Thursday, 13 February 2014

Innocent Carrot Muffins

I'm a traditionalist. I believe patisserie is all about sugar and chocolate and butter and cream and all those other nasties that dieticians would have you avoid. If I'm going to order a dessert, I'm going to order the most indulgent, the most sickly, the most naughiest one they have on the menu. None of this half-arsed bullshit. It's all or nothing. If you're going to be all 'how many calories does that have in it?', then why even bother? 

Whenever my boyfriend, Steve, and I have dinner plans I always tell him, 'why not skip the main and go straight for dessert?'. There's not point in hiding it, I have a sweet tooth. It's the main reason I never get an entree at a restaurant. Because I know, without a doubt, I would not be able to fit dessert in (which for me is the most important meal on the menu). 

However, my love for sugar and spice and all things nice can not deter my attention from the latest craze that is whole food diets. This means food that is as close to their natural form as possible. With the increasing number of people consuming whole foods such, fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes it makes it hard for an avid baker, like me, to appeal to this growing epidemic.

So, if you can't beat 'em, join em. 

This recipe is slightly adapted from one I got from my Mum. These muffins are gluten, refined sugar and dairy free, making it the perfect snack for people on whole-food diets, or those with allergies/intolerances. I'm a bit of a health nut at times, and even though my love for pure indulgence is ever strong, I don't mind eating something sweet without the added guilt. 

In saying that, these are not your ordinary muffins. They are quiet dense and moist and definitely not as sweet. I've only used a tablespoon of sweetener but by all means you add as much, or none, as you like. Change the spices, add some nuts, coconut, pineapple. There are so many way's you could adapt this recipe, just keep the base ingredients the same and the world is your oyster. 

My aunty, being gluten intolerant, asked me for more gluten free recipes on my blog. Well Tommy, this one is for you. I hope you all enjoy! 

3 eggs
1 cup Pie Apple
1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
200g Almond Meal
2 teaspoon Cinnamon 
1 teaspoon Ginger
3 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 cup grated Carrot
1/3 cup unsweetened Sultanas
Walnuts (for decorating) 

To make the muffins...
Preheat oven to 180°C and line a muffin tin with muffin cases. 

Firstly, separate the eggs with the whites in one bowl and the yolks in another. Beat the egg whites in an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Set aside. 

In the bowl with the egg yolks, add the pie apple, maple syrup, oil and vanilla. Blend until reasonably smooth. You can do this in a food processor or with a stick blender, like a bamix. 

Place all the dry ingredients and the carrot in a large bowl and mix to combine. Add in the apple puree and mix until it just starts to come together. Add in one third of the egg whites and fold through (this will help break up the mixture without letting to much air out of the whites). Add the remaining egg whites and fold gently until well combined. 

Fill each muffin case 1/3 full with mixture and place a whole walnut on top. Bake for 20 minutes or until lightly golden. Allow to cool, if you can wait that long, and eat. 

Why not try...
Re-heat muffin in the microwave. Serve with extra apple, maple syrup and yoghurt for a scrumptious breakfast. 

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