I’m always a little wary to post rich, buttery baked goods and desserts in January. People seem to be shouting from the rooftops— or at least social media, “New Year, New Me!” I love to bake, but I don’t want to mess up anyone’s 2019 diet plan!
But it’s January, and it’s COLD and snowy and perfect baking weather! I may live in New York that gets its fair share of wintry weather, but the city isn’t prepared for “feels like 2 degree" weather. So of course, I spent the past weekend snuggled up inside—baking.
I adapted a recipe that a neighbor shared, and I came up with these health-ier mini muffins. They are healthy-ish because they are full of good stuff— carrots, apples, and sunflower seeds, and they use all wheat flour and coconut oil, making each muffin hearty and nourishing despite their “mini” size. They have less sugar than other muffin recipes, but the plumped raisins add bits of sweetness (naturally-occurring sugar!) throughout.
Feel free to swap out half (or all) of the sunflower seeds for chopped walnuts or sliced almonds. I also topped the muffins with sunflower seeds to give them flair while adding crunchy texture.
Healthier Mini Muffins Recipe
Makes 2 dozen mini muffins
1/4 cup raisins (1.5 ounces)
1 cup wheat flour (130 g)
1/2 cup brown sugar (light or dark, 100 g)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup grated carrots (3.5 ounces, about 1 large carrot)
1/2 large green apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
1/4 cup sweetened, shredded coconut (0.75 ounces)
1/3 cup sunflower seeds, plus more for sprinkling on top.
1/3 cup vegetable OR coconut oil (if using coconut oil and it’s solid, gently heat until it becomes liquid
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375. Line a mini muffin tray with 24 muffin cups.
Plump the raisins: place the raisins in a small bowl. Cover them with hot water. Let them soak while preparing the remainder of the muffin batter.
Whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl.
Stir in the grated carrots, apples, coconut, and seeds.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, coconut oil, orange juice and vanilla extract. Add to flour mixture and stir until combined. Add the drained raisins and stir them in.
Scoop the batter into the prepared pan. The batter should come to the top of the pan. Sprinkle sunflower seeds on top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 12 -14 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Then, remove the muffins and allow them to cool on a cooling rack.
Enjoy them as is, or slather with butter, jam or cream. These can be stored for up to three days in an air tight container.