These muffins + your pantry = Deliciousness!!

Well, it’s been a while, but it’s time for me to get back into blog-land again!  Armed with a new camera (nothing fancy, but it should do the trick) and a mind that never seems to stop thinking about FOOD, I’ll be documenting the products of my kitchen creativity again.  Since I love being able to adjust recipes to suit my needs, I figured a great recipe to come back with would be a personal favorite that I adapt to whatever I happen to have in the pantry!!  They’re basic apple muffins, but this time they turned into apple-carrot-crystallized ginger-date-almond muffins.  They’re amazing for breakfast or a snack to take on the road, since they’re generally pretty filling, depending on what you decide to add.  The best thing about them is that they’re easily adaptable to whatever you have on hand, and they’re a great way to use up little odds and ends of dried fruit/nuts, etc.

Apple Pantry Muffins (adapted from Eating Well)

Ingredients

2 cups whole-wheat flour
⅓ cup sugar
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
2 cups grated carrots (approx. 4 medium)
1 apple, cored and chopped
½ cup chopped dates
¼ cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
½ cup chopped almonds
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
½ cup apple butter or apple sauce
¼ cup canola oil
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Oil 16 muffin cups.
2. Whisk flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Add carrots, apple, dates, ginger, and almonds and mix well, making sure to coat all of the additions with the flour mixture (this prevents all of the additions from sinking to the bottom of the muffins).
3. Whisk whole egg, egg whites, apple butter or apple sauce, oil, and vanilla together in a separate bowl. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet mixture.  Stir until just combined.  Scoop batter into the muffin cups, filling only 3/4 of the way.
4. Bake muffins until they are golden brown and the tops spring back when gently poked (about 15-25 minutes). Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove and let cool completely on a wire rack. (I generally use a butter knife to loosen the edges of the muffins, and then they pop right out of the tin!)

Enjoy, and have fun being creative with these muffins! The basic apple-carrot muffin is a great blank canvas for whatever you crave.

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