I have to admit I am starting to run out of ideas for different breakfasts now, so have taken to staring vacantly at the fridge and cupboards hoping that inspiration will fly off the shelves. Today the cupboards were a bit bare, except for the abundance of carrots I always have in the house, as they are Sophia’s favourite snack food. She will eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner and that is why I started to wonder if I could get them into Zac’s breakfast – he won’t eat them any other way, so how about in a muffin?
My sister makes a fab carrot cake, and I know it is a very versatile ingredient, so I started looking around for recipes. I quickly came across a recipe for ‘carrot and courgette mini muffins’. It was on the I Can Cook page of the CBeebies website. I do remember seeing the episode where Katie makes them and back then I did wonder what they might taste like. As this recipe looked far simpler than any of the others that Google threw at me, I decided to give it a go.
Here is the recipe.
1 courgette (I only had a quarter of a very large one – and this was more than enough)
1 carrot (I had two quite skinny ones, so used both)
2 tablespoons of milk (I used Rice Dream dairy free milk)
1 heaped tablespoon of raisins – I only had sultanas, so used those. The children love them, so I used a very large handful, definitely more than a tablespoon
1 tablespoon of sunflower oil
75g plain flour (my mix looked a bit wet and rather like coleslaw – because of the grated carrot and courgette – so I added a bit more of my Doves Farm gluten free plain flour mix, until it looked more like a muffin mix and less like salad!)
15g of light soft brown sugar – (I also added a squirt of agave nectar, as that didn’t seem like much sugar and I didn’t want it to taste like salad!)
1 level teaspoon baking powder – I used Doves Farm baking powder
The Cbeebies recipe doesn’t state this – but I added a sprinkle of cinnamon and a little grate of nutmeg – just to add a little warmth
I also added just a little less than a quarter of a teaspoon of Xanthan Gum, as I find it improves crumb quality
Break the egg into a large mixing bowl and whisk it lightly with a fork. Peel the carrot. Grate it into the large mixing bowl. Grate the courgette into the same bowl. Next add the raisins/sultanas, milk and sunflower oil to make your ‘wet mix’.
In another bowl , mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and xanthan gum. This is your ‘dry mix’. Now pour the wet mix onto the dry mix and stir all the ingredients until thoroughly combined.
Next spoon the mix into small muffin cases in a muffin tray. I don’t have one, so I just doubled up on my paper muffin cases to make them stronger and pushed them all close together so they could support each other! I just put mine on an ordinary flat baking tray. The oven was preheated to 200 degrees. Mine is a fan oven and very quick, so they only took about twelve minutes. If you don’t have a fan oven, you will need to cook them at 220 degrees or gas mark 7 – just keep an eye on them, as they brown very quickly.
They cooled down quickly and I offered some to the children. They were intrigued as they looked a little like rock cakes and they could see the sultanas, but once they bit into them and saw that there were green and orange bits they pulled a face and walked away. But at least they swallowed the first bite! I tried them and thought they were yummy and might make a nice breakfast. I was trying to persuade Zac that they would be delicious dipped in yoghurt or with some bananas on the side, but he was not convinced. I intend to eat one for my breakfast tomorrow and think it will go very nicely with a glass of orange or apple juice. According to the CBeebies website these muffins are suitable for freezing and can be kept for up to a month, so if your family like them, it is worth batch cooking them and stocking up the freezer. I think they are a genius way of getting vegetables into breakfast, or any meal, I just need to hide the ‘green’ better. Perhaps I need to look into a natural food colouring – or I could just peel the courgette and ‘remove’ the green altogether. May be next time!!!