Did you know that you can freeze muffin batter in paper cups and bake them later??? I feel like I have been learning many new life changing kitchen tips lately. A few of the best are:
- Freezing fresh herbs in olive oil for later use
- Cutting a handful of cherry tomatoes between two tupperware lids
- Adding a layer of water to guacamole to prevent browning
What are your favorite kitchen tips?
The muffin batter trick I learned from my weathered and stained, trusty cookbook The All New All Purpose Joy of Cooking, by Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker and Ethan Becker. My mother had a copy of the original Joy of Cooking that was equally tattered from use. Did you know that the new version has many vegan and gluten free versions of their reliable recipes? I was amazed. I have had my copy for about 7 years, (long before I even knew what vegan and gluten free meant) and I never noticed the vegan recipes until recently. Joy of Cooking is now on their 9th version, is still a best seller and a must have reference for the home cook on how to cook just about anything.
Carrot cake is my favorite cake. My mother made me one every year for my birthday. She is a very talented baker and she really out did herself the year that she painstakingly dyed and shaped marzipan bunnies, carrots and flowers to decorate the cake. I wish I had a picture of that cake. I can still take the rich cream cheese frosting and spicy cake. I was so happy and lucky to have my mom make our wedding cake. This a picture of her gorgeous lemon curd cake.
These muffins are a far cry from my mom’s beautiful birthday cakes but the flavor takes me right back to my wonderful birthday’s growing up. Of course this is a vegan version. They are very moist and cakey in texture. I pack vegan muffins with lots of fruit and vegetables and little flour. A flax egg and a banana act as a binder. I’m certain a vegan cream cheese frosting would be delicious on these.
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- 1½ cups all-purpose organic flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground all spice
- 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flax meal mixed with 3 tablespoons water)
- 1 ripe banana
- ¾ cups raw sugar
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 cup shredded Granny Smith apples
- ½ cup raisins
- ¼ cup unsweetened dairy-free milk such as almond or soy milk
- 5 tablespoons melted vegan butter such as Earth Balance
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Make flax egg and place in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes.
- Grease a standard dozen muffin pan or line with paper cups.
- Whisk together dry ingredients, flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, cloves and allspice in a large bowl.
- Mash banana and sugar together is a separate bowl with a fork or potato masher. Stir in flax egg.
- Stir carrot, apple, raisins and vinegar into banana, sugar, flax egg mixture until carrot and apple are fully coated. Allow to stand for 10 minutes.
- Stir in milk and butter to carrot apple mixture.
- Add flour mixture and stir until just incorporated. Don't over mix.
- Scoop mixture into muffin cups and fill to almost full. An ice cream scoop works well to portion muffin batter.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
- Let muffins cool in the pan for 2-3 minutes before removing from pan. Allow muffins to fully cool on a rack after removing from the pan.