Vegan carrot orange muffins

Last year, searches for vegan recipes were up 90 percent.

It’s a major food trend for 2017.

Good-bye unicorn-themed desserts and pizza-stuffed pizza. Hello healthy!

This is the year of creative cauliflower dishes, buddha bowls and sexy smoothies. And, as much as I love my junk food, I’m totally for this new regime.

I don’t have any interest in living a vegan lifestyle (give me ice cream or give me death). But, I absolutely love the idea of getting more creative with my recipes and incorporating more plant-based foods into my diet. It’s better for the environment, aids digestion and adds an extra fun challenge to my blogging routine.

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Carrot cake is one of my weaknesses. I’m a big fan of the big, gooey, ugly carrot cakes slathered with sweet cream cheese frosting and studded with walnuts. It’s so hearty and delicious.

Nothing will ever replace cream cheese frosting in my heart, but these muffins do a damn good job as carrot cake’s healthier stand-in.

This recipe is vegan, but not gluten-free.

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I’ve tried to do gluten-free baking before and failed. It takes practice and a lot of expensive ingredients to test recipes that end up bombing. That’s partially why I kept this one gluten-friendly. I also don’t believe in cutting gluten out of your diet if you don’t suffer from celiac disease. It just isn’t a smart decision and, much of the hype you read around going gluten-free isn’t fact-based. It’s merely testimonials. If you don’t believe me, read this from Harvard Medical School.

Any gluten-free baking I do is just for the fun of it, not because I believe gluten is bad. Long live gluten!

End rant. On with the recipe!

I cut out much of the added sugar you’d find in a typical carrot muffin recipe. This recipe has just 1/3 cup of brown sugar and some molasses. Instead of sugar, this muffin relies on the sweetness from the carrots, apples and flavour from the orange and cinnamon.

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It’s dense and hearty, but doesn’t make you feel the way you do after a big cake-y muffin from the cafe (you should have just had the donut).

Plus, it’s pretty affordable to make. Yes, coconut oil is pricey. But, if you’re on a budget just swap it out for canola oil. Still vegan and easier on the wallet!

Oh, and no stand mixer! I mixed these babies completely by hand (sorry, KitchenAid, I still love you).

For 2017, I want to keep making recipes that people want to make. So, if you have any recipes you’d love to see, please tell me in the comments. It would make my morning!

Vegan carrot orange muffins
Makes 12

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup of coconut oil or vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 1/3 cup of brown sugar
  • 2.5 tbsp ground flax + 4 tbsp water*
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest
  • 2 tbsp orange juice, or the juice of half a large orange
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 cup of oats
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • A pinch of cloves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 large apple, grated
  • 1 1/4 cup carrot, grated

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350ΒΊF. Line a muffin tray with paper liners.
  2. Melt coconut oil in the microwave. Stir together with sugar and molasses. Add flax and water combination (full instructions below). Stir again.
  3. Add orange juice and orange zest. Stir in flour, oats, soda, spices and almond milk. If it feels too thick, add another tbsp or two of almond milk. Fold in apple and carrot.
  4. Spoon into muffin cups, filling each one. Bake for 20 minutes, testing with a toothpick at 15 minutes to ensure they don’t over bake.
  5. Cool completely and enjoy!*This is a “flax egg.” Basically, a vegan substitute. I simply grind whole flax seeds in the blenderΒ until they are powdery. Add water. Let sit for five minutes and add to recipe. Minimalist Baker outlines it very well here.Β 

Yum

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