Hello Spring! These Healthy Carrot Muffins scream spring in my house! They are light, airy, fluffy and best of all, they are good for you.
There is something about using carrots in recipes during the spring! They aren’t growing outside so I’m not sure where it comes from, except that we see a lot of bunnies and carrots in springtime. If you have a theory, I’d love to hear it. We make carrot cake during the spring, especially at Easter, and these carrot muffins just might make it onto the Easter morning table this year. At least it will offset the candy that I am about to consume.
🍋 Using Applesauce as an Oil Substitution
We used applesauce as an oil substitution before, but I do want to address it here just in case you haven’t heard of this before. I buy the little 4-6 packs of applesauce (individually packaged) so I can use them for baking without oil.
Applesauce is used as an oil substitute in a 1:1 ratio. That’s it! No magic math has to happen here. If a recipe you are making calls for one cup of oil (gasp!) then simply measure out one cup of applesauce instead to make it so much healthier.
Don’t be afraid to do this in most baked goods. I have a lot of success doing this with muffins, cup cakes, cake mixes and brownies. You can’t taste the applesauce at all so you aren’t losing a thing.
If you haven’t tried it before and are nervous, try it with a $1 cake mix so your investment and your time is very little. You will be shocked how great it turns out.
🍽️ Healthy Options
We love a great Carrot Muffin Recipe but like to make it healthier. We are constantly looking at ways to do that in recipes we already love.
This is a great example. We used applesauce as the oil base here and we used a healthier whole wheat flour. Both of these minor changes yield better results on my waistline while allowing me to still have a muffin with my coffee.
These muffins are also jam packed full of carrots. THREE full cups are used here and they provide hidden veggies for little ones and frankly, for myself! Try to think that through – that is about ¼ of a cup of shredded carrots in each muffin! I’ll take that.
You shouldn’t have any trouble making these carrot muffins. They are sweet but not too sweet, and easy to make. Here are the main ingredients:
Applesauce – To give you the most moist and flavorful muffins, using applesauce is the way to go. We use plain unsweetened applesauce, but you could use a flavored or sweetened variety instead.
Whole Wheat Flour – Using whole wheat flour gives you an extra boost of nutrients. Plus, I think it adds to how great the carrot muffins taste. They are truly delicious with the whole wheat flour, but you could swap it for all-purpose flour if needed.
Carrots – While I have pointed out, you get a lot of carrots in each muffin. That is what makes them so sweet and tasty. By adding carrots, you are getting vitamin A, potassium, fiber, iron, and calcium. What’ snot to love about that?
These are so easy to whip up. You can prepare these in less than ten minutes before you add them to the oven. In a large bowl, combine the wet ingredients: egg, applesauce, honey, melted butter and vanilla extract. Stir until fully combined. In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients: whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Add half of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, stir well, then add the carrots. Combine fully before adding the remaining flour mixture. Line a muffin pan with paper or silicone liners, and then portion 1/4 cup of batter into each liner.
Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let them cool in the muffin pan for two minutes.
🥣 Optional Cream Cheese Frosting
If you are making these for a special occasion and want to really jazz these up, you can make a simple Cream Cheese Frosting. Of course, this isn’t the healthiest option, but it tastes phenomenal!
Combine 4 oz of cream cheese (softened), 1 ¼ cup of powdered sugar, ¼ cup butter at room temperature and ½ tsp of vanilla together with your hand mixer and spread on the muffins or use a gallon zip lock bag and pipe it on. Simply place the frosting in the bag and cut off a bit of the corner and pipe it on the muffins. Sweet and simple!
🥄 How to Meal Prep
These muffins are great for meal prep as there are a couple of things you can do here to save some time. You can prep the evening before using these tips and tricks:
- Shred the carrots ahead of time and place them in the refrigerator.
- Measure out all of the DRY ingredients and put in a bowl and cover.
- Prep the remaining items on the counter so you can simply dump and go!
- Line the muffin liners in the muffin time.
Combine and dump into the muffin liners and they are ready to pop in the oven. The oven may not even be done preheating at this point – it is that fast!
🍴 Silicone Liners or Silicone Muffin Tin
These are mentioned above so I want to take a minute and talk about them. If you haven’t tried these, you need to give them a test drive in your kitchen. It’s a little hard to put your head around the fact that these are silicone and go in the oven. They don’t melt or seep into your food.
I love that you can bake with them and you don’t need to use liners. You don’t even need nonstick spray. I love any option that I can use LESS non stick spray with my food.
They are dishwasher, freezer and oven safe so you can do anything to these that you do to your normal everyday muffin tin.
📌 If you are a muffin lover like we are over here, check out these other ones!
Healthy Zucchini Muffins – These are another great muffin that has the hidden vegetables inside. These muffins have no aftertaste and my husband says they just taste really clean. I love that! If you are new to eating a bit cleaner, these may taste a bit bland – I won’t lie. The more that you eat them, though, the more your mouth goes – wait – this is how food is supposed to taste!
Healthy Pumpkin Yogurt Muffins – I love anything pumpkin. The yogurt is the magic here to make these so healthy. The pumpkin keeps everything tasty and moist.
Blueberry Lemon Muffins – These are the muffins you need for every holiday, baby shower and brunch. They taste like you are a special bakery. I just have a little latte to go with them!
Blueberry Muffins – If you need a delicious muffin with no fuss, then this is the one we go to everytime. I can whip these up with my eyes closed and they go over so well no matter where I take them.
Healthy Carrot Muffin Recipe
- 1 cup applesauce
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking solda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 cup grated carrots approx 3
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, combine egg, applesauce, honey, melted butter and vanilla. Stir until fully combined. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Add half of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, stir well and then add carrots. Combine fully before adding remaining flour mixture.
- Line muffin pan with paper or use silicone liners and then portion 1/4cup of batter into each liner.
- Bake for 22-25 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.