whole wheat carrot & pineapple muffins

Yesterday’s Hilton Head party was a great success. I ate my face off. Proscuitto and provolone bread, spinach and tortellini casserole, spiedies, a variety of salads, and of course Nicky cookies. They are phenomenal. I won’t even ask her for the recipe because I ‘m convinced they have to be made by her, served in the wicker basket with candy in the middle. Usually it’s red gummies but I was not complaining about the pretzel M&Ms. And then ice cream cake!

My grandpa used to own a Carvel store so I believe I’m genetically programmed and also nutritionally allowed to love and eat enormous quantities of ice cream cake when available. Plus this one had my name on it. Greg and Kiersten are starting college in a few weeks, I’m going to grad school, and Kevin is moving to DC for a new job. Snaps for us.

So today I felt like I should try to be a little bit more responsible with my eating. I had a minor hiccup when there was mold in my Chobani at lunch (vomit) but my mom was kind enough to drop another one off for me at work.

When it came time for dessert tonight, I wanted to make something a little lighter than an enormous bowl of ice cream with three cookies piled on top. I found this recipe in a novel I read a few months ago- it was set in New Mexico at a fictional (I think) cafe called 100 Breakfasts, and at the end of each chapter there was a breakfast recipe. The book was pretty mediocre but this recipe is great. This is not the fourth time I’ve made them for something to do when I’m bored.

Get together your dry ingredients, including walnuts. Ina taught me that if you’re putting something heavier into a batter (nuts, raisins, etc) coating them in your dry ingredients prevents them from sinking to the bottom.

Then your wet ingredients. I bet you never thought you’d see the day when I baked something without butter. Or sugar. I’ll admit something embarrassing now- the first time I made these muffins I started to grate the baby carrots by hand. Individually. With a box grater. About 10 minutes and 3 carrots in the lightbulb went off and I remembered that my food processor exists. Don’t make this same mistake.

I use fresh pineapple because we ALWAYS have it. In the dead of winter when we don’t have milk or bread or eggs we have a great big tropical fruit hanging out on the counter. They’re a staple for Marilyn. But if you don’t have one on hand, canned pineapple would work just fine.

Once you have your wet and dry ingredients mixed, fold them together until they’re just combined. You don’t want to overmix here otherwise they won’t be nice and fluffy.

the batter will look gross and wet. trust the process.

I practiced safe desserting tonight and cut the recipe in half.

And then I accidentally turned one of them into a cupcake. With more of that Marshmallow Spice Frosting. I don’t even know how it happened but all of a sudden there was a makeshift pastry bag in my hand full of frosting and I was going all DC Cupcakes on this thing.

It was a happy accident.

Whole Wheat Carrot & Pineapple Muffins

Recipe from The Secret of Everything by Barbara O’Neal

1/2 cup + 1 T whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

2 large eggs
2/3 cup honey
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup pineapple, medium dice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix dry ingredients together, including walnuts. Beat the eggs and add the other wet ingredients, including carrots and pineapple, and mix well. Quickly mix wet and dry ingredients together, just until evenly moist. Divide batter into muffin pans, bake 20-30 minutes (20-25 for 18 muffins, 25-30 for 6 large muffins).

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