Last Thursday marked the end of two weeks of total insanity and the beginning of a weeks break from school. I went pretty much straight from a midterm to the airport and made the trek to Sweden to spend my week off with my fella. Stockholm greeted me with a pile of snow and freezing temperatures, but I wouldn’t want it any other way.
I like February. It feels like a tipping point to me; the days are getting notably longer, and the air a little bit warmer. Even in Stockholm, it is cold but the light lingers for so much longer than when I left this place in December, it feels like spring is within reach. It’s the tipping point in the school semester as well, and on that front I have some news: this semester will be my last. Graduation, finally! This came as a surprise, and it was the Best Thing Ever to be able to arrive in Stockholm and tell my husband that this will be the last stretch of time we will have to spend apart. This too feels like a tipping point.
I’ve been experimenting with some new muffin recipes, and I thought it was high time I posted one for you to try. These carrot ginger muffins are inspired by my mom’s carrot cake recipe, which is the best in the universe and I will fight to the death anyone who says otherwise. The secret to her cake is crushed pineapple, which I have also used here as the base for these muffins. The pineapple offers sweetness and moisture to this recipe, which boasts only three tablespoons of olive oil for fat. Paul thinks these are teetering on the edge of not sweet enough, but I think they’re perfectly sweet for a muffin. In fact, I think that if you slapped a little cream cheese frosting on them you could easily pass these off as cupcakes, they’re so tender and light.
There are all kinds of great nutrients in the skin of carrots, so if you’re using organic carrots, don’t bother to peel them. If your carrots are conventional, however, be sure to remove the skins before you grate them. I’ve used fresh ginger here, which I think gives a much more clean and subtle ginger flavour than dried. If you keep your ginger root in the freezer it grates into a nice fine powder and isn’t stringy at all. Chopped walnuts add great texture, but if you’re sensitive to nuts you can obviously leave them out or sub in something else.
Carrot Ginger Muffins Recipe:
This recipe makes 12 medium muffins. If you prefer a larger muffin, then scoop the batter into 9 rather than 12 muffin cups. Don’t drain the crushed pineapple, you’ll need all of the juice for the moisture in this recipe.
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup oat bran
1/3 cup loose packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tin (398ml) crushed pineapple – don’t drain!
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
2 cups grated carrot (about 2 medium carrots)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 F / 180 C. Prepare muffin tins and set aside.
In a medium bowl, sift dry ingredients together. In a slightly larger bowl, whisk together crushed pineapple, eggs, olive oil, and grated ginger. Add the dry ingredients all at once, and stir until just combined. Add grated carrot and walnuts, stirring to distribute evenly through the batter. Spoon into prepared muffin tins. Bake for 30 min, rotating the tins half way through. Gently release the muffins from the tins, and turn onto their sides in the tins to cool.
All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2011