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Carrot Coconut Muffins

Carrot Coconut Muffins

Under 200 calories per serving and a good source of fiber, these filling muffins make a great on-the-go breakfast. This recipe uses fresh, sweet dates and shredded carrots to cut down on the amount of added sugar. Unsweetened applesauce eliminates the need for oil while keeping them tender and delicious.

Tips for the cook: The coconut topping goes well with the carrot, but it is optional. You can bake the muffins with no topping at all, or substitute the coconut with heart-healthy walnuts or sunflower seeds for crunch.

Yield: 6 muffins

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Baking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

10 fresh dates (such as Medjool dates)

1 cup shredded carrot (about 2 small carrots)

¼ cup raw sugar

2 eggs

½ cup unsweetened applesauce

½ tsp vanilla

2 tsp baking powder

¾ tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp salt

1 cup white whole wheat flour

Topping

2 tbsp unsweetened shredded or flaked coconut

2 tbsp raw sugar

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 6-muffin baking pan, or half of a 12-muffin pan with olive oil or non-stick cooking spray.

Add the dates to a small food processor and pulse until finely chopped. You can also chop them finely with a knife. Add the dates to a large mixing bowl.

To the mixing bowl, add the carrots and the raw sugar. Stir the mixture, breaking up the dates so that they are evenly distributed throughout the shredded carrot. Stir in the egg and applesauce, mix well. Add the vanilla.

Next, stir in the baking powder, cinnamon, and salt until the ingredients are combined. Slowly stir in the flour, just until all the ingredients are incorporated.

Transfer the batter to the prepared muffin pan. Fill each of 6 muffin slots with about ½ cup of the batter.

In a small bowl, stir together the coconut, sugar, and cinnamon. Top each muffin with about 2 teaspoons of the mixture. Gently press it into the batter so that it sticks to the muffin top as it bakes.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each muffin comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. If necessary, slide a knife gently around the outside edge of each muffin to loosen it, and then remove the muffins from the pan and transfer to a cooling rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Nutrition information for 1 muffin: Calories 197; Total Fat 2.7 g; Saturated Fat 1.2 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 60 mg; Sodium 301 mg; Carbohydrate 39.2 g; Fiber 4 g; Sugars 22.8 g; Protein 5.3 g

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