Thursday, September 5, 2013

At Home: Carrot Banana Morning Muffins

I'm always looking for easy on-the-go breakfast items that we can eat quickly before heading out to work, or simply pack up to take with us for the road.   Next on What Micky Eats...At Home, I experimented with some leftover fruit and veggies I had on hand to make Carrot Banana Morning Muffins.  These easy and tasty muffins are a glorious way to start any day.  No mixer is required - just one big bowl making cleanup a cinch.  The muffins combine the great taste and chewy texture of carrots with the crunch of walnuts, and have a wonderful hint of cinnamon. These muffins are surprisingly moist, even though they're low in fat, thanks to nutritious, flavorful add-ins like banana and Greek yogurt.

Carrot Banana Morning Muffins (Makes 18)
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted (half of one stick)
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 6 oz Greek yogurt (one standard-sized small container; regular yogurt or sour cream may be substituted)
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • ½ cup grated carrots
  • 1/3 cup water 
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 box instant vanilla pudding mix (3.4 oz), optional see notes below
  • ½ teasp cinnamon
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teasp baking soda
  • ½ teasp salt
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees; line muffin pan with paper liners and set aside.
- In a large microwave-safe mixing bowl, melt the butter.
- To the melted butter, add the sugars, eggs, vanilla, and stir or whisk to combine.

- Add yogurt, banana, carrots, nuts, water, and stir to incorporate.

- Add the cinnamon and dry pudding mix (Note: If omitting, you may wish to add an additional ¼ cup granulated sugar and an additional ¼ cup flour, based on taste preference and how your batter looks), and stir to incorporate.

- Add the flour, baking soda, salt, and stir until just combined, taking care not to over-mix.

- Scoop batter into prepared  muffin pan(s) and sprinkle tops with a bit of colored sugar.

- Bake for about 30 minutes, or until top is golden and set, and a wooden toothpick or knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow muffins to cool in the pan for 5 - 10 minutes before removing from the pan and transferring to a rack to finish cooling.

Enjoy with a dollop of cream cheese or eat them plain as a quick breakfast on-the-go!  You can easily add in some raisins for extra chewiness or some chocolate chips to make them more dessert-like.  But since I used purple sugar crystals on top, I did not want to have too much sugar in the morning.  The carrots and bananas already add that touch of natural sweetness. These muffins were perfect to pack up and bring to work each morning. Store extra muffins in a covered plastic container at room temperature up to 5 days.

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