It can be really hard to find a healthy muffin on the go. Especially one made from whole plant foods and not full of refined sugar, oil or animal products. I love to solve these kinds of problems though, so I’ve got a gem of a recipe for you today. These orange carrot muffins have a soft and fluffy texture with the citrusy note of orange. They are also completely WFPB, vegan, and oil-free. Making them an ideal healthy snack to take with you on the go.
As a Canadian, Tim Horton’s has become part of the culture here. It was a place where the girls would love to pick a treat from time to time. They used to sell an orange carrot muffin that my youngest daughter adored. Truth be told, I didn’t mind at all because it was a whole wheat muffin and contained some carrot, more than I could say for the chocolate chip variety they offered. Unfortunately, once we went plant-based, most of their offerings were no longer an option for us, so we stopped visiting for the occasional treat.
Growing children often need a little more calorie density, so I always try to have some snacks and baked goods around that they can grab when hunger strikes. Remembering how much my daughter liked the Tim Hortons version, I set to work, recreating this snack in a way she would enjoy that was also in line with our health goals. My (often picky) daughter’s reaction was high praise. “You nailed it, Mom!” I hope you love this recipe as much as she does.
You’ll find that these orange carrot muffins are made with typical ingredients, with a few minor shifts to replace the animal products and oils included in typical muffin recipes.
Oat flour – certified gluten-free if needed
Whole wheat flour – or your favourite gluten-free blend
Unsweetened vanilla plant-based yogurt – see recipe notes if you can’t find unsweetened or vanilla flavour
Carrot – shredded
Orange – juice and zest of 1 medium-large orange
Maple or date syrup
Vanilla – if your plant-based yogurt is unflavoured
First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a muffin tin with liners. I love reusable silicone liners for this as they last practically forever.
In a large bowl, add the dry ingredients (flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg) then set aside.
Wash, peel and shred the carrot. I used the finest shred, but you can use larger if you like.
Zest the entire orange, being careful not to dig into the white pith, as this part is rather bitter and won’t taste very good in the muffins.
Then, cut the orange in half and squeeze the juice out of both halves. You can use a citrus reamer for this, or just use the back of a spoon to help get all the juice out.
In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients (plant-based yogurt, shredded carrot, orange juice and zest, lemon juice and maple or date syrup).
Add the wet mixture to the bowl of dry ingredients and mix until combined. Be careful not to overmix or your muffins will come out dense and heavy rather than soft and fluffy.
Transfer the mixture into muffin cups, roughly ¼ cup per muffin to make a dozen.
Pop the muffin tray into the oven and bake for 19-22 minutes. To check for doneness, gently push down on the top of a muffin with your finger. It will bounce back if they are baked through.
I truly feel that the key to sticking to a healthy whole food plant-based lifestyle is all about making it sustainable for you. It’s unrealistic for most to completely cut out treats and desserts. I know I certainly would not want to live that way. So, instead, when we’re looking for a little treat, I focus on making it in a way that aligns with my health goals. This means aiming for natural and unrefined plant-based ingredients.
For tips on how to transform your old favourites into healthy WFPB versions, check out my post on making plant-based goodies.
Next time you’re looking for a little treat, give these orange carrot muffins a try.
- 1 cup oat flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour, or gluten free blend
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1 cup unsweetened plant-based yogurt, see notes
- 1 med-lg orange , juice and zest
- 1/2 cup shredded carrot
- 1/3-1/2 cup maple syrup, or date syrup
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350° F
- In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients
- Wash, peel and shred the carrot
- Wash and then zest the orange, careful not to include the white pith.
- Cut the orange in half and squeeze the juice into a bowl. Use a citrus reamer or the back of a spoon to help squeeze out all the juice.
- Mix the rest of the wet ingredients in the bowl with the orange juice. (Including the shredded carrot and orange zest)
- Add the bowl of wet ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients and stir until combined. Careful not to over mix the batter or it will come out dense and chewy.
- Divide the batter among 12 cups in a muffin tin, roughly 1/4 cup each. Use paper or silicone muffin cups to keep them from sticking to the tin.
- Put muffin tin in the oven and bake for 19-22 minutes. Muffins are done when a gentle poke to the top springs back, or toothpick comes out clean.
To make gluten-free, ensure the oat flour is certified gluten-free and swap in your favourite gluten-free flour blend in place of the whole wheat flour.
If your non-dairy yogurt is plain, add 1 tsp vanilla to the wet ingredients.
If your non-dairy yogurt is sweetened, cut back on the maple/date syrup.
If you try this recipe and happen to post a photo to Instagram, please be sure to tag me (@mentalforlentils). I love seeing what you guys are cooking up!