Well today is “International Carrot Day” and I have already made my contribution to celebrate it. I have only just sat down with a cup of coffee to write about it. This morning has been manic – school run, supermarket to buy ingredients for tea (my daughter is making lasagne tonight), back home  to mow the lawn but not before I made up a Carrot Muffin recipe in my head and putting some in the oven. Whilst the muffins baked, I mowed the lawn -I am such a multitasker today. I will probably be so lazy tomorrow. Hahaha.

I based my carrot muffins on my standard muffin recipe but changed it as I went along. I am eating one at the moment  whilst I type. After adding the main ingredients for the muffins I then added cinnamon as I feel this is a great accompaniment to carrots, followed by walnuts. I did not add any dried fruit as I thought they would sink to the bottom of the muffin and spoil the muffin. Also I added the juice of half an orange which helps to bring out the flavour of the carrot. After the muffins had cooled, I decorated them with a cream cheese icing and a little iced carrot. They look so cute and taste delicious. I hope the children will eat them – if not the husband will be eating them for the next three days.

[lt_recipe name=”Carrot Muffins” servings=”12″ prep_time=”20M” cook_time=”30M” total_time=”50M” difficulty=”Easy” summary=”This recipe is soy free, peanut free, mustard and sesame free. Nutritionally, one muffin contains 249 calories, 8.1g total fat (10% daily total fat), 39.9g total carbohydrate (15% daily total carbohydrate), 1g fibre (4% daily fibre) (based on a 2000 calorie diet). ” print=”yes” image=”https://www.love-to-bake.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/carrotmuffins.jpeg” ingredients=”For the muffins;9oz self raising flour;1tsp baking powder;2oz soft spread;3oz caster sugar;2 eggs;250ml milk;1tsp cinnamon;1 large carrot grated.;1oz chopped walnuts;1tsp orange juice;For the icing;2oz cream cheese;6oz icing sugar;1/2 tsp orange juice;” ]Preheat the oven to gas 6.;Line two muffin trays with cases.;Weigh out the muffin ingredients into a bowl.;Mix together to form a batter. Do not overmix.;Spoon into the cases.;Bake for 20-30 minutes till golden brown.;Allow to cool.;In a bowl mix the icing ingredients together.;Pipe onto the muffins and decorate if required.;[/lt_recipe]

These muffins are iced and decorated and I never normally do that, as I feel muffins are tasty enough without it but for a special treat its okay. The carrot in the muffin keeps the muffin moist and the mixture is not too heavy. The cinnamon adds a touch of spice to the mix and enhances the carrot along with the orange juice. The walnuts give a different texture to the muffin. You could add ginger to the mixture but I feel that the less other flavours present the better and that cinnamon brings out the flavour of the carrot better than ginger.  With my children especially the little ones I wouldn’t want to add too many other flavours to the muffin as it would spoil it for them. I know what they like and I am sure they won’t mind the walnuts as they tend to pinch the walnuts from the mixed nuts at Christmas. They are quite a healthy muffin to have in the baking tin for the children to munch on as an after school treat. I could have added this recipe to my [amazon_textlink asin=’1520969627′ text=’Easter Treats recipe book ‘ template=’ProductLink’ store=’wwwlovetobake-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’05f0e7e0-1933-11e7-a948-e34ae39b56c3′]which is for sale on Amazon as a paperback and e-book.  Carrots, rabbits and the Easter bunny – there is a slight connection there.

These muffins can be made lactose free if the milk and soft spread are both suitable for a lactose free diet. The flour can be changed to gluten free to make it suitable for a gluten free diet. The walnuts can be omitted if there is a tree nut allergy problem.

I have loads of ideas (thanks to my children) of what to add to my next recipe book which is going to be all about summer baking for those lazy summer days and nights when you head to the beach or the park for that fun picnic treat.

For the rest of this week I am looking at ingredient changes which can be made so that different recipes can be altered to suit those requiring  different diets, for example, diabetic, lactose intolerant etc. I will be adding some to the blog and website as well as other food sites.

On a final note my ranking in the Foodies 100 has improved and I am now moving towards the 100 mark. Fingers crossed I keep moving in the right direction.