First of all – Happy New Year! I’ve been somewhat of a revision hermit (what else) for the past week or so. Let’s just say January exams are not the one. I’ve had time to procrastibake, of course, but I see it as a sort of morning-meditation. The light is good, I’m feeling hungry enough to spark creativity but not so hungry that I’d eat a bowl of plain porridge.
This particular batch of blueberry muffins happened last week as I’m a fiend for that cinnamon-crusted muffin top (so much so that it’s part of the reason this blog is called Top With Cinnamon), and was craving it badly. We seem to always have a well-stocked freezer at home with an abundance of blueberries, rhubarb, raspberries from the previous months. It means blueberry muffins in January are a thing that can happen. I did some cupboard foraging and found we had dried blueberries too – score!
Since doing the whole sugar free thang, my mum and I like to keep a jar of mushed dates in the fridge for cooking/baking with. It’s a simple thing to make and is endlessly useful (plus it’s delicious on a piece of toast with almond butter!). I incorporated it into the muffin batter, along with a grated carrot, in lieu of any refined sugar. As a compromise, I sprinkled a bit of demerara on top of each muffin for a sweet crunch 😉
Ah yes and a note on the carrots – I grated them on the fine side of the box grater which rendered them into more of a carrot mush. I did this becuase I wanted to be able to squeeze the juice out (reserving it) to be left with carrot pulp. This meant I could add the juice back into the muffin in a measured amount so the batter was the right consistency. It also means that the carrot shreds were undetectable due to their small size. I imagine that you could use carrot/apple pulp from juicing or nut pulp from making nut milk in it’s place. See the notes for a weighed amount if you do want to try that.
Blueberry-Carrot Muffins (GF, refined sugar-free)
- 100 g carrot , grated on the fine side of a box grater (see notes)
- 50 g (1/4 cup) unsalted butter or 40g (1/4 cup) coconut oil (melted)
- 2 tbsp date paste (see notes)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 30 g (1/3 cup) ground almonds
- 35 g (1/3 cup) gram flour (or 35g oat flour/ 40g buckwheat flour)
- 35 g (1/3 cup) oat flour, gf if needed (or 40g buckwheat flour)
- 100 g (generous handful) frozen blueberries
- 3 tbsp dried blueberries or raisins , optional
- 1 tbsp demerara (raw) sugar or coconut sugar
- 1 heaped tsp ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F). Line 6 cups of a muffin tin with muffin papers or grease the tin well with some butter or coconut oil.
Gather the grated carrot in your hands and hold it over a bowl. Squeeze it to release as much of the juice as possible. Take this carrot 'pulp' and place it into a medium mixing bowl. Measure out 90ml (1/4 cup + 2 tbsp) of the carrot juice from the bowl - if you don't have enough juice, make it up to 90ml with water. Add the measured carrot juice to the carrot pulp in the mixing bowl.
Add the melted butter, date paste, vanilla and egg to the mixing bowl and stir well to combine.
Add the baking powder, ground almonds, gram flour, oat flour, frozen blueberries and dried blueberries (if using) to the bowl. Stir until just combined.
Divide the batter between the 6 lined muffin cups. Stir together the topping ingredients (if using) and sprinkle over the muffin batter.
Bake for 23-27 minutes, when a toothpick inserted into the centre of a muffin should come out clean.
Leave to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before eating. Store at room temp in a sealed container for up to 3 days.
- My mum and I affectionately refer to date paste as date mush. All you do to make it is take a whole pack of dates (doesn't matter how many you have), pit them and place into a bowl. Pour over boiling water, just enough to cover them, and leave them for about 15 minutes. Once softened, use a fork to smush the dates into a rough paste. I prefer a chunky paste for baking with as you get little nuggets of date here and there but if you prefer a smooth paste, blend it up using a hand blender or regular blender until smooth. Store the date mush in the fridge, it keeps for a few weeks. We use it for everyday cooking/baking and even on toast!
- For the carrot pulp: I grated 100g of carrot (about 1 medium) on the fine side of a grater. I then squeezed the grated carrot over a bowl to release as much juice from it as possible. When weighed after squeezing I had 44g of this carrot 'pulp'. I added all the pulp to the batter along with 90ml of the carrot 'juice'. If you want to use carrot/apple pulp leftover from juicing or nut pulp leftover from making nut milk, I'd recommend using 44g of pulp along with 90ml of cow's milk, nut milk or fruit juice.