Carrot Cake Muffins

These muffins are heart smart and diet friendly. Double this recipe, and you’ll have breakfast for a month!

Yields: 12 standard muffins
Cooking Time: 25-30 minutes

Carrot Cake Muffin
Carrot Cake Muffin

Ingredients:

Cooking spray
1 ¾ cups Heart Smart Bisquick Mix
¼ cup Truvia Baking Blend (or Splenda Baking Blend)
2 Tbsp flax meal
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 cup applesauce
½ cup buttermilk
4 large egg whites, lightly beaten
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
½ cup grated carrots
¼ cup chopped pecans
1 (1 oz) box raisins
1 Tbsp Greek yogurt cream cheese (optional and not included in nutrition information)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat 12 standard muffin cups with cooking spray, or, if using paper liners, spray liners lightly with cooking spray. Whisk together the Bisquick, Truvia, flax meal, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and set aside. Whisk together applesauce, buttermilk, eggs, oil, and vanilla in a large bowl. Add the Bisquick dry ingredients mix and fold them in just until combined. Carefully fold in carrots, pecans, and raisins. Pour batter into the muffin cups, making sure to fill each to the brim. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Nutrition Information:

Nutrition Disclaimer: I am not a certified nutritionist…these are just the calculations I’m pretty sure are close to correct. I use BodyMedia to generate my information.

Calories: 151
Fat: 4.4g
Saturated Fat: 1.4g
Cholesterol: 0.4mg
Sodium: 254.4mg
Carbohydrates: 23.1g
Dietary Fiber: 1.3g
Sugar: 10.9g
Protein: 3.4g

Dietary Exchange: 1½ Starch
Jenny Craig: Perfect for breakfast, especially with the added Tbsp of Greek yogurt cream cheese
Weight Watchers: 4 Points (using calculatorcat.com).

You’ll probably recognize this recipe as being very similar to my Blueberry Heart Smart Muffins. I just changed a couple of things because I love carrot cake and never get to eat it. That’s probably because carrot cake is usually super high in calories (Baker’s Square’s slice is 1400 calories…I’m not even remotely kidding).

I guess I more or less "shaved" the carrots, rather than grating them. I just used a potato peeler, but a food processor would be way more efficient (just louder and therefore not an option to mom's with sleeping babies in sound carrying houses).
I guess I more or less “shaved” the carrots, rather than grating them. I just used a potato peeler, but a food processor would be way more efficient (just louder and therefore not an option to moms with sleeping babies in sound carrying houses).

The results? It works! You do have to make a few changes, like using egg whites instead of eggs, because otherwise they’d be too fattening with the added pecans. But that seems to make the muffins fluffier so I was happy.

I did try a few things that didn’t work.

I tried to make a buttermilk substitute. I put 1 Tbsp of white vinegar in a measuring cup, then filled the rest of the cup with fat free milk until it reached the 1 cup mark. I let that sit 5 minutes and then I used half of it. I wouldn’t say this was a complete failure, but the muffins did have a stronger sour aftertaste that I didn’t like. So I’d only use this method if you don’t have buttermilk on hand. Also, I’m told you can do this with lemon juice instead of vinegar, but I’ve never tried it.

I also tried substituting unsweetened applesauce for the regular applesauce. Don’t do it. The muffins won’t turn out sweet enough, and you barely save yourself any calories. Not worth the substitute.

For the Greek Yogurt Cream Cheese:

This helps make the carrot cake muffin complete. Greek yogurt cream cheese is great. It’s not just a 1/3 less fat like other light cream cheese…it’s actually a 1/3 of the fat. And it has more protein than regular cream cheese. And it tastes good.

I just took a Tbsp and spread it onto of the muffin in the picture. You could probably sprinkle a little Truvia or Splenda on top to give the cream cheese a sweeter taste.

The Greek yogurt cream cheese (which, by the way, I found at Walmart so it can’t be too difficult to track down) adds an additional 30 calories, 1.5g of fat, 1.5g of carbs, and 2g of protein.

So make a bunch of these muffins (I doubled my batch), freeze half of them, and you’ve got a month’s worth of muffins. Or, double the batch but make half of them blueberry and half of them carrot/pecan/raisin (just make sure to hold the cinnamon and nutmeg until the end, because you don’t really want those spices in with your blueberries…unless, of course, you do, and then go for it)!

 

 

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