Friday, September 5, 2014

Raspberry Coconut Carrot Cake Muffins – Gluten Free & No Added Sugars

Every week, I visit one of our local corporations to meet with employees for a nutrition class.  We discuss a topic—everything ranging from how to stock a healthy pantry to Vitamin D to improving your mood with food—and I bring a sample of a healthy recipe for everyone to taste.  Some recipes are a huge hit (rice and black bean salad) and some…not-so-much (avocado green smoothie).  Not surprising!   

The recipes they really love are ones that are simple, use everyday ingredients, and offer make-ahead options for healthy meals and snacks.  For people who wake at 4:30 a.m. to go to work, easy healthy breakfasts are a priority.  That’s how this recipe evolved.   

These muffins are grain-free (gluten-free) with no added sugar.  They get protein from almond flour and eggs, and they are loaded with fiber from the almond flour, dates, bananas, carrots and raspberries.  The coconut and coconut oil provides a healthy source of fat, but you can also make these muffins substituting the coconut oil for extra virgin olive oil and the coconut for chopped nuts.  They are delicious that way, too.

And they are easy, easy!  The only downside to this recipe is that almond flour can be expensive.  Look for it in the bulk bins of your local grocery store and it is likely to cost less.  Or, watch for it to go on sale and then stock up.  Just be sure to store opened bags of almond flour in the freezer, because it can go bad quickly.

I made this recipe into mini-muffins (good for kids and snacks), but you can easily make them into larger muffins and just bake them longer.  And if you need extra calories in your morning breakfast (like many of the guys in my class do), just spread a little nut or seed butter on them.    

I hope this recipe makes it easier for you to have a healthy, protein- and fiber-packed breakfast in the morning.

Raspberry Coconut Carrot Cake Muffins

Makes about 28 mini-muffins

2 cups almond flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon ginger
1 cup dates, pitted
2 ripe bananas
3 eggs
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 ½ cups carrots, unpeeled and shredded
1 cup unsweetened, flaked coconut
1 cup frozen raspberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place foil muffin cups on a baking sheet or place liners in muffin tins.  

In a large bowl, combine almond flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice and ginger.

In a food processor, combine dates, bananas, eggs, vinegar and coconut oil.

Add the mixture from the food processor to the dry mixture in the large bowl and stir to combine.  Fold in the carrots, flaked coconut and frozen raspberries. 

Spoon the mixture evenly into paper into the muffin liners.  Bake for 20 minutes, or until the tops are just starting to brown. 

Although we do work with the National Raspberry Council, we were not compensated for this post.  
All our opinions are our own.  We really do just love raspberries!

1 comment:

  1. Something went terribly wrong. Came out too dry.