My work is having a bake sale to raise funds for March of Dimes. Being the dietitian I was told to “bring something healthy.” Wahhh, sometimes I just want to make regular cupcakes from a box like everyone else. And then I remember that I love making healthy baked goods as long as the flavor is not sacrificed. Anyone can make cupcakes from a box, but not many people can make 100% whole grain muffins that have BOTH a fruit and a vegetable!
Usually, when I’m trying to make baked goods healthier I will add a bit of wheat flour here, reduce some sugar there; but this time I wanted to go all in. Not 50% whole wheat, 100%. I achieved my 100% whole wheat muffins with the help of a sneaky little ingredient: white whole wheat flour. To be honest, until now, I always thought white whole wheat flour was for cheaters. Just like people who replace brown sugar with white sugar and call it healthy: cheaters. As it turns out, white whole wheat is a different story. It actually is much healthier than white flour and it has the exact same nutrients as regular whole wheat. White whole wheat has four grams of fiber compared to only one gram of fiber in white flour.
After being impressed by the nutrition label, I wanted to learn more about how this flour was made. Is it wheat flour that is somehow bleached to look white? Knowing our over-zealous food manufacturers I wouldn’t be surprised if that was the case. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that white wheat is just a different type of wheat that has no major genes for bran color, almost like an albino wheat. Refined white flour has the bran and the germ removed from it (which contains most of the fiber and b-vitamins) but whole wheat white does not. Thus, we are left with all the nutrients, but a lighter color and milder flavor.
Okay okay. Enough with the wheat talk. I’m excited about it! Are you?? Probably not, but that’s okay. The only thing you should be excited about are these muffins! They are wonderfully delicious, perfect for Spring parties and have about 200 calories less than a slice of regular carrot cake. You can eat them as a true muffin and go without the icing (recommended for breakfast), or jazz them up with a dab of vanilla cream cheese (recommended for dessert). Either way, you will not be sorry!
This recipe is adapted from Food.com.
Nutrition facts (one muffin with light cream cheese icing) 172 calories, 8 g fat, 1.7 g sat. fat, 24 g carb, 2 g fiber, 14 g sugar, 3 g protein
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ cup canola oil
- ½ cup applesauce
- 3⁄4 cup maple syrup
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups grated carrots
- 1 cup (8 ounces) unsweetened crushed canned pineapple, drained
- 1⁄2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- ½ cup whipped cream cheese and Greek yogurt blend (I used Lucerne)
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla
- Combine dry ingredients.
- Add maple syrup, oil, applesauce, and eggs. Mix well.
- Stir in remaning 3 ingredients.
- Grease two muffin pans and pour batter ¾ cup full. You should have enough batter to fill 22 cups.
- Bake for 18 minutes at 350 degrees. (I baked one sheet of muffins at a time).
- Cool in pan, then remove and cool on wire rack.
- Make frosting by beating together cream cheese blend and powder sugar. Stir in vanilla. Frosting will have a thin consistency. Apply thin layer to each muffin. Top with grated carrot or nuts if desired.