These muffins are a fantastic variation on a classic carrot cake recipe with fresh citrus flavours and a bit of crunch as they’re packed with nuts and seeds. Even more so as we used linseed as a substitute for egg. Flax eggs are a common egg replacement in vegan baking recipes, and when you’re not strictly vegan you don’t have to consider it a second-best option. A flax egg creates exactly the same results, binding the ingredients together so worth a try if you’ve not used it before.
To create a flax egg, you need flaxseed powder (also called flaxseed flour, or linseed powder or flour). While you can buy ready made flaxseed powder, it may not be your best option. Ground seeds go rancid very quickly, as soon as a few weeks after they are ground. The fats start to oxidise, and the seed loses the nutritional benefits of those fats. The taste also goes off. So better grind the seeds fresh yourself, whichever quantity you need, and store the whole seeds in a sealed jar in the fridge. The OmniBlend narrow base jugs are excellent for grinding nuts and seeds, so simply blend a few tablespoons, and use fresh for optimal nutrition and flavour. While the linseeds were blended on high speed for a fine powder, you can chop the walnuts for this recipe too, and only use the pulse function. Pulse just once or twice for a coarse chop.
Similarly, you can use the OmniBlend’s pulse function to chop carrots for these muffins. Peel and roughly chop the carrots, and pulse about 4-5 times for the right texture. Pick the jug up and shake if necessary to create an even result, before pulsing one more time.
Now to the spices… cinnamon is great, but a spice mix is even better and that’s what we used for these muffins. This 'speculaas' mix of spices creates a ‘gingerbread’ kind of flavour. It’s a classic Dutch recipe used in many traditional cookies and treats. It's easy to make your own, using the below ratios.
Spice mix (all ground spices):
- 8 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp cloves
- 2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp aniseed
- 1 tsp ginger
- ¾ tsp cardamom
- Optional: pinch white pepper
The below recipe works for 6 large muffins using a jumbo muffin pan with 6 large holes, or use a small loaf pan to bake a banana bread style pastry.
- 2 tbsp flax flour (linseed powder)
- ½ C fresh orange juice
- 1 tbsp fine orange zest
- 250g grated carrot / 1 cup
- 2/3 C canola oil
- 200g cake flour
- 2tsp spice mix
- 2tsp baking powder
- 1tsp bicarb
- Pinch salt
- 1/3 C brown sugar
- ½ C pumpkin
- ½ C walnuts, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 180C degrees and grease the muffin pan.
- Mix the flax flour with the orange juice, and set aside for a minute
- Mix the orange zest, carrot, and oil
- Sift flour, spice mix, baking powder, and bicarb in a bowl. Add salt and sugar and mix all dry ingredients together.
- Stir the flax egg mixture into the carrot mix.
- Add the carrot mix to the bowl with dry ingredients and fold in. Add the pumpkin seeds and walnuts and stir in.
- Divide the batter over the 6 holes of your muffin pan.
- Bake for 35 minutes or until a tester comes out dry.
This recipe uses very little sugar. It works out to 10 gram brown sugar per portion (if you’re using the jumbo muffin pan), which equals 2.5 teaspoons per muffin. The carrot, orange flavour and spices make up for it, giving it full flavour. Perfect treat if you’re trying to control your sugar consumption as it’s still a delicious pastry that will satisfy your cravings!
For this recipe we used the OmniBlend V - 1.5lt narrow base model. Both the OmniBlend I and V have a pulse function that can be used for a quick chop. The narrow base jugs (suited for grinding dry ingredients) are available in 1.5lt and 2lt models. You can find all options suited for recipes like these here. These models are suited for smoothies using frozen fruit, and thick smoothie bowls too.