With the exception of sugar beets, carrots have more sugar than any other vegetable. During the Middle Ages, when sweeteners were scarce and expensive, Europeans used carrots to add sweetness to cakes. These cakes were perceived as healthy. (I guess they didn’t have any Cheesecake Factory’s). It’s believed that the origin of carrot cake was more like a carrot pudding enjoyed during medieval times. I find it interesting that a recipe for carrot cake did not appear in American cookbooks until the early 1900’s. In my quest to create a gluten-free muffin, I must have had carrot cake on my mind because that’s exactly what I came up with. This muffin tastes like carrot cake … Mascarpone icing and all!
- 2 1/2 cups almond flour
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup shredded coconut
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup pecans, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups grated carrots
- 1 cup mashed bananas (2 medium bananas)
- 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, with juice
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 4 tablespoons agave
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 8 ounces Mascarpone
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 tablespoons honey
In a large bowl, combine almond flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Note* When measuring the flour, lightly spoon it into the cup, do not pack it in or you’ll end up with too much flour.
Add coconut, raisins, pecans, carrots, bananas and pineapple. Stir to blend all ingredients.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, agave, vanilla and eggs.
Pour the liquid mixture into the dry and mix it all together.
Spoon into standard-sized muffin tins lined with muffin papers. I fill them to the top and this recipe still makes 18 muffins.
Bake in a pre-heated 350* oven for 35 minutes. Let muffins cool in pan.
These are delicious plain … but if we want a carrot cake muffin, you know we need the Mascarpone Icing. (See EspressO’s)
Paleo people (and you know who you are) swap the vegetable oil with 1/2 cup coconut oil and you’re good to go. If you’re skipping dairy you’re leaving off the frosting.