When it comes to a food that’s worth its weight in 24-karat gold, we’re nominating carrots. They’re high in vitamins, low in calories and packed with fiber. You can pile them shredded atop a salad or dunk them in dip for a crunchy anytime snack, but for a true carrot treat, try these moist and chewy muffins. Whole wheat flour, flaxseed and quick-cook oats make them heart-friendly, while applesauce as a natural sweeter helps keep the calorie count low.
Whole Wheat Carrot Flaxseed Muffins
Makes 18 muffins
1-3/4 cups whole wheat flour
2/3 cup quick-cooking oatmeal
1-1/2 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
¼ cup egg substitute
1/4 cup canola oil
1 4-oz. cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup organic brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1-1/3 cups shredded carrots
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 18 muffin cups with liners.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, oatmeal, baking soda, baking powder, salt and flaxseed.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together egg substitute, canola oil, applesauce, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla.
4. Stir in half of the flour mixture, followed by the buttermilk. Stir in the remaining flour mixture until no streaks of dry ingredients remain, then quickly fold in the shredded carrots.
5. Divide evenly into prepared muffin cups.
6. Bake for 16-18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean and the top springs back when lightly pressed. Place muffins onto a wire rack to cool completely before serving.
Nutrition info (per muffin): 4 g fat, 3 g protein, 140 calories, 25 g carbs
This recipe is courtesy of nationally recognized nutrition, health and fitness expert and published author Dr. Janet Brill. Dr. Brill specializes in cardiovascular disease prevention and has authored three books on the topic; the most recent is Blood Pressure DOWN (Three Rivers Press, 2013). Prevent a Second Heart Attack (Three Rivers Press, 2011) follows the bestselling book, Cholesterol Down (Three Rivers Press, 2006). Dr. Brill volunteers much of her time, expertise and funds in support of the American Heart Association. For more information on Dr. Janet, her books or to access her heart-healthy recipe blog please visit http://www.drjanet.com/.
Joanne Eglash, Vitacost.com’s Diet Diva, has a master of science in holistic nutrition and more than 15 years experience as a nutrition consultant, blogger, author and journalist. She has written for a wide range of publications and websites, including ediets.com, Natural Health magazine, Shape magazine, Success magazine, Energy for Women and Chefs. Joanne is currently the national Diets columnist for the online news and entertainment site, Examiner.com, and a features food columnist for Yahoo.