Like many parents, I often worry about whether or not my child eats enough vegetables. Although I’d like to consider potatoes as part of the vegetable family, they’re really more in the bread group since they’re mostly starchy. I do know she’s fond of peas, edamame, corn, and my stir-fry green beans, and she has even been known to eat a bit of steamed broccoli. But lately, the only kind of veggies she seems interested in are Veggie Booty and Veggie Stix, which really don’t count.
I thought of being sneaky and putting some frozen spinach in her fruit smoothie, but she’d always catch me taking out the bag from the freezer, which would nix Operation Veggie-Sneak. But then I remembered two Easters ago when I made my carrot muffins with the Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese frosting, and they were a hit. Perhaps it’s time to make it again.
Even the hard to please HB paid me the greatest of compliments by eating four muffins in one sitting and said I shouldn’t bring them to his parents’ house since there wasn’t enough to go around. (Actually there was enough for everyone to have one, but maybe he was saying that one wasn’t going to be enough?)
The Princess also enjoyed the muffins—enough so I was able to use them as a bribe to get her to clean her play area. 😉
Carrot cake/muffins, if not made correctly, can taste downright awful. A lot can go wrong—it could be too dense, too oily, not carrot-y, too carrot-y, too sweet. You’ll find this recipe just right. (Feel free to adjust baking time to 35-45 minutes, if you’re planning to make it into a cake instead of a muffin.) Note: The frosting is lighter than your average frosting—instead of spreading, it’ll be like dolloping.
Mama Sophia’s Carrot Muffin Recipe
1 pound peeled carrots (6-8 medium size carrots)—about 3 cups
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups canola or corn oil
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp Dutch-processed cocoa
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 baking powder
Optional ingredients to add-in: 1 cup golden raisins, shredded coconut, or toasted pecans or walnuts—this will increase baking time slightly
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin tins or put cupcake liners in 2 muffin tins. (You won’t be filling all 24 spaces with batter—the empty ones will be filled half-way with water to create a nice steamy atmosphere in the often.)
2) Mix dry ingredients—flour, spices, cocoa, salt, baking powder, and soda—and set aside. Using food processor, shred carrots and set aside. Wipe down food processor, add eggs, vanilla, and sugar, and blend in processor while slowly pouring in oil (about 40 seconds). In a big bowl, pour in liquid ingredients, carrots, and dry ingredients—combine thoroughly without overmixing.
3) Pour into greased or papered muffin tins about 2/3 full and bake for about 17-22 minutes. (Check for doneness with toothpick—it’ll come out clean when it’s done.)
Mama Sophia’s Better Than Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe
One 8 oz. container of Tofutti Better-Than-Cream-Cheese
1 stick Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Spread (about 1/2 cup)
2 tsps vanilla
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
Combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Chill in fridge for at least 15 minutes. Make sure baked items have cooled for at least an hour before applying frosting.
1) Use a food processor vs. hand-held mixer for easier clean-up.
2) When applying frosting on baked items, make sure they have cooled down sufficiently (at least an hour). Not only will you have a cleaner product (no crumblies), but the frosting will hold its shape better (look more like frosting vs. a glaze).
3) For a tangy-er frosting, use Tofuttti Sour Supreme Better than Sour Cream instead of the dairy-free margarine.