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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Carrot Cake Breakfast Muffins

Ah, muffins.  One of my favorite things in this world.  Muffins can either be stuffed full of really good and healthy ingredients.  Or, muffins can be loaded up with butter and oil.

I've been used to the taste of "diet" foods for several years now.  It started with the earlier years of my OCD issues.  Oddly enough, the substitutions I got used to are now staples in my life.  I don't really eat stuff with oil and full fat anymore because I simply don't like the taste.  This is a good thing.

For the past several years, I've been making up my own batches of muffins for a quick on-the-go breakfast.  Ron normally stays away from them because I make stuff with lots of fruit.  I always substitute egg whites (or egg beaters) for eggs.  I often combine Splenda granulated sugar with regular sugar (when the recipe calls for a ridiculous amount of sugar).  I always try to incorporate some WW flour/flax seeds/wheat bran/wheat germ/oats into the recipe.  And, I always completely substitute or use 50% unsweetened/sweetened applesauce for the oil.

Despite all of these changes, I have made some incredible tasting "baked goods" that are significantly low in calories and fat, high in fiber and delicious!  Disclaimer:  This stuff tastes good to me.  It may not taste good for you, especially if you think that diet foods taste like a sponge :)

I found a recipe for some carrot cake breakfast muffins the other day and decided to see what I could do with the recipe.  I am obsessed with carrot cake.  It is such a delicious treat!  Why not have it for breakfast in muffin form?

These muffins are absolutely incredible.  Even better, they are about 300 calories and ginormous!  I normally eat a big bagel or some other type of carb-pumped breakfast food before my long training runs/bikes to keep me fueled for 3+ hours.  These will definitely be included in the rotating menu.  They are seriously awesome!!  Don't fear the giant chunks in my photos.  Obviously, you can shred your carrots or chop your apples even smaller.  But, the above is what you get if you come from my kitchen :)

I used chopped nuts in the recipe but I'm sure you can lower the calories by substituting wheat bran or wheat germ.  Yum!!

I've included my substitutions in the recipe that follow below.  However, you can check out the original recipe by clicking this link.  The original recipe nutritional stats (per muffin from a 12 muffin tin) were: 224 Calories, 11g fat, 37mg cholesterol, 225mg sodium, 29g carb, 3g fiber, 4g protein.

My substitutions would make the muffins:  145 calories, 3.5g fat.  However, I chose to make super large muffins.

*I've made this recipe with some changes recently.  I've noted them below in red.

Carrot Cake Breakfast Muffins 
adapted from Recipe Rhapsody
Yield:  12 regular size muffins or 6 large size muffins
My Nutrition Stats (for 6 large muffins):  w/ Glaze:  ~290 calories, ~7g fat (nearly all grams are from cream cheese + icing), w/o Glaze:  ~270 calories, ~6g fat (nearly all grams are from nuts)
w/ changes:  ~ 300 calories, ~6g fat
Sorry I don't have other information.  I'm too lazy :)
  • 1/2 c egg beaters (or 2 eggs)
  • 1/3 c applesauce
  • 1/4 c FF milk
  • 1/4 c agave nectar (or honey)
  • 1/4 c SF breakfast syrup
    • The above can be substituted for another 1/4 c agave nectar (or honey) to equal 1/2 c. 
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 c whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 c all-purpose flour
    • Or omit AP flour altogether and add another 1/2 c whole wheat flour to total 1 1/2 c whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 c wheat bran
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
    • Or 1/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 c store-bought shredded carrots
  • 1 large or 2 small sweet apples, peeled, cored, and finely chopped (I used Fuji, had about 3/4 cup of chopped apple) 
  • 1 small box (1.5 oz) of raisins
  • 1/4 c + 2 tbsp chopped pecans (Measure out as whole nuts, then finely chop)
    • Or combination of pecans and walnuts

  • 1 oz Neuchâtel cheese (low-fat cream cheese)
  • 1 1/2 tsp honey 
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and put paper liners in your muffin pan or spray with baking spray.
  2. Beat together the egg beaters, applesauce, milk, agave nectar, syrup, and vanilla. 
  3. In a separate bowl mix together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. 
  4. Lightly stir the wet ingredients into the dry, then fold in the carrot, apple, and nuts. 
  5. Fill the muffin tray and bake for 18-20 minutes (if using 12 regular size muffin tin), 24-26 minutes (for a 6 large muffin tin) or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 
  6. Cool on a wire rack.
  7. To make the glaze, warm the Neuchâtel in the microwave, then stir in the honey. 
  8. Drizzle the glaze over the top of the cooled muffins with a fork, or put it into a Ziploc bag, cut the corner, and squeeze it over the muffins while sweeping the bag back and forth. 

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