Apple-Carrot Muffins


At the end of every September,  I find myself up to my eyeballs in apples. Between the trips to the farm where my kids pick them right off the tree, and stops by the farmer's market where apples get sold by the bucket, and visits to the grocery store where apples are on sale for pennies to the pound, I start to wonder what the heck to do with all of 'em. This humble recipe is one that I've been making for a few years and I appreciate its ease (there's no peeling, coring or chopping required) and its practicality (you can make a batch, freeze them, and then pop one out to eat for breakfast or throw in the lunchbox as a snack).

With all the overly sweet apple recipes out there, this one uses a scant amount of sugar and is sweetened naturally with fruit and made even more wholesome with whole wheat flour. My 2-year-old and 5-year-old enjoy making this with me as much as they would like making an apple pie or an apple crisp, and I like having something in the house that's both fun to make together and that I can feel good about serving my whole family.

Apple-Carrot Muffins makes 12 muffins

Ingredients: 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour 1/4 cup sugar 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup grated carrots (from about 2 large carrots) 1 cup grated apples (from about 1 large apple) 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce 2 eggs 1/4 cup whole milk 1/4 cup canola oil 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick spray or use muffin liners. Grate the carrots and apples using a box grater. Set aside In a large bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda. In a separate bowl, stir together the carrots, apples, applesauce, eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Pour the carrot-apple mixture into the flour mixture, and stir until just combined. Do not over mix. Divide the batter evenly into muffin cups and bake 20 minutes or until a toothpick in the center of a muffin comes out clean.