Another batch of healthy muffins, another hit with the kids! These are great for kids (and adults) of all ages and make a great lunchbox snack.
Most Fridays I try to bake something for the kids, with the kids to make snacks easy over the weekend. By encouraging them to help me (not that they need much encouragement), I find that they are more willing to eat whatever it is that has been cooked. It also helps to teach them the basics of food and that food doesn’t need to come out of a packet, not that my kids have much packeted food, which I’m sure they think they miss out…one day they’ll realise!
Muffins are a great snack where vegetables can be included along with fruit to make them super tasty. And even though the kids see the veggies going into them, they are not deterred at all. These particular muffins are pretty much a healthy carrot cake with some blueberries added. Top it off with cream cheese icing and everybody’s tummy is happy.
Peeling the carrot is very important when making any sort of muffin or cake containing carrot. If you don’t remove the skin, once baked, the carrot skin can start to turn green, making it look like mould. So to avoid any confusion, take the time to peel the carrots.
Whenever I make muffins, I use my trusty silicone patty pans, which are obviously reusable, but also only hold about 1/2 a cup of mixture, so are a perfect size. And, at this size they also make a good breakfast option (maybe without the cream cheese icing) served with a couple of dollops of natural yoghurt and a cup of tea. If you are serious about having these for breakfast, you could replace half of the flour with rolled oats to make them more wholesome and filling.
These muffins will keep well for about 4 days in the fridge or will also freeze really well.
Makes 16 muffins
- 2 cups wholemeal flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbs cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 6-8 dried dates, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and grated
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 cup reduced fat milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- 1/2 cup crushed pineapple (in juice NOT syrup)
- 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
Cream Cheese Icing:
- 125g cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup icing sugar
- 1-2 tbs milk
- Preheat oven to 180°C and line muffin tins with patty pans.
- Place the dates into a small bowl and cover with boiling water (~1-2 tbs) and leave for 10 minutes to rehydrate.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix. Add the eggs, oil and milk and stir well.
- Add the grated carrot, dates (including liquid), blueberries, pineapple and walnuts and mix to combine. Do not over mix or the mixture will turn blue from the blueberries.
- Divide mixture between patty pans and cook for ~25 minutes until they spring back when touched. Allow to cool completely.
- Once cooled, prepare the cream cheese icing by beating cream cheese and icing sugar with an electric beater until smooth. Add in milk and beat for another minute and spread thinly over muffins.