Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Carrot Poppy Seed Muffins with Orange Glaze

My family's been on a new found health kick.

You know those nutritional facts on every boxed processed food you get at the supermarket?  Every single one of those has been torn apart and deeply analyzed this past week.  Monounsaturated fat, saturated fat, trans fat - yes I can indeed now tell you the difference between these, although I'm doing my best to forget it.  In case you're interested, it's monounsaturated that's supposed to be (relatively) healthier.

The thing is, everyone knows - at least on some level - that these processed cookies and biscuits you buy in boxes isn't exactly good for you.  But at the same time, if you start calculating every calorie you take, then that takes all the joy out of eating.  To me, anyway. 

Although that's coming from someone who bakes on a daily basis.  I may simply be in denial.

So on that note, I've decided to attempt a healthier baking lifestyle.  Less sugar, less butter.  And portion control.

Muffins seem to be a good place to start.  Breakfast food.  Breakfast food with vegetables.

These muffins are packed with carrots, and I mean really packed.  There are four carrots in these eight muffins.  That's half a carrot you're eating in one muffin alone.  It's a good start.

Throw in some poppy seeds for two reasons: texture and... health?  I did not just stop to Google 'poppy seeds health benefits' at all.  I absolutely knew that from the beginning.  (Also, I have a jar of poppy seeds lying around that I really need to use.  But that's the secondary reason, really.)

These muffins taste like healthy carrot cake, which, you can argue, means it doesn't taste like much of anything at all - but then you'd be wrong.  They're packed with flavor from the carrots, poppy seed and ground cinnamon, and the orange glaze on top is a good alternative to cream cheese frosting, providing a citrus tang that contrasts the warm spice flavors of the muffin.

Drown Drizzle the glaze on the muffin.  You can go glaze-less if you prefer, but let's not take this health thing too far, okay?

Oh, and this is exciting - my very first blog hop!  These muffins are just in time for this month's Sweet Adventures Blog Hop, with the theme 'Cake & Three Veg'.  Check out the other entries - I never knew there were so many sweet things you could make with vegetables!

(The SABH is brought to you by Delicieux, The Hungry Australian, Dining With a Stud, The Capers of the Kitchen Crusader and 84th & 3rd.  This blog hop is open to all food bloggers.)

Carrot Poppy Seed Muffins
Adapted from Taste
Makes 8 muffins

Note: I did use less sugar than the original recipe so the muffins themselves aren't very sweet.  The glaze, however, makes up for any lacking sweetness.  If you'd prefer to go without the glaze, you might like to up the sugar to 3/4 cup.

For the muffins:
1 cup plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup brown sugar (see Note above)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
2/3 cup olive oil
2 cups finely grated carrots (around 4; depending on size you might have a little leftover, you can just pack it in anyway)
1 1/2 tbsp poppy seeds

For the glaze:
2/3 cup icing sugar
2 tbsp orange juice

Preheat oven to 180C/360F.  Line or grease 8 holes in a muffin pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar and cinnamon.  Set aside.

In a liquid measuring jug (or a small bowl), whisk together eggs and oil.  Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and mix until mostly combined.  Stir in the grated carrots and poppy seeds, mixing until just combined - don't over mix!

Using an ice cream scoop or a spoon, divide the mixture among the muffin tins, filling about 3/4 of the way full.  Bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.  Let cool on a wire rack.

While they cool, make the glaze.  Whisk together icing sugar and orange juice to a pourable consistency (if it's too thick, just keep adding a squeeze more orange juice).  Drizzle on top of cooled muffins and serve.


  1. Wow I like carrot cake normally but these are really packed with carrots, they sound great! Thanks for joining the hop, it's great to have you!!

    1. It was fun! I loved seeing all of the other ideas, I now feel inadequate in the creativity compartment - gotta experiment with more veggies. Thanks for a great theme!

  2. I love poppy seeds in muffins. These look delicious and healthy - great job!

    1. Thanks! I constantly look for any excuse to use the word "healthy" to describe my baked goods! It helps when they taste good, too.

  3. Oh the glaze looks ever so dreamy... I wish those muffins could magically appear before my eyes right about now :)

    1. The glaze is the best part! Although I might have not-so-accidentally added too much to the muffin in the photo. :P

  4. I like that you have used such a high proportion of carrots in this cake! They look yummy, although I'm not sure if I would go so far as to say they're healthy :)

    1. Perhaps I should say relatively health-ier? At least there are vegetables! :)

  5. Wow, these sound so good...and seem to be a healthier version of carrot cake! Can't wait to try them out. Thanks for the recipe!

    1. My pleasure, hope you enjoy these! They do taste like carrot cake, but with a different frosting.


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