chocolate chip carrot muffins

This story begins with carrots. More specifically, with a large bunch of carrots purchased from the farmers’ market a couple weeks ago that had slowly begun wilting and looking worse for the wear in the produce drawer of my fridge. I knew they were there. I was well aware of their ongoing dilapidation. And I was determined not to let them waste away before they got their day of glory. When I purchased them I would not have thought they’d end up in a dozen muffins. I doubt they thought that either. Carrots, although naturally pretty sweet (at least, when they’re good), are severely under appreciated as an ingredient in baked goods. There is so much potential in these beta carotene-filled roots! 

The humble carrot brings texture, flavor, nutrition, and color. And, because they are so very good for you, I was inspired to pair them with chocolate chips just to make things a little wild. This is quite a departure from the pairing carrots usually get in baked goods – the earnest raisin. I like raisins. I really do. But they’re not the most exciting ingredient in a baked treat. Maybe because they’re shriveled. Maybe because I’ve bought one too many oatmeal raisin cookies thinking, hoping, and praying it was actually oatmeal chocolate chip (such a better combination!). To this day I have not let a raisin enter a baked good of mine. Chocolate chips, however, are welcome anytime.

The only fault I can find with this recipe is that it only makes a dozen muffins. These little treats make the perfect breakfast on the go, the ideal 2nd breakfast after getting to work, a wonderful pre-lunch treat, mid-afternoon bite, pre-dinner nibble, and midnight snack. Get the picture? Do yourself a favor and double this recipe. You might have enough to last you the work week.

Chocolate Chip Carrot Muffins
Recipe inspired by Keepin’ it Real

Makes 1 dozen muffins

Dry Ingredients
1 c. Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
3/4 c. Oat Flour
1/4 c. brown sugar
1 Tablespoon flaxseed meal
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
small dash cloves
small dash nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c chocolate chips

Wet Ingredients
1/3 c. maple syrup
1/3 c. unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 c. unsweetened almond or soy milk
1/4 c. water
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups (about 4) shredded carrots

Preheat oven to 400 ° F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners.

Mix all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl (except for the chocolate chips). Mix all of the wet ingredients in a medium bowl. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until well combined. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.

Spoon batter into muffin tin, about 2/3 of the way full. If desired, sprinkle top of muffins with oats or sugar.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (15 minutes was perfect for my batch).

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