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Recipe: Zucchini Carrot Muffins

carrot muffinsWe promised to feature healthier versions of comfort foods this winter, and next on the list are muffins! Of course delicious warm muffins = carbohydrates and carbohydrates seem to be on everyone’s naughty list.

But not all carbohydrates are created equal! Carbohydrates are a necessary macronutrient. Your body needs some carbohydrates for energy! The key is trying to get nutrient-rich carbohydrates (which are the opposite of those pesky “empty calorie” carbs you’re always hearing about). Empty calories leave you feeling hungry, because your body still needs the nutrients they lack. Nutrient-rich carbohydrates provide our body with vitamins, minerals, energy and our favorite, satisfaction!

Fall and winter are the perfect seasons for nutrient rich carbohydrates (nature always knows!), and can come in the form of root vegetables, fruits, and winter squashes!
These zucchini-carrot muffins are great with whole wheat flour*, and can provide Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and even some Protein and Iron. Enjoy!

You’ll Need:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3⁄4 cup low cholesterol egg substitute
1 cup non-fat milk
3/4 cup Splenda brown sugar blend
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups zucchini, grated
1 1/2 cups carrots, grated
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
Non-stick spray

• Sift together flour, baking soda, and spices into a large bowl.
• In a separate bowl, whisk together Splenda brown sugar blend, eggsubstitute milk and oil.
• Combine all ingredients until just moistened. Divide batter into muffincups sprayed with non-stick spray.
• Bake in a 375-degree F oven for approximately 18-20 minutes.Makes about 24 muffinsCalories: 157 Carbohydrate: 16 grams Fat: 9 grams Protein: 3 grams Sodium: 130 milligrams Fiber: 1 gram Cholesterol: 0 milligrams Exchanges: 1 starch, 2 fats
Recipe Notes:
• Fiber could be increased by substituting 1⁄2 cup to 1 cup of whole wheat flour* for an equal amount of the all purpose flour. Note that this will make the muffin denser.
• This is a good way to get some vegetables in a person who is not much of a vegetable eater.
• This is a higher fat bread, but it does use vegetable oil that is lower in saturated fat and trans fat. A good oil to use is canola oil which is higher in mono-unsaturated fats.
• Splenda brown sugar blend is a combination of Splenda and brown sugar. It has half the calories and half the carbohydrate of the equivalent amount of brown sugar in the original recipe.
• This muffin is lower in salt, since no additional salt is added.
• It is also lower in cholesterol because a low cholesterol egg substitute is used. If you do not have the egg substitute, 4 egg whites could be used instead.
• Some studies have indicated that cinnamon may help lower blood glucose levels if at least 1⁄2 teaspoon is consumed.
• Vanilla, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg help add sweet flavor without adding sugar calories and carbohydrates.
• Nuts are also a good source of unsaturated fats, but they do add fat calories. If you wish to lower the calories and fat in the muffins, you can leave out the pecans.