These healthy and moist Whole Wheat Carrot Muffins are made with whole wheat flour, oats and walnuts and don't include any refined sugar or applesauce. They are easy to make and are perfect for a quick breakfast or an afternoon snack.
If you're searching for muffin recipes that are made with whole grains, you'll be glad to know that these wholesome carrot muffins are made with a combination of whole wheat and oat flours.
This carrot muffin recipe yields light, moist and tender muffins. They are lightly sweetened and since they are spiced with turmeric, cinnamon, ginger and a pinch of black pepper they are also super flavourful. Walnuts are added for some crunch and their nutritional benefits.
Why Add Turmeric?
Turmeric contains the active ingredient curcumin which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. What is especially appealing about curcumin is its ability to enhance the function of the liver to detoxify our bodies.
Black pepper is used in combination with turmeric to help our bodies absorb the beneficial health properties of turmeric. If you don't have any turmeric you can leave it and the black pepper out of the recipe.
Since cooking with turmeric (fresh or dry) is a great way to add antioxidants to your diet, I try to add it to as many foods as I can. I recently started adding it in my baked goods after seeing this muffin recipe over at Green Kitchen Stories.
How to Make Healthy Carrot Muffins
Don't be intimidated by the list of ingredients in this recipe, these carrot muffins are easy to prepare and make a healthy breakfast. Please see the full recipe at the end of this post.
- Whole wheat pastry flour: For best results be sure to use whole wheat pastry flour. If you aren't able to find it, you can combine all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour, (use an equal amount of each).
- Oat flour. See this recipe for Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins to see how to make oat flour at home.
- Baking soda: Is used to help the muffins rise.
- Ground cinnamon, ginger, turmeric and black pepper: Turmeric and black pepper are optional and can be substituted with 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg if desired.
- Salt: Helps to enhance the flavour of other ingredients.
- Eggs: Use large eggs.
- Yogurt: You can use plain yogurt or Greek style yogurt. And if calories aren't a concern you can also use sour cream.
- Pure maple syrup
- Light tasting oil: Light olive oil, vegetable, canola or melted coconut oil all work in this recipe.
- Pure vanilla extract
- Walnuts: If you prefer to keep this recipe nut-free you can substitute golden raisins, shredded unsweetened coconut or pumpkin or sunflower seeds as add-ins.
- Line muffin tin with muffin liners and preheat oven.
- The oat topping for the muffins is optional. If you choose to include it, simply combine the oats, oil, maple syrup and cinnamon in a small bowl, mix together and set it aside.
- For the muffin batter, start by grating the carrots. You can do this by hand or using a food processor. Put the shredded carrots in a medium-sized bowl and add the rest of the wet ingredients to them. Whisk the wet ingredients together until blended.
- Add the dry ingredients to a separate bowl, whisk them and add the wet ingredients to the flour mixture. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, combine the ingredients until the batter is well blended. Add the walnuts and give them a quick stir. Don't overmix the batter or your muffins won't be as tender.
- Fill your muffin cups with the batter and then add the rolled oats mixture to the top of each muffin before baking them. Bake muffins for approximately 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out dry.
- Cool muffins in pan for 5 minutes, then remove to wire rack to cool completely.
To store the carrot muffins, let them cool completely on a wire rack and place them in an airtight container. They can be kept at room temperature for up to 4 days. If you have more muffins than you can eat in 4 days, store the extra muffins in a freezer bag and freeze for up to three months.
To thaw an individual muffin, you can leave it at room temperature or if you're in a hurry, warm muffin in a microwave oven for no more than 30 seconds before checking it. Add a few more seconds if needed.
You can also defrost and warm muffins in a preheated (300ºF) oven for about 15 minutes. Make sure to cover muffins with aluminum paper so they don't dry out.
If you're baking for toddlers, you may want to give these Carrot Purée Muffins a try.
More Healthy Muffins
- Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins (with whole wheat and quinoa flour)
- Sweet Potato Muffins
- Double Chocolate Banana Muffins
- Whole Wheat Blueberry Lemon Muffins
Whole Wheat Carrot Muffins
- 1-1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- ½ cup oat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1-1/2 teaspoons turmeric optional
- 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper optional
- 1-1/2 cups grated carrots
- 2 eggs, lightly wisked large, room temperature
- ½ cup plain yogurt or Greek style
- ½ cup pure maple syrup
- ⅓ cup light tasting oil Light olive oil, grapeseed, vegetable, canola or melted coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup walnuts toasted and chopped coarsely
- ⅓ cup rolled oats
- 1 Tablespoon light tasting oil
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 dash cinnamon
For the Oat Topping:
- In a small bowl, combine the oats, oil, maple syrup and cinnamon. Set aside.
For the Whole Wheat Carrot Muffins:
- Place a rack in the centre of your oven and preheat the oven to 375ºF.
- In a large bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, oat flour, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, salt and pepper.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the yogurt, maple syrup, oil, eggs, vanilla extract and grated carrots.
- Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Add in the walnuts and give it a quick stir.
- Evenly spoon the batter into the greased or paper-lined muffin cups.
- Top each muffin with a bit of the oat mixture.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the muffin comes out clean, about 18 to 20 minutes.
- Let the muffins cool in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes. Remove the muffins from the muffin pan and place onto a wire rack to cool completely before storing in a container.
- Toasting the walnuts will add to the texture and the flavour of your baked goods. You can toast walnuts in a 350ºF oven for about 8-10 minutes or until they are lightly browned and fragrant, let cool and chop coarsely.
- A pinch of black pepper is added to help our bodies absorb the beneficial health properties of turmeric. If you don't have any turmeric you can leave it and the black pepper out of the recipe and if desired use 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg instead.
- Muffins can be stored in an airtight container for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 3 months.