It’s no secret that I don’t like carrots. I whine about it every time I post a recipe that uses carrots in it, I make mention of it on my personal page in facebook every time my husbands dares to want carrots with dinner, I moan when my youngest child eats carrots dipped in ketchup (don’t ask). Carrots are just…icky. They’re fibrous and hard to chew and don’t have a ton of flavor unless they are roasted (which is one of the few ways I willingly eat them). Did I mention that I think they’re icky.
Except when they aren’t.
These muffins are a definite case of they aren’t yucky. I mean, I know a bunch of you have already heard of Morning Glory Muffins. They’re pretty much a breakfast standard, and can be found in a bunch of home style cookbooks. But let’s keep one thing in mind, please.
This is me. I don’t do ANYTHING normally. That includes making these muffins. I wanted to ramp up the flavor a bit, add a bit more to make these interesting enough that even the kids wouldn’t scoff over having a muffin full of fruits and vegetables. I think I succeeded. These have all the nutrition of the original muffins, but with a blast of flavor that comes from a small amount of dark chocolate, some dried apricots and a fair amount of orange zest, along with some other minor changes I made. These aren’t the prettiest of muffins, since you have a boatload of fruits and veggies with just enough batter to bind them together, but darn, they taste good. I scarfed one down hot from the oven and it was heavenly. Moist, tender, with crunch from the toasted nuts and coconut as well as the carrots and the varied flavors of everything else in there, all finished with gooey chocolate.
You know the drill…. 🙂
Revamped Morning Glory Muffins
- 2 cups flour
- 1 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 cups grated carrots
- 1 1/2 tablespoons orange zest
- 1/2 cup raisins (make sure you use good ones, not dried shriveled ones)
- 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut, toasted*
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted*
- 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
- 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate (or dark chocolate chips)
- 1 8 ounce can crushed pineapple, drained
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two 12 cup muffin tins with liners. Alternately, grease them well.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add in the carrots and orange zest and stir to combine.
- Dump in the raisins, coconut, pecans, apricots and dark chocolate. Stir well.
- Make a well in the center and dump in the oil, eggs, vanilla and crushed pineapple. Stir just until combined. Don’t overbeat or you’ll end up with tough muffins full of holes.
- Fill each muffin cup 2/3’s full of the batter. Bake at 350 degrees about 20 to 25 minutes, until the muffins are a golden brown color. Let rest in the tin for a bout 2 minutes, then use a butter knife or spoon to get them out to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
- These are a great breakfast and/or an after school snack you can feel ok giving the kiddos. Drizzle with some honey and butter for a real treat!
- * To toast the coconut and nuts, simply place in a single layer in a baking pan in a 350 oven and let cook for about 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Watch carefully; both nuts and coconut can go from nicely browned to burnt very quickly.