Sweetpea Darlingheart: Apple and carrot muffins

Yesterday, Amber Rossouw told us about her childhood, family mealtimes, being inspired by her restauranteur grandparents, and culinary weekends with her father. Today, she shares a recipe for apple and carrot muffins – ideal for lunchboxes…

Amber Rossouw lives in Melbourne, Australia, with her husband, their two children – aged eight and six – and an array of chickens. She runs the brilliant baking blog and accompanying Instagram account Sweetpea Darlingheart, which she told us about yesterday in an inspiring interview

Here is a quick and easy recipe for some little muffins that are great for kids, especially on the go. I love having a healthy snack tucked into my bag at all times, you never know when hunger is going to strike.

You can top the muffins with whichever ingredients appeal to your kids; I topped mine with a mixture of apple slices (for my daughter), banana (for my son) and dried fig (for me!). I use stevia for sweetness which makes them low in sugar, and my kids gobble them up in a flash.

They hold together well so are a great snack to take for when you’re out and about, or to pop into a school or kinder lunchbox. They will fill you up with goodness and energy – not crazy energy like from white flour and sugar, but sustained energy to keep you going.

I always love to sneak some vegetables in at every opportunity so there’s a little carrot in there too – of course, when my daughter asked me what kind of muffins they were I said ‘apple’ – they are carrot and apple after all. If you look very closely you can see the carrot, but if you don’t point it out hopefully your kid’s scoffed half of it by then (my kids went back for seconds).

I’ve learnt over the years, as I have two very different eaters, that you’re more likely to have success when you approach things from a certain angle, muffins included.

Carrot and Apple Muffins, with all your favourite toppings…

Makes 12 regular sized muffins

1 banana
2 eggs
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon liquid stevia
2 teaspoons vanilla paste
1 cup almond meal
1/2 cup light buckwheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 large carrot, grated
1 apple, grated

Preheat your oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Line a 12 hole muffin tin with muffin papers.

In a medium sized bowl mash the banana with the back of a fork. Add the eggs, oil, stevia and vanilla and whisk together until the mixture all of the ingredients come together well to form a uniform batter.

Add the almond meal, buckwheat flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon to the batter and, using a wooden spoon, stir well until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated.

Add the grated carrot and apple and stir through.

Using a tablespoon spoon or an ice-cream scoop, divide the mixture evenly between the muffin cases, filing the cases up around 3/4 full. Top the muffins with any toppings that appeal to you or your children, such as sliced apple or banana, a little coconut, a few frozen berries or a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar.

Bake in the centre of the oven for 18 – 20 minutes, or until the muffins are golden on top and a skewer inserted into the centre of one comes out clean.

Allow to cool slightly in the tin before turning out.

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