You guys know that I love my quinoa breakfast bars (apple cinnamon, pumpkin apple, cranberry date, banana walnut) but I figured if I put up another breakfast bar recipe other people might start to get bored so I decided to be adventurous! It paid off, these muffins are healthy enough to eat for breakfast and tasty enough to be dessert, the perfect breakfast in my eyes! Plus I love carrot cake, hands down my favorite type of cake, it has so much going on to it. Who thought up the idea to throw carrots, coconut, sometimes pineapple, raisins and walnuts in a cake? I don’t know who thought it up, but they are a genius! The cream cheese frosting totally compliments the heartiness and “bread like” flavor of this classic combo making it the most amazing dessert EVER.
<——- me attempting to take interesting food pictures
Now I love my carrot cake, and I will for sure be making some for Easter but this is an awesome way to get my fix in a healthy form the next couple of weeks.
I’m not a naturally a baker, nor do I pretend to be one (or a photographer for that matter just playing around here). The first time my friend and I baked in grad school during our food service class we switched the yeast for the salt in the dough recipe that was supposed to feed 100+ people. Our dumb luck we added more yeast and ended up with really salty bread that people LOVED. Whew, got through that one! Anyway, needless to say I’m scarred for life and I was so nervous to throw these in the muffin tin, I didn’t want to end up with a crumbly mess on my hands. The muffin gods were on my side though and they baked to perfection, so delicious!
These muffins are an AWESOME, healthy (muffin is healthy for your body, the tiny bit of cream cheese frosting is healthy for your mood) way to start your day, or a healthy dessert at the end of the night. Made with minimal sugar and all whole grain ingredients so you can feel good indulging, which makes it that much better.
Carrot Cake Quinoa Muffins
Ingredients (Makes 10 servings)
For Carrot Cake Muffins:
- 1tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- 4 ounces unsweetened applesauce
- 2 large carrots, shredded
- ¼ nut butter (I used nutzo, feel free to use almond, sunflower, pb whatever!)
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 tsp chia seeds
- ¼ cup whole wheat flour (or gluten free blend)
- 1 cup old fashion oats (gluten free if desired)
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- ¼ cup walnuts
- ½ cup raisins
- ¼ cup sweetened coconut shreds
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 egg
Lazy Girls Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 3 ounces light cream cheese, softened
- 1T smart balance light, softened
- 1T sugar (or powdered sugar)
- ½ tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350F
Combine cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, protein powder, applesauce, carrots, nut butter, and honey in a large bowl.
Next mix in the chia seeds, flour, oats, and quinoa until well combined. Add in baking soda and egg and mix until just combined.
Fold in walnuts, raisins, and coconut shreds.
Spoon two heaping tablespoons into each muffin cup and bake for 15-17 minutes, or until gold brown on top. Let cool completely.
For the frosting: Mix all ingredients in a small bowl and place bowl in fridge for 15-20 minutes. (I only had regular sugar which I wasn’t sure would work, but thankfully did. Powdered sugar will yield more of a “frosting consistency.” My cream cheese and butter wasn’t completely softened either, which made it a little difficult to get all the clumps out.)
Slather each muffin with frosting, or if you don’t want to make the frosting I would just use a Laughing Cow Cinnamon Cream Cheese Wedge!
Here are the nutrition stats per muffin:
You can subtract about 35 calories if you skip the cream cheese frosting.
Bonus, they are portable even if you do slather them with cream cheese frosting. After you top them with frosting, return them to the fridge for a couple hours. After the frosting has hardened a bit on top of them you can wrap them in saran wrap for easy portability in the morning! I had one yesterday and I’m having another one today at work, because there isn’t any better way than to start your day with a Carrot Cake Quinoa Muffin!
I set my alarm and plugged in my phone way across the room so I actually got up for my workout this morning. Just a short one, modified back sculptor from NTC but it was a good one! Have a great day everyone!