Healthy Morning Glory Muffins

I came about these muffins through a great blog, Honey and Jam, about two weeks ago.  This was right before my chapter of Alpha Omicron Pi (my sorority) began its annual process of recruitment.

For those of you who don’t know, recruitment is a time consuming process.  In one week’s time, each sorority must meet every potential new member and choose the best girls for their respective houses.  The week is broken down into four rounds, each having a different theme.

Round one of recruitment was the definitely the longest.  We had to arrive at the house at 4:30 A.M. and didn’t leave until 10:30 at night!  Thank goodness most of our sorority was present, because there were 1,500 girls signed up to rush, and we had to give a house tour to every single one.

The rest of the week was very similar to the first day, except each round had a different theme.  Round two was dedicated to our philanthropy, Mr. UF, which is basically a beauty pageant for fraternity men.  All of our proceeds from the pageant go to the Arthritis Association.  The third round was centered around a tear jerking video filled with pictures of all of our sisters.  The fourth and final round is the preferential, where the potential new members choose their top three houses.  Our preferential was very somber; we all wore long black dresses and sang a beautiful a a capella piece.

The final day, known as bid day, was the most emotional of all.  We finally got to welcome all 70 new members into AOII.  Though I have yet to meet every single baby, as they’re called, the girls whom I have met are absolutely amazing and fit in perfectly.

That being said, I don’t know what I would have done without my muffins during that week.  Any time I had a moment I would snatch one from my bag and gobble it up.  My roommate Kate loved them too, along with Kayla, our psuedo-roommate who had been crashing with us that week.

I would compare these muffins to a carrot cake, but chunkier.  In every bite there’s the sweetness of the dates, the tartness of the blackberries, and the spiciness of the cinnamon.   The only difference between these muffins and carrot cake is that they’re actually quite good for you.  Because most of the sweetness comes from the carrots and apple sauce, they’ve got a fraction of the sugar as your usual morning muffin.  I’m not one to remake recipes very often, but I’ve already made these three times, so that says something.

What You’ll Need

2 cups carrots, either grated or chopped in a food processor

1 cup blackberries, or 1 grated/processed apple

1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts)

1 cup whole wheat flour

3/4 cup quick cooking oats

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 large eggs

2/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 cup orange juice

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, and line a one dozen muffin pan with baking cups.

2. Next I like to prep all of my ingredients.  Process the carrots and apple (halve the blackberries if substituting those), chop the nuts, and throw everything into a bowl.  Don’t put the dates in yet, those go in last.

3.  Stir together the flour, oats, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a big bowl.  Add the carrots, nuts, and apple/berries and carefully stir it together.

3.  Stir together the flour, oats, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a big bowl.  Add the carrots, nuts, and apple/berries and carefully stir it together.

4.  In another bowl, whisk the eggs and add the apple sauce, vanilla, and orange juice.

5.  Lastly, carefully fold the egg mixture into the flour mixture.  Fold in the dates.

Distribute the batter evenly into the muffin tins and smooth it out with the back of a spoon.

Bake at 375 for about 25 minutes.  Check on the muffins after 20 minutes to see their progress.  When firm to the touch, they are ready to cool on wire racks for at least 10 minutes (although I can’t always wait that long).



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