Tag Archives: healthy snacks

Incredible Carrot Muffins

carrot-muffins

I had some carrots that I wanted to use up so I decided to come up with a recipe for carrot muffins.  This recipe turned out GREAT!  I made 16 small muffins today and there are 3 left.  My kids and my husband absolutely LOVE them.  The best part is, because of the natural sweetness of the carrots and orange juice, I didn’t have to use much sugar.  These muffins are LOADED with carrots so they’re healthy and will make the perfect snack for school lunches and something to grab on the way out the door.

I have a feeling I’m going to be making these A LOT!

NOTE ABOUT THE RECIPE:  I used both oil and butter because I like the flavour and moist texture that using both provides.  However, using one or the other would also work!  I LOVE these with coconut sprinkled on top but you could also top them with chopped walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, etc. for a delicious crunch and added healthy fat.  You could also add raisins to the mix!

carrot-muffin-with-walnuts

INGREDIENTS (makes about 16 small muffins)

  • 2 small eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3 Tbsp canola/vegetable oil OR coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1.5  tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • OPTION:  1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup orange juice (preferably fresh squeezed but any orange juice will do)
  • 3 cups shredded carrot (I use a food processor to shred it but a cheese grater works too)
  • OPTION:  shredded coconut to sprinkle on top!

METHOD

  • Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl.
  • Using a food processor, cream together butter, oil and sugars.
  • Add vanilla extract and orange juice.  Add eggs.
  • Combine dry and wet ingredients and fold until everything is mixed.
  • Stir in shredded carrot.  Do not over-mix.
  • Fill greased muffin tins to 3/4 full.
  • Sprinkle on shredded coconut or nuts, if using.
  • Bake in 375 degree pre-heated oven for 20 – 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean.
  • Let cool for 10 minutes before eating (if you can wait that long!).

NOTE:  For more of a ‘dessert’ taste, these are incredible with vanilla cream cheese frosting on top!!

carrot-muffin-with-frosting

Cilantro and Lemon Avocado Spread

avocado spread

I still remember the very first time I tried an avocado.  I was in my early 20’s.  As soon as I tried it I was hooked.  I absolutely loved the flavour and creamy texture.  I couldn’t believe I hadn’t been eating them my whole life.  Now I eat several avocados a week.

Not only are they incredibly delicious and versatile, they’re also really, really good for you.  If I listed all their health benefits here it would take me all day so I’m just going include a link to a site that details how amazing this fruit is for you!!  https://authoritynutrition.com/12-proven-benefits-of-avocado/.

One of my favourite ways to eat avocados is as guacamole.  Another way I prepare avocados is as a spread – which is the recipe below.  I am OBSESSED with this recipe.  Like the old lady in the Frank’s Hot Sauce commercial says:  “I put that sh** on EVERYTHING”!

I eat this spread on rye toast or English muffin in the morning with some diced cherry tomatoes on it or add it on top of scrambled eggs for a pre-workout breakfast.  I add it to sandwiches and wraps for lunch.  I add it to salads with some olive oil and use it as a dressing.  I make BLT’s with turkey bacon and add this spread instead of mayonnaise.  I eat it with crackers, tortilla chips and cut up raw vegetables.  I LOVE it with chilled prawns in lieu of cocktail sauce.  I spread it on pita or naan bread and top it with some smoked salmon for a healthy snack.  I even add it to soups.  Did I mention this spread/dip/dressing was versatile?!

About the recipe:  I decided to use lemon juice instead of lime juice here because I wanted a distinctly different taste then when I make guacamole.  I decided not to use garlic because the flavour of shallot has a hint of garlic in it already.  If you like things spicy, I would suggest maybe adding a 1/2 tsp of seeded jalapeño pepper to the recipe.

NOTE:  Because avocado discolors (goes brown) easily, ensure you have as few air bubbles in it as possible when storing and always store in an air tight container with a layer of plastic wrap right on top.  This spread should last up to 4 days if stored properly.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large avocado (1 cup)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 packed cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup fat-free greek plain yogurt (or you could use light sour cream)
  • 1 Tbsp shallot (use red onion if you don’t have shallot)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup green onion – diced
  • OPTION:  1 Tbsp olive oil

METHOD

  • You can either dice the shallot, cilantro and green onion and just smash everything together with a fork to get a ‘chunky’ spread OR for a smoother spread, mix all ingredients, except green onion, in a small hand-held mixer and pulse for a few seconds.  Add diced green onion last for texture.
  • Adjust lemon juice, salt and pepper as desired.