writes the blog Application of Heat and I chose her recipe Carrot Muffins. She says, “What's nice about this recipe is that they look craggy on the outside but they are tender with a fine crumb on the inside. They are the best version of this kind of muffin I have made.”

Okay so now that I have made the recipe and THEN run it through a recipe analyzer (http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp), I'm feeling less good. The muffins come in at 300 calories, 3 grams of fiber and 17 grams of fat each (if the recipe yields 12 muffins, which mine did). That's a 7 point Weight Watcher value, which is mighty expensive. They are really delicious.  I guess I'll let Jeff eat most of them.  I'll have to find another breakfast muffin for me. 

Carrot Muffins

1 cup shredded carrots (about 2)
1/2 cup shredded apple (about one peeled apple)
1 cup pecans, chopped
1/2 cup raisins, plumped (in about 1/4 cup water covered for 1 minute in the microwave)
1 1/2 cups flour (spoon and level)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/3 cup butter, softened, but still a little firm
1/3 cup canola oil
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Step 1: Heat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare 12-muffin pan by greasing with butter.

Step 2: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.

Step 3: Cut the butter into 1 inch pieces and put in the bowl of an electric mixer. Mix on medium for 1 minute until smooth. Then, drizzle in the oil taking 1-2 minutes and scraping down the sides as needed. The mixture should come together as one and look like runny unmelted butter. Add the brown sugar slowly, then add the granulated sugar. Mix until well blended, about 1 minute. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. Scrape down sides, add vanilla and blend thoroughly.

Step 4: Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the carrots and apple. Add the dry ingredients in two additions mixing until just combined. Fold in raisins and nuts.

Step 5: Fill the muffin cups almost to the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Bake until muffins spring back when touched.

If you are wondering what I’m eating for lunch, stay tuned for tomorrow’s post: The Simple, Healthy, Packable Lunch.


  1. Gorgeous photos Foy. The muffins look great but totally understand if you're on ww. That is a lot of points... but yumm!!

  2. So - recipe analyzer. tell me more. i often try and figure 'about how many' calories are in the things i make just by looking at the amounts of flour and fat i use. that's not very precise.

    and as far as muffins go: try that banana muffin recipe i made a while ago. Zero fat or sugar added and they're super delicious and satisfying. both of us love them and i've been making them almost every other week. super good - and you can add stuff to each batch differently to make them vary. the last batch i threw in some coconut and pecans, had to increase the time in the oven a bit.
    email me if you can't find the recipe, i'll dig it up.

  3. oooh they DO look lovely :) I bet I could make a GF version too - thanks for sharing the recipe!

  4. Anonymous4/18/2010

    Great blog. The food looks awesome!! I am completely going to add some of that to my diet. check out my blog Fitness Achievement

  5. Spark People has a recipe analyser here: http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp

    You just enter the amounts and number of servings and whala!

    So where is this magical banana bread recipe? I need a link, I'm lazy.

  6. that girl down south4/19/2010

    The muffins look great. I'm on WW too and that would be a large points value. Have you tried baking with apple sauce instead of oils? It will be a little more dense but these would taste jut as great and have lower calories.

  7. The irony is this recipe does use pureed apple. It just also uses oil AND butter. Should have read the information more carefully.

    I found a yummy lemon poppy seed muffin recipe I'll share this week. And Miranda says she's got a good banana bread muffin. I'm sure there are good options we just have to find them.

  8. Via Miranda:

    here you go. transcribed from an index card on my kitchen counter:

    3 large bananas, well ripe. (last time i used four bananas and just increased all other amounts by 'a little bit' and had to cook another 5-10 minutes.
    3-4 medjool dates pitted and chopped (not part of the original recipe, buti think they are what make these so freakin' delicious
    1 bigish egg
    1 tsp cinnamon (i combine straight cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice)
    1 tsp soda
    1/2 tsp sea salt
    1 1/2 C wheat flour (i've used both just regular ww flour, and flour i've freshly ground from dehydrated, sprouted whole wheat.)
    1/3 cup applesauce (you could sub butter per the original recipe, but why!?)

    mash naners, add cinnamon and egg - beat it a little. add sauce and mix. top with the dry, mix together, mix into the wet.

    plop into muffin tins - you can make them small or big. they will puff up. the last two times i've filled the tins all the way and got very nice, muffiny looking muffins. 375 for 20 minutes.

    last time i added some chopped pecans and shredded coconut for variety. SO GOOD. but had to cook a little longer.

  9. These look great. And 300 calories?!?! Makes it better.