Carrot Raisin Bran Muffins
My apartment is overrun with black bananas. For most folks, this would be a cause for concern, but for me it’s a gift that keeps on giving. Black bananas lead to batches of naturally sweetened homemade granola bars, cookies and breads. Looking for yet another way to use up these mounds of black bananas, I came up with a super moist muffin that is cross between carrot cake and a bran muffin. Introducing Carrot Raisin Bran Muffins! Ta-da!
These whole wheat muffins are made with whole rolled oats and wheat bran so they are loaded with fiber. Packed with bananas and shredded carrots, you are secretly working on your daily fruit and veggie serving requirements while enjoying a delicious muffin. Unlike most bran muffins, these are naturally sweetened with raisins and honey and packed with bananas and carrots, so they are moist, nutritious and perfectly suited for a breakfast or quick snack.
As I kid, I despised raisins. They were hard little rocks packed into sticky cardboard boxes. Gag. I didn’t want anything to do with them. My reintroduction to raisins occurred fairly recently when I tried some Thompson Select Organic Raisins. Plumps, juicy, sweet little morsels that tasted more like candy than fruit, I was immediately hooked. It turns out that raisins are nature’s perfect junk food.
Pairing the sweet bananas, the honey (which you can substitute with agave nectar or maple syrup depending on what you have on hand) and the raisins these muffins are sweet, but not overpoweringly sweet. They are packed with nutrients from the carrots and whole grains and have enough fiber to keep you feeling full long after you’ve tossed out the empty wrapper.
A side note, after lining your muffin tin with wrappers, give the wrappers a quick spray of non-stick cooking spray. This will prevent the muffins from sticking to the paper too much. You could also make these without the paper wrappers. Just spray the pan with non-stick spray (or grease with butter) and pour the batter directly into the pan.
Carrot Raisin Bran Muffins
Yield: 12 muffins
1/2 cup wheat or oat bran
1/2 rolled oats (plus extra for sprinkling on top)
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg (fresh if possible)
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup carrots, finely grated
1/4 cup agave nectar, honey or maple syrup
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line a standard muffin pan with muffin liners.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients (bran, oats, flour, flaxseed, baking soda and powder, salt and spices).
In a separate bowl, combine the mashed bananas, eggs, vanilla and agave/honey/syrup. Stir until fully combined.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Stir in grated carrots, raisins and nuts (if using).
Fill muffin cups up to the top with batter. Sprinkle with rolled oats.
Bake 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. After about 5 minutes, remove muffins from pan and allow to cool on a wire rack.