I saw these yummy little muffins posted by Smitten Kitchen recently and knew the moment I saw them that I would have to try the recipe. I’m so glad I did because they are delicious! Carrots and tahini really are a perfect match. I love tahini so I knew I would love the flavor of these muffins. It is subtle and perfect, but if you want a more intense tahini flavor, try Smitten Kitchen’s Tahini Glaze!
I wanted to try and add some healthy grains to these muffins to amp up the nutrition for a quick grab-and-go healthy breakfast. I used whole wheat flour instead of all purpose and added oat flour and quinoa flakes in place of half the flour. The result was great!
Quinoa flakes are simply quinoa that has been rolled into a very thin flake. I eat them often for breakfast as a hot cereal. The flavor is just like quinoa but the texture is like a cream of wheat. They cook up in a matter of minutes and are great for an easy, quick, and healthy breakfast. I have wanted to try baking with them and they were a great addition to these muffins. You get a little of the “nutty” quinoa taste and it compliments the tahini perfectly, plus you get added protein and more fiber. You can find quinoa flakes near the hot cereal in most grocery stores.
Oat flour is just whole oats that have been processed into a flour. You can easily make your own in a food processor or buy them in the baking section where the flour alternatives are sold. I like Bob’s Red Mill oat flour. If you wanted to simplify the ingredients in this recipe, you could just use the oat flour or the quinoa flakes instead of both (just use 1 cup instead of 1/2).
These muffins are barely sweet. They have about 6 grams of added sugar per muffin. I made a cream cheese glaze to sweeten these up so that my 12 year old would love them. I whisked a little softened cream cheese with some maple syrup and he gobbled up 2 for breakfast and wanted another when he got home from school.
Need an addition to your Easter brunch table? Make a batch of these muffins! Serve them with a side of Maple Cream Cheese (see notes below recipe) and watch them disappear!
Carrot Tahini Muffins
A lightly sweet muffin with a slight nutty flavor from tahini and quinoa. A perfect breakfast or snack!
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup well-stirred tahini
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (recommended: Bob’s Red Mill)
1/2 cup oat flour (recommended: Bob’s Red Mill)
1/2 cup quinoa flakes (recommended: Ancient Harvest)
2 cups packed coarsely grated carrots grated on a box grater (This was equal to 5 medium sized carrots for me. Don’t use store bought shredded carrots…they are too thick)
- Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Whisk olive oil, tahini and brown sugar together in the a large bowl. Whisk in eggs, then buttermilk and vanilla. Whisk in baking powder, baking soda and salt, then switch to a spoon or flexible spatula and stir in whole wheat flour, oat flour, quinoa flakes, then carrots, mixing just until combined.
- Either line a 12-cup standard muffin pan with paper liners or coat them with a nonstick spray. Fill each about 3/4 of the way with batter. I had enough for 2 more muffins. Bake muffins for 14 to 16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each comes out batter-free. Muffins should be domed and lightly golden on top. Let them cool in pan for 5 minutes on a rack before transferring them to the cooling rack to cool completely.
- Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator, or wrap individually and freeze. Heat for 10-15 seconds in the microwave to serve warm.
- For a quick sweet and creamy spread, mix 2 parts softened cream cheese with 1 part maple syrup until creamy.