Cranberry-Carrot Muffins

I love carrot cake, but sometimes I’m not into the icing. How many iced cakes can one really eat before tiring of it? I wanted to come up with a solution – a recipe – that I could make on a regular basis that was tasty, healthy (-ish), and fairly easy to make. Ideally, a recipe that I could change for a little seasonally variety. After all, who doesn’t love cooking with in-season produce when the whimsy of a food craving calls to you? This dairy-free recipe is what resulted:

Cranberry-Carrot Muffins

2 1/2 cups shredded carrots or carrot pulp (like what’s leftover in your juicer)

1/3 cup cranberry sauce (whole or crushed cranberries, your choice)

1 ½ teaspoon orange zest

2 tablespoons unsweetened cranberry juice, at room temperature (omit if using grated carrots not post-juicer pulp)

¾ cup finely chopped dried apricots or cranberries (optional)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1 cup vegetable oil

4 eggs

2/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated white sugar (you can use raw sugar if you prefer)

1. Preheat oven to 175C or 350F and prepare your muffin tin with paper liners.

2. Set carrot pulp in a bowl with cranberry sauce, orange zest, juice, and [optional] dried cranberries or apricots, stirring to allow soakage. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Mix in vegetable oil, eggs, and sugar. Blend completely. Stir in the carrot pulp. Once completely mixed, spoon into muffin cups.

4. Bake for 15-30 minutes, depending on the muffin size, or until a knife comes out clean from the center of one muffin.

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