This past weekend I decided to travel to Tampa to visit some of my closest friends and partake in the infamous “brunching ritual” that has clearly become the newest craze. I do have to say, whoever decided to come up with the idea of getting to sleep in way past normal breakfast time and then spend hours drinking and eating only the most delicious and sometimes super weird (I had a Bloody Mary with a smoked rib and BBQ rub on it for crying out loud) food and drinks, I want to be my best friend. Needless to say, while I had an absolute blast, a weekend with friends I haven’t seen in a while, coupled with a new brunch adventure, only meant one thing: my liver needed a break and a really good detox.
My Sundays are usually my meal prep day. So when I got home that afternoon, partially dehydrated and craving a salad, I thought, instead of just prepping for lunches at work, why not prep something healthy for my mornings as well. So that’s when I decided to take one of my favorite breakfast foods, muffins (brunch has inspired me!) (has anyone seen that muffin video?)and make a healthy, feel good about yourself and erase the effects of drinking version. The result: Whole Wheat Carrot Pineapple Muffins.
And guess what? Like most of my other recipes, this one was just as simple. Definitely beginner level. I try to make things practical and easy so anyone can do it, usually with most ingredients already found in the kitchen.
This recipe uses only natural sugars from honey and fruit. No added or hidden alternatives. There are heart healthy fats from the walnuts, and healthy, filling fiber and carbs from the whole wheat.
Dry ingredients are mixed in one bowl and wet ingredients are mixed in another bowl. I whisked my dry ingredients together to give the whole wheat flour a bit more air since this type of flour is usually pretty dense to begin with. You then add the dry ingredients into the wet and stir just to combine.
The walnuts, carrots, and vanilla are added at the very end. I made sure to chop my walnuts extra small so they got dispersed throughout the batter evenly. I like having the taste all around, but if you prefer bigger chunks that’s ok too. In addition, instead of grating the carrots, I bought pre-shredded carrots and chopped those extra fine, which worked just as well, if not better since it prevented my fingers from getting chewed up by the grater and reigned in the flying carrot mess that usually ensues.
The muffins get baked between 15-20 minutes, depending on your oven and how much batter you put in the muffin tins. The recipe makes 12 small muffins (or less if you decide to supersize).
These muffins are a great addition to some scrambled eggs and coffee in the morning. Fruit, healthy fat, fiber, energy boosting carbs. Tasty and healthy. Keeps you feeling full longer so you won’t snack on unhealthy foods. What more could you want to start your day off right?
WHOLE WHEAT CARROT PINEAPPLE MUFFINS
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup oil
2 large eggs, beaten, room temperature
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup unsweetened crush pineapple, drained
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Combine the honey, oil, and beaten eggs in a medium bowl and stir to mix well.
- Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon in a separate bowl.
- Add the dry ingredients to the liquid ingredients and stir until just blended. DO NOT OVERMIX.*
- Add the vanilla, grated carrots, pineapple, and walnuts. Stir until just blended.
- Spray a muffin tin or line with paper liners and fill 2/3 full.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes.
*When working with whole wheat flour, the gluten is already a bit tougher and denser than regular all-purpose flour. The best way to not have rock hard or dense, chewy muffins is to whisk the dry ingredients together and then, when combining the liquid and dry ingredients, still just to incorporation. If you stir too much, you add too much air, which starts the gluten formation too early and can cause the muffins to get denser and tougher instead of lighter and fluffier. The simple whisking in the beginning will add just the right amount of air needed without over mixing.*