Confession #69: It’s all about the balance… Carrot Raisin Walnut Bran Muffins
Yep. I just posted Cinnamon Rolls and waxed on about their buttery, sugary perfection, and now I’m telling you to make Carrot Raisin Walnut Bran Muffins. This is intentional. Go ahead and indulge, and then switch to something healthy to feel good about yourself again (in an “I eat healthy” way, rather than an “I’m blissfully melting in cinnamon sugar” way). Seriously, though, these muffins will make you like eating healthy. They’re that good, and that good for you.
My way of thinking is that it’s okay to eat some of the things you really want to eat that aren’t that nutritious as long as you balance it out with other foods that are nutritious (like these muffins) and keep up an overall healthy lifestyle. Ergo, I give you sweet treats, and then I give you super-healthy muffins. Balance, you see?
Speaking of these muffins, the name’s quite a mouthful, but I really think that each element of the name is a vital part of what give the muffins their integrity. The carrots, with their beautiful orange specks showing up in each bite, contribute flavor and moisture. The plump raisins add sweetness in an oh-so-healthy way. Walnuts, too, add a lot of nutrition to the muffins, along with a bit of crunch. And of course, bran makes these muffins that much healthier and full of texture.
All that, plus no flour or added sugar? That’s what I call healthy, and yummy, and the perfect excuse for eating a cinnamon roll every once in a while.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line or grease 12 cups in a standard sized muffin tin. If you choose to use muffin liners, I recommend greasing them for easy muffin removal.
In a large bowl, whisk together wheat bran, oats, oat flour, flaxseed, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
In a seperate bowl, beat the eggs, and then add the mashed banana and vanilla. Beat together until smooth.
Add the liquids to the dry ingredients and fold in with a spatula until just combined. Then, fold in the grated carrots, raisins, and walnuts just enough to get them evenly dispersed in the batter.
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle the tops with oats.
Bake in the preheated oven for 20-23 minutes, testing with a toothpick at the end to make sure that the muffins are done. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
*I used my food processor to grate the carrots, which makes the process fast and easy.