Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins

I'm always trying to think of ways to get my toddler to eat healthier/eat more vegetables. And what better way to get him to eat vegetables than sneak them into a healthy muffin?? Let's just say he loved these and kept asking for more. If you have a picky 2-year-old (or 40-year-old for that matter) in your home, not even they will be able to resist these. They are sweet and addicting with all the added health benefits.
I'm not going to lie and say that I actually used the 1/2 cup of honey that the recipe called for because does anyone really have/want to use that much honey in one recipe?? I don't. So I found a great substitute using good old sugar and water. You could also use other substitutes such as maple syrup, molasses, etc. but they would definitely change the flavor. Maybe for the better? Anyway, these muffins are great and we will definitely be making these again.
Those look irresistible, right??

Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins
Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe
1 1/2 cups flour (white or whole wheat)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
1/2 cup honey or 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar mixed with 2 Tbsp. water
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup finely shredded carrots (about 2-3 medium carrots) - I used a blender to shred them.

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with liners. (I love my silicone liners.)
2. In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and salt.
Make a small well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the butter, honey, egg, vanilla, and applesauce.
3. Stir ingredients together until just combined and there are still some spots of flour remaining.
Fold in the shredded carrots just until combined (don't overmix or the muffins will be dense).
Distribute the batter evenly among the muffin liners.
4. Bake for 18-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
5. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely. These muffins freeze wonderfully and keep well if covered at room temperature for 2-3 days.


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