November 25, 2014

Carrot Apple Muffins - Photo by Judith Hausman (UrbanFarmOnline.com)

As you’re preparing for this week’s Thanksgiving dinner, other meals may fall by the wayside, but they shouldn’t—especially not breakfast. There are many options for serving up a simple yet nutritious breakfast on Thanksgiving morning to prepare you for the day of cooking and feasting ahead. Homemade muffins, for example, are fast, flexible and healthy. You can limit the sugar and fat used while making yummy use of seasonal fruits and vegetables and warming spices and herbs. My recipe for carrot apple muffins combines both sweet, autumn apples and crunchy, fall-harvested carrots.

One of the great things about muffins is that you rarely need to make a special trip to the grocery for ingredients. I used sorghum syrup in this recipe because I love its light but earthy flavor, a nice complement to the apples and carrots. Molasses in its place would provide a nearly gingerbread richness, but brown sugar can also be substituted if that’s what’s handy. Nearly any dairy will work, too: sour milk, buttermilk or yogurt. Some people add flaked coconut to this combination, and while I like the raisins, many people don’t. Try dried cranberries instead.

Healthier muffins like these can help you get a cozy holiday breakfast on the table fast. They’re also portable in a weekday lunch box if you tuck a chunk of cheddar or a spread of cream cheese inside each muffin.

Yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • I large apple, unpeeled and grated
  • 2 medium carrots, grated
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 T. butter, melted, or canola oil
  • 3 T. sorghum, molasses or brown sugar
  • 2 cups flour, part whole wheat
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/3 cups raisins (optional)
  • 1/3 cups walnuts, chopped (optional)

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Mix grated apple and carrot. Beat in milk, egg, butter/oil and sweetener. In separate large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients all at once, being careful not to overmix. If mixture seems too dry, add more milk. Lightly fold in raisins and/or nuts.

Spoon into greased muffin tins. Bake 12 to 18 minutes or until muffin tops are springy to touch.

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