Roasted Carrot Orange Muffins
This is the story of a girl who paid a visit to a little store named Costco and ended up bringing home ten pounds of organic carrots. Even though she lived in a household of merely two people, somehow the girl convinced herself that not a single one would go to waste!
Coming from someone who has to throw out far too many shriveled-up, neglected carrots, on quite a regular basis, this was quite a commitment.
Carrot cake, homemade stock, and lots of other ideas came to mind, but she wanted to try something a bit different. So one day, she decided to roast a bunch of them for lunch.
Instead of eating them, she decided the next best thing would be to puree them in a food processor, add freshly squeezed orange (if you’re getting really specific, Cara-Cara) juice and make them into muffins…
Totally normal. Not really, but let’s go with it.
To make things even more interesting, she decided to add in some coconut oil, lots of orange zest, ginger, cinnamon, and vanilla extract—and see what happened.
They were good. Like, really good.
And not weird at all!
Note: I realize that roasting carrots for muffins seems a bit time-intensive and some of you might be wondering if you can simply substitute grated, fresh carrot. Unfortunately, I don’t think a straight substitution will work (moisture and volume differences, most likely). BUT, this is easier in the sense that it doesn’t require grating carrots by hand or needing a large food processor with attachments. Plus, you can make extra roasted carrots and simply use those for a side for a meal or general snacking! Plus, the roasting helps bring out even more carrot flavor.
Roasted Orange Carrot Muffins
Roasted Carrot Puree (makes just over a cup):
- ~10 ounces chopped & peeled carrots (about 7-8 medium sized carrots)
- 1-2 tablespoons vegetable/coconut oil (depending on taste preference, if you’re making extras)
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed Cara-Cara/orange juice
Carrot Orange Muffins:
- 1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour (141 grams)
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (68 grams)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (3 grams)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/3 cup skim/low-fat milk (87 grams)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 tablespoons coconut oil, liquid-state (72 grams)
- 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar (272 grams)
- 1 teaspoon Cara-Cara/orange zest
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup roasted carrot puree, packed (232 grams)
Prepare Roasted Carrot Puree:
- Preheat oven to 400 Fahrenheit degrees.
- Toss carrots and vegetable/coconut oil and place on large baking sheet. Roast for about 40-50 minutes or until carrots can be easily pierced with a fork, without any resistance.
- Allow to cool on rack for 5-10 minutes. Add carrots to food processor, add water, and orange juice, and pulse until relatively smooth. You might need to scrape the bowl down with a spatula a few times—the puree will be on the thick side.
- Remove to another bowl and allow to cool to room temperature—this shouldn’t take long.
Make Carrot-Orange Muffins:
- Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit degrees. Line standard muffin pan with liners or grease with butter/baking spray.
- In medium sized bowl, whisk together flours, cinnamon, ginger, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
- In measuring cup, whisk together milk and vanilla extract. Set aside.
- In small bowl, combine sugar and zest. Using fingertips, rub zest into sugar until fragrant.
- In stand mixer bowl, combine oil and sugar. Using whisk attachment, mix together until fluffy and light in color. Turn down speed to low and beat in eggs one at a time, until incorporated.
- Turn mixer to low speed and add carrot puree until just blended.
- Add flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with 2 additions of the milk/vanilla mixture. Beat at low speed until just combined.
- Using spoon or muffin scoop, divide batter evenly among muffin pan—it should fill each up about 7/8 full.
- Bake at 350 degrees (on center rack) for 24-27minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Place muffin tin on cooling rack and let sit for 5 minutes. Remove muffins from pan, place on cooling rack, and allow to come to room temperature. Enjoy
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I guess, in the grand scheme of things, of all of the items you can buy in ginormous quantities at Costco (i.e. everything)…carrots aren’t that bad of a choice!
Last year’s impulse, I-saw-the-store-demo-and-couldn’t-resist, Vitamix purchase is a different story. In my defense, it was a totally convincing sales pitch and I wasn’t the only sucker at Costco to fall for it…