I came to Canada at the age of 6 and growing up in an Asian family, we were not big on Christmas traditions. We never did the whole letter to Santa and leave out milk and cookies on Christmas Eve thing. I knew exactly where my gifts came from. So it was to my surprise, while looking for a Christmas muffin recipe, I discovered that you are also supposed to leave Santa’s reindeers a treat too. Huh, who knew?
Apparently, you should leave carrots and oatmeal for the reindeers. Makes sense. Gotta keep those reindeers in shape and engerized to pull the sleigh with Santa and all those presents!
It’s never too late to believe in Santa Claus and the whole shebang, right? Good, because the healthy carrot oatmeal muffins are ready for the reindeers…..
…..the stockings are hung and the Christmas tree is decorated for Santa’s visit!
Recipe (adapted from Food Network):
Carrot oatmeal muffins
Makes 12 medium sized muffins.
- 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour, sifted (425 ml)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted (250 ml)
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (5 ml)
- 2 1/2 tsp baking soda (12 ml)
- 1 tsp salt (5 ml)
- 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats (250 ml)
- 2/3 cup brown sugar (150 ml)
- 1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped (60 ml)
- 1 cup grated carrots (250 ml)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1/2 cup peach nectar (125 ml)
- 3/4 cup buttermilk (175 ml)
- 1 cup apple juice (250 ml)
- 2 tsp vanilla (10 ml)
- 2 tbsp grapeseed oil (30 ml)
- apple butter, for serving (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Prepare a medium muffin tin by lining with muffin papper or brushing/spraying with oil.
- Sift together whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl. Add the oats, brown sugar, apricots and carrots. Stir to combine.
- Add the egg, peach nectar, buttermilk, apple juice, vanilla and oil to a medium bowl. Whisk until combined.
- Pour the liquid into the flour mixture ingredients.
- Stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. Some of the flour may still remain visible. Do not over mix or the muffins will be tough.
- Spoon batter evenly into prepared muffin tins.
- Put in the middle rack of oven.
- Bake until golden, about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Notes and Tips:
I couldn’t find peach nectar, so I just used apple juice and I also used vegetable oil in place of grapeseed oil. I made pumpkin pie spice by mixing 1/8 cup ground cinnamon with 2 tsp ground ginger and 1 tsp nutmeg. I used cupcakes tins, so I ended up with 16 small muffins instead of 12 medium ones.