Crisp fall mornings, leaves turning colors, the sweet scent of PSL’s in the air… it all makes me want to do one thing: turn on the oven. Every October, as the quiet and stillness of fall settle in, I realize how much I’ve missed baking and roasting since spring (because using the oven in August is just silly, except for this eggplant recipe).
With just a handful of ingredients and zero fussy techniques, these vegan carrot pumpkin muffins are the perfect welcome-to-fall, get-reacquainted-with-your-oven recipe. They have a crunchy top – thanks to an extra sprinkling of sugar – and a chewy interior, a.k.a. the ideal muffin texture. They’re great as an after-school snack for kids, or for grown-ups during that 3pm energy slump. For breakfast, I like to split them in half and slather one side with peanut butter and the other with mashed avocado.
As far as baked goods go, these guys can very well be considered healthy. They’re made with whole grain flour, healthy fats in the form of flaxseeds and olive oil, and even fresh vegetables thanks to the grated carrot. Aside from the [optional] sugar on top, these carrot pumpkin muffins contain zero processed sugar.
I developed these carrot pumpkin muffins for a project I worked on with North Coast, a maker of organic and non-GMO apple products, like applesauce, juice, cider, and apple cider vinegar. The recipe features their pumpkin spiced applesauce, which is a blend of apple and pumpkin purees as well as warming fall spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. It’s so good and perfect for fall recipes that call for either applesauce or pumpkin puree; with that said, if your store doesn’t carry North Coast, you can make these with any brand of applesauce or pumpkin puree.
These healthy vegan carrot pumpkin muffins are perfect for fall! They’re made with whole grain flour, olive oil, and zero processed sugar.
- 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal (ground flaxseeds)
- 1 ½ cups whole wheat pastry flour (all-purpose works too)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup North Coast Pumpkin Spiced Apple Sauce (*See Note for substitution)
- ½ cup grated peeled carrots (about 1 medium carrot)
- ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing the muffin tin
- Turbinado sugar (raw sugar), for sprinkling (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Lightly grease a muffin tin with oil; set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine the flaxseed meal with 6 tablespoons of water. Stir and let sit while you prep the rest of the ingredients. (The mixture should thicken and become slightly gelatinous – this is known as a “flax egg.”)
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, stir together the applesauce, carrots, maple syrup, oil, and flaxseed mixture. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just until combined.
- Divide the batter among 8 of the prepared muffin cups and sprinkle with sugar, if using. Bake until the muffin tops look dry and a tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out with a few crumbs, about 25 minutes. Cool completely before serving. Store the muffins in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 5 days.
*If you don’t have North Coast Pumpkin Spiced Apple Sauce, you may substitute with an equal amount of regular applesauce or pumpkin puree as well as ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon and a pinch of ground nutmeg.
- Serving Size: 1 muffin
- Calories: 196
- Carbohydrates: 30 g
- Fiber: 3.3 g
- Protein: 2.7 g