Hey everyone! This is Rita here. I must say, I am pretty excited about this recipe. Since I'm a natural sweet-tooth with a passion for baking, I feared I'd never get my cakes right when we became vegan. At least not without having to use processed ingredients such as vegan butters and vegan egg replacements. Well, I've learned from experience that there is absolutely nothing to fear. There's art and there's science in baking, and if you combine a generous pinch of creativity with the knowledge of how to come up with a great muffin batter, odds are your results will be stellar, even if you're vegan and use nothing but whole ingredients. I've easily baked more than 60 of these muffins and they come out so damn good every time that it's got me thinking how did I ever use dairy products and eggs in my baked goods! They're fluffly, airy, sweet and fragrant. They've got the perfect crunch from the chopped walnuts and on top of it all, they're healthy and cruelty-free.
I've got a thing for oranges (perhaps because we live in Algarve, the land of oranges) and their juice and zest taste awesome in these muffins. Adding vegetables like carrots to your baked treats is great not only because they're nutritious but also because they help keep the muffin fluffly and moist. With the addition of some warming spices like cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg to the carrots and oranges, your house will be smelling heavenly once you're done baking these! To sweeten these muffins I've used a combination of equal parts coconut sugar and powdered jaggery. Coconut sugar has been named the most sustainable natural sweetener in the world. It contains traces of nutrients and minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc and it ranks considerably low in the glycemic index. Jaggery is predominantly made in India, from the sap of plants like sugar cane and date palm. It is much more complex than refined sugar and is therefore its closest and healthiest alternative. It is rich in minerals, salts, vitamins and even fiber and it provides energy slowly, over a long period of time. In India, it is even used as a remedy for a number of respiratory tract illnesses.
These muffins are not overly sweet at all and you will be able to taste every single ingredient and spice in them. The salted walnut crumb is the perfect topping. It is just salty enough to take the flavours to another level of YUM. I hope you're as excited to bake these as I was to share the recipe with you guys. Let me know how they turn out!
Carrot & Orange Muffins
with Walnut Crumb Topping
45 minutes | makes 12 muffins
SALTED WALNUT CRUMB
1/3 cup | 50 gr. spelt flour
2 tbsp | 20 gr. coconut sugar
2 tbsp | 20 gr. raw cane sugar
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
2 tbsp coconut oil, chilled
1/4 cup | 25 gr. walnuts, finely chopped
2 cups | 240 gr. spelt flour
1/4 cup | 40 gr. coconut sugar
1/4 cup | 40 gr. raw cane sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp vanilla powder
1/2 cup | 55 gr. walnuts, finely chopped
3 thick flax eggs ( 3 tbsp flax meal + 6 tbsp water )
1/3 cup | 80 ml. sunflower seed oil ( or olive oil )
1 cup | 250 ml. freshly squeezed orange juice
zest of 1 orange
1 cup | 90 gr. grated carrot
STEP BY STEP
Start by gathering, measuring, juicing, zesting, grating and preparing all of the ingredients. This will improve your dynamic in the kitchen.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF / 180ºC and line a muffin tin with parchment paper (or muffin paper cups).
SALTED WALNUT CRUMB
- In a bowl combine spelt flour, coconut sugar, raw cane sugar and salt.
- Add the coconut oil, one tablespoon at a time, and work it in into the dry ingredients with your hands, until you can no longer feel bits and pieces of the oil and it all turns into a sand-like mixture.
- Add the chopped walnuts and mix to combine.
- To make the flax eggs, combine the flax meal and water in a small bowl and let it sit for a minimum of 5 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift or whisk together all of the dry ingredients (except for the chopped walnuts).
- In another bowl, whisk together the sunflower seed oil, the orange juice, orange zest and flax eggs.
- Pour the wet mixture over the dry ingredients and fold in gently using a spatula or wooden spoon, making sure there are no lumps (but without overmixing the batter).
- Add the walnuts and grated carrot one small handful at a time, so that the carrot does not clump together.
- With the help of a measuring 1/4 cup, pour the batter into each cup of the muffin tin and cover them with a portion of the salted walnut crumb.
- Place your muffin tin in the oven and bake for 22-25 minutes, until they are nice golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
- Transfer your muffins onto a wire cooling rack and allow them to cool for a few minutes... If you can handle the wait!!
WE HOPE YOU ENJOY!
Have you made any of our recipes? Let us know how they turned out! xo