If you have resolved to include more whole grains, nuts and seeds in your diet this year, these are the muffins for you. Even better, they include grated carrots and apple - both front and center in most winter farmers markets. The recipe is adapted from Ottolenghi, a great resource for Mediterranean-inspired and just plain tasty recipes. These are great for breakfast, lunch boxes and afternoon snacks.
Happy new year!
Adapted, slightly, fromOttolenghi
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
a pinch of salt (about 1/8 teaspoon)
1 cup canola oil
1 cup Turbinado sugar (you can also reduce the amount of sweetener or try Agave or maple syrup)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup grated Granny Smith apples (about 1 large apple)
1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
½ cup whole wheat flour
¼ cup light brown sugar
½ cup rolled oats
3 tablespoons sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
2 teaspoons black sesame seeds (or poppy seeds)
2 teaspoons water
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 tablespoons honey
Start by making the topping. In a bowl, stir together the butter, flour and sugar. Rub with your fingertips until the butter is incorporated and you have a crumbly texture. Mix in the oats and the seeds and then the water, oil and honey. Stir everything together until it has a moist, sandy texture. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 325. Line a muffin tray.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla and grated carrot and apple. Gently fold in the nuts and coconut and then the sifted flour mixture. Do not overmix, and don’t worry if the batter is lumpy and irregular. Spoon into the lined tins and scatter with topping generously over the top. Bake for about 25 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the muffins from the tins when they’re just warm and allow them to cool down before serving. Their flavor will actually improve after a couple of hours (although I had to try one right away and I have to say it was pretty great warm with a dab of butter.)