At family functions I am often faced with an overwhelming variety of refined-sugar-only treats, and indulging in them creates the prospect of a broken sleeping pattern for my child who I am still nursing. Fortunately, it keeps me away from too much sugar, which I don’t need in my diet anyway…
But I have a sweet tooth, and love, LOVE the texture of cake. This problem is usually easily solved – my adapted version of Nigella’s Chocolate Olive Oil Cake is healthy-cake-bliss defined. But with sugar cravings, and no ground almonds lying about, today I needed to bake using what I had on hand. And so the Carrot, Apple and Date Muffin was born.
They are neither wheat, nor gluten free, but are bereft of other ingredients that health nuts would love to have excluded from their snacks. That is, oil and sugar.
The muffin is lightly spiced, and moist as ever.
Also, they freeze well and taste freshly-baked after reheating (they tend to become sweeter when left to stand). It’s perfect as a grab-and-go addition to any lunchbox, and a wonderful accompaniment to spiced tea.
Despite working with the little that I had in my pantry, these were a success. Feel free to make your own substitutions to come up with an equally good (or better) version!
1 1/2 cups wholewheat flour
1 cup ground oats/ oat flour
1/2 cup bran
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 t mixed spice*
1/2 t ginger spice*
3 small apples, grated
1 cup of small pitted dates (I used the Montague brand)
1 cup milk
4 T honey
1 t hazelnut essence/ essence of your choice
*if you don’t have these specific spices, substitute with nutmeg and cinnamon. Both are warm spices which pair well with carrot. How much you add depends on your preference. Remember that too much spice creates a bitter taste.
1. Combine wholewheat flour, ground oats, bran, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
2. Add carrots, apple and dates (chopped up in tiny pieces).
3. In a separate bowl, combine remainder of ingredients.
4. Pour liquid ingredients over dry and mix.
5. Place into muffin cups/ silicone tray and bake at 180C for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.