Today I did exercise for the first time in five months. You heard me, five. I wish I was exaggerating! But this is the truth, I haven’t even gone on a medium to fast paced walk in weeks! (unless you count running awkwardly for the bus and falling over in front of your class acquaintance that always dresses like they’re going to a trendy art gallery).
What can I say, I felt motivated by these muffins. You wont believe me when I say this, and you definitely won’t believe me if you actually go and try them! But these muffins have no sugar, no butter or oil, no honey or agave business, and they are made with wholemeal flour. And they taste amazing. Of course they are much healthier without the generous dollop of cream cheese icing but I usually only ice half of them, and keep the rest for breakfast. The measurements are in cups because this isn’t the kind of recipe that you have to worry about being exact.
It took me two years to get this recipe right. I started with a relatively healthy but still sugary carrot cake recipe and tweaked it, tweaked it, tweaked it, TOO FAR! You know the drill, and this is the finished result. There is no road further my healthy friends, believe me. Do not substitute skim milk for light. Do not reduce the dates, or the flour. These muffins are moist and dense and packed with flavour, but they will take no more compromising without tasting, well, like health muffins. Instead of delicious happy gently spiced carrot muffins. Like I said the icing is up to you, but it helps to get kids to eat them (kids love them- that is a good sign for a healthy muffin).Carrot Muffins with Honey Icing: First adapted from Jamie Oliver
3 1/2 bananas, (1 large cup) mashed or blended until smooth
2-3 medium carrots (to equal 1.5 cups) skinned and grated
60g (1/2 cup) dates blended until smooth with 110ml (1/2 cup) light milk (this will help them blend)
325g (2 cups) wholemeal flour, sifted with 2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp each cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamon and salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons pepitas or sunflower seeds
Icing: (double if you want to ice the whole 10 muffins
250 grams (1/2 pound, 8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
100 ml (1/2 cup) slightly warmed honey (I used lavender bush honey but any will work)
Preheat your oven to 170C (340F) and line 10 large muffin holes with muffin cases. Sift your flour, spices, salt and baking powder into a bowl and set aside. Mix your milk and dates, carrot, banana, eggs, walnuts and seeds in a bowl until well combined. Sift over the dry ingredients and stir together with a spoon until everything is just combined. Spoon into muffin holes and bake for about 22-25 minutes, until golden on top and dry when pierced with a skewer. Leave to cool completely.
Icing: Blend or whisk your cream cheese with the honey until completely combined and fluffy. Spread over the cooled muffins and either eat within 24 hours or store in the fridge once iced.