Carrot and Quinoa are perfect partners in these delicious muffins. Full of good for you ingredients, these muffins are excellent in lunches, after school or work snacks or just anytime you need a boost.
These Carrot and Quinoa Muffins are at the top of the list for my family’s favorite, healthy, grab-and-go snack. I love baking them because they’re super easy and take less than 30 minutes (if I have already cooked quinoa). The combination of carrots and quinoa give such a nice sweet yet nutty flavor; the carrots also add moist texture while the quinoa adds a crunchy pop. I use coconut oil and yogurt in the recipe for great moisture and even more tasty variety (see recipe notes for different types of yogurt that works well).
Brown sugar is the sweetener in this recipe but the quantity can be decreased and even left out with success. Since I’m talking about changes that can be made to the recipe, let me tell you a few more and then I’ll tell you one thing that you absolutely must not change. Applesauce is easily substituted for the yogurt with perfect results. I’ve reduced the amount of coconut milk before but don’t recommend reducing it by more than a couple tablespoons. If you’re not a fan of nuts, the walnuts can be left out and will still taste delicious.
One thing that you must not change for this recipe is the combination of almond flour and whole wheat flour. The combination of these ingredients is key to the great taste and texture of the Carrot and Quinoa Muffins. You can use gluten-free whole wheat flour but make sure it’s still whole wheat. Using all-purpose flour changes the density and flavor of the muffins and many tasters agree, if you use all-purpose, the muffins are “missing something”.
Carrot and Quinoa Muffins are a great way to have a snack that you can feel good about. Quinoa, being a complete protein, is a great ingredient to feed your family, and knowing that you can play with the sugar content and still have success is another plus. My grandkids love them so much that they frequently ask my daughter to make “Nana Muffins”.
This recipe can be stirred together without the use of a mixer. The combination of almond and whole wheat flours is key to the perfect texture here so I don't recommend substituting other flours unless you want to use gluten-free whole wheat flour in place of the regular whole wheat.
- 1 cup cooked and cooled quinoa
- 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup coconut oil melted
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, vanilla, honey, or even strawberry, room temperature,
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs room temperature, slightly beaten *
- 1 cup very loosely packed grated carrots
- 1/2 cup walnuts chopped
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon almond flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a muffin tin with foil or paper liners and set aside.
Melt the coconut oil and set aside to cool to room temperature.
In a large bowl, stir together the cooked quinoa, brown sugar, coconut oil, Greek yogurt, vanilla, eggs, carrots and walnuts.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flours, baking soda and salt.
Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mixing until fully incorporated, but don't over stir mixture.
Fill the muffin tins about 3/4 full. If desired, you can sprinkle some uncooked quinoa over the muffins before baking for a cute look. For a little extra sweetness and a shiny top, you could sprinkle some granulated sugar on each muffin.
Bake 18-20 minutes, until the tops are a nice golden color.
Remove the muffins from the oven and cool completely on a wire rack. Muffins can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature.
These muffins freeze well and just need to be brought back to room temperature before enjoying.
- For the Greek yogurt, any full fat, low sugar yogurt works. I love Greek Gods Honey yogurt. Also, I use dairy free yogurt all the time. I also use Green Valley Creamery lactose-free yogurt. I usually prefer honey or vanilla flavored yogurt but have substituted strawberry or coconut when that's all I had and it's fabulous.
- The walnuts are optional and these muffins are just as delicious without them. I like to add them for the extra nutrition the walnuts provide and if I want the muffins to have more calories for a growing teenager, they're good for that too.
- I cannot stress enough that the combination of almond flour and whole wheat flour is what gives these muffins their fabulous texture as well as adding to the flavor. If you want to use gluten-free whole wheat flour in place of the regular whole wheat, that is fine but any other substitutions simply won't do. (All-purpose in place of either flour will make the muffins heavy and kind of bland.)
- There is good reason to let the melted coconut oil cool to room temperature, as well as either warming the yogurt slightly in the microwave or leaving it out to become room temperature. When you add the wet ingredients, if anything is still cold it will cause the coconut oil to harden back up a little and not be evenly spread throughout. That being said, it's happened to me dozens of times and the muffins are still tasty. Just know your batter may look kind of clumpy.
- I've made these muffins with reduced and even no sugar at times. You can adjust the brown sugar to your liking. Many readers who are moms of little toddlers have told me that their kids love these muffins so they make them without sugar in mini muffin tins often.