Saturday, 2 January 2010

The 21st Century Housewife's© Carrot, Coconut and Pecan Muffins

I get an organic vegetable box every week, and do try to plan meals around it, but every once in a while I end up with things left over when the next box arrives. I first developed this recipe when I ended up with too many carrots and needed to find a tasty way to use them up. These almost border on being cupcakes, but the whole wheat flour, carrot and nuts are really good for you (and they don’t have icing) so I think they still qualify as a muffin!

2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup coconut
1 cup grated carrot
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2/3 cup oil
(sunflower or mild olive oil works well, but not extra virgin olive oil)
2 cups buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla

Measure the flours, sugars, baking powder, mixed spice, cinnamon, pecans, coconut and carrots into a large bowl and stir to mix.

Beat the eggs, oil, buttermilk and vanilla in a medium bowl.

Add the egg and milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir thoroughly until well blended, but don’t beat. Divide the mixture between 24 large lined (or greased and floured) muffin cups.

Bake at about 350℉ or 170℃ for 20 to 25 minutes or until a piece of dry spaghetti inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean (ie. with no batter clinging to it). Keep an eye on these in the last five minutes or so of cooking or they will over-brown.

Take the muffin pans out of the oven and remove the muffins from the pans and place on wire racks. These are amazing served warm, so if you can manage to make them first thing in the morning you will be very popular indeed. (However warming muffins made the day before in the microwave or very gently in the oven is a very effective cheat if you, like me, are Not A Morning Person.) Or you can just serve them as a snack anytime.

Cool the remaining muffins and store in a sealed container (in the refrigerator if possible - bring to room temperature or warm in the microwave before eating.) These freeze well, but be sure to wait until they are completely cool before you put them in the freezer.