Gluten-Free Carrot Cake Muffins
Wake up with a warm and lovely carrot cake muffin.
Ah, January. We're in it, now. Winter is in full swing. Which makes yours truly want to crank up the oven and bake- and with skies as gray and thick as old flannel, darling, it has to be muffins.
Something bright and light and perfect with tea. Something fun to lo lift our cabin-feverish spirits. Something, perhaps, like these tender little bundles of gluten-free joy. So cute and sunny.
I love the carroty color. The subtly fragrant texture of coconut flour and quinoa flakes. A hint of cinnamon and ginger. A bite of raisin.
Seriously tea worthy.
And more fiber rich than say, a powdered donut. Or your average gluten-free bagel which is nothing but starch (not that I have anything against starch these days; I am rather embracing Doris of late). But this is a treat you can eat without a heavy helping of self-imposed guilt on top.
Truth is I don't count calories or worry about dieting.
At my age (or any age?) I think worrying can make you gain weight.
Focusing on all the food you can't have. Thinking about how many bites is too much. Cutting back so drastically on caloric intake or carbs or fat that your blood sugar plunges faster than a carnival ride. You don't want to be around me if I'm on a diet- or a low-carb regimen. I am one wildly cranky be-atch.
I lose brain cells.
I see flashing lights.
I tip over.
I claw through the refrigerator overwhelmed with the gnawing sensation of deprivation.
Until I find the long lost bag of gluten-free pretzels.
Then I'm done.
And done in.
So I don't bother with the details when I need to
I do try to keep moving. Because the reason I gain a pie roll this time of year has less to do with carbs and fat grams than you think. It's not the morning muffin that gives me my muffin top. It's the hibernation. The paucity of exercise. The bump on the log that I become once the sun sets- at 4:42 PM.
It's hard to burn calories watching reruns of Mad Men and Downton Abbey.
Unless you're on a treadmill.
Which, sadly, I am allergic to.
Really I am.
Karina's Gluten-Free Wheat-Free Carrot Cake Muffins RecipeRecipe posted January 2011, and revamped 2016 by Karina Allrich.
I've made these beauties with various flour combos. It's a forgiving recipe. Lately I like the combo of fresh ground oat flour and sweet rice flour, with cornmeal (all certified gluten-free, of course). Coconut flour adds texture and fiber to this tender muffin. But if you cannot use coconut flour, try the cornmeal I now use, or almond/hazelnut flour.
1 cup sorghum or gluten-free oat flour
1 cup sweet rice flour or potato starch (not potato flour- too heavy)
1/2 cup organic coconut flour or GF cornmeal
1/2 cup quinoa flakes or flax seed meal
1 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup organic light brown sugar
3 beaten organic free-range eggs (or Ener-G Egg Replacer for 2 eggs, mixed)
1/2 cup light olive oil, or your favorite organic healthy oil
1/3 cup plain non-dairy or plain dairy yogurt
2 teaspoons bourbon vanilla
1/2 to 3/4 cup light coconut milk/non-dairy milk/milk - as needed
1 cup finely grated organic carrots
1/2 rounded cup organic raisins or cranberries- if you prefer a touch of tart
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a 12-muffin pan with paper liners.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
Beat in the eggs, oil, yogurt and vanilla and see where you're at. (If your batter contains coconut flour and/or quinoa flakes, both soak up liquid, so don't be surprised if the batter is quite stiff at first.)
Add in the coconut milk, a quarter of a cup at a time, until the batter resembles a smooth, thick cake batter. Stop adding liquid when you've achieved the right consistency. If it's still stiff add more liquid a tablespoon at a time to loosen it up a bit. (It took a total 3/4 cup of coconut milk for me to achieve this- your mileage may vary.)
When the batter is smooth and happy, stir in the carrots, raisins and walnuts.
Spoon the muffin batter into twelve lined muffin cups. You may have a tablespoon or two extra batter. I fill my muffin cups almost to the top. If you like slightly smaller muffins, this batter will make a baker's dozen. Smooth out the tops with wet fingers.
Bake in the center of a pre-heated oven for 22 minutes or so, until domed and golden and firm to a light touch.
Remove from the hot pan as quickly as possible to cool the muffins on a wire rack (keep those bottoms from getting soggy, Girls and Boys!).
Amazing warm from the oven. The best. Wrap and freeze for easy on-the-go breakfast treats. Warming them in a microwave makes them more flavorful and tender.
Makes 12-13 muffins.