Spiced Carrot Muffins

I made Spiced Carrot Muffins from the January/February 2004 issue of Everyday Food as a New Year’s Day breakfast treat for Dr. O. I was especially drawn to this recipe because the muffin batter is meant to be frozen in individual portions.

I decided to bake 4 muffins and freeze 8, so I actually started with two muffin tins. I put 4 paper liners in one and 8 paper liners in the other. I set the tins aside and combined my dry ingredients in a large bowl: 2 1/4 cups of flour, 3/4 cup of sugar, 2 teaspoons of pumpkin-pie spice, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 3/4 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

In a separate bowl, I whisked together 2/3 cup of plain low-fat yogurt, 4 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter, and 1 large egg. I made a well in the center of the flour mixture and added the yogurt mixture. I stirred everything together until just combined and then folded in 2 1/2 cups of shredded carrots with a spatula.

I divided the batter evenly among the 12 paper liners. (They were each about 3/4 of the way full.) I baked 4 of the muffins immediately at 375 F for 20 minutes. They were delicious! If you wanted to make them seem like more of a “treat,” they’d be great with a drizzle of powdered sugar glaze as well. Regardless, this is a great way to sneak in some vegetables at breakfast.

spiced_carrot_muffins.jpg

While the 4 muffins baked, I put the other tin of 8 muffins into the freezer. After 30 minutes, the batter was firm. I removed the unbaked muffins from the muffin tin and placed them in a freezer bag for later use. They can be stored for 3 months. Frozen muffins should be baked for about 30 minutes at 375 F.

TIPS: I was a bit concerned that my batter was too dry right after I stirred the yogurt mixture into the dry ingredients. The carrots added a good amount of moisture, thankfully. The batter won’t be runny, but it will fall off a spoon pretty easily when it’s time to transfer it to the muffin tin.

If you decide to freeze some of the muffins, make sure you put the frozen portions back into a muffin tin before you bake them so they’ll hold their shape.

Recipe link: Spiced Carrot Muffins

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