Gluten Free Apple & Carrot Mini Muffins

Gluten Free Mini Apple and Carrot Muffins

Today was errand day.  On the way home from work, I dreamed of taking a nap.  I’ve caught the ubiquitous “Welcome Back to School” sinus infection.  Thinking clearly is not my strong suit.  This statement is more true than false, especially between about 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM.  I don’t know why.  My gray matter just seems to shut down on me and I make decisions on limited information.

My example?  Grocery shopping.

I didn’t do too badly.  I got everything on the list.  (Okay… and one chocolate bonbon for the ride home….)  However, my fruit selecting skills were apparently on the fritz.  I wanted to pick up some crispy, sweet fall apples.  After all, I live in apple land.  It should not have been that hard.

Uh huh.  Sure.  I still managed to come home with 6 beautiful Jonagold apples that are NOT crispy in the least.  While they held up to the texture, smell, no worm-holes tests, apparently I didn’t test them well enough.  I snuggled under a blanket while the jambalaya for dinner was simmering away on the stove to enjoy an apple.  And in one bite, I knew.  I’d blown it.  The texture was not nice.  No crispy crunch met my lips at all.  Oh, so disheartening!

I brought my apple up to the kitchen and chopped it up, sprinkled it with lemon juice and put it in the fridge.  It was going to have to wait until after jambalaya.  (Which, by the way, was a killer recipe given to me by a student’s mom.  I think I’m in love…. OH MAN it was GOOD!)

After chowing down and packing up leftovers for lunches, I set to work on my not-so-crunchy apple.  It wasn’t super sweet either.  And while I love a great apple muffin (sweet ones that taste like apple fritters), I really wasn’t in the mood for something that sweet.

I ran across this recipe from Whole Foods for their Whole Wheat Flour Carrot Apple Muffins.  And that sounded like a great combination:  carrots and apples.  And… hmm… what about some ginger?  Yeah!  That’s it!  I’m making muffins!

These are tasty treats.  Their nutritional value isn’t bad either.  These come in with less fat and less calories that the Whole Foods muffins too!  I had to vary my recipe from theirs substantially because (1) the whole wheat flour, (2) I just didn’t want to use milk or applesauce and (3) I really wanted to add some candied ginger.  Oh yum.  I’m glad I did too.

These muffins are tasty and moist.  Since I made mini muffins and regular muffins, I have to say this:  I think I prefer the mini muffins.  Two bites and breakfast is done.  Perfect for the non-breakfast eaters in the world (like me).

Here’s the nutritional data for TWO mini muffins as made with my recipe below:  72 calories, 2g of fat (1g saturated fat, 0 trans fats), 10g Total Carbohydrates, 2g Dietary Fibers, 6g sugar, and 3g protein.  Not too bad, huh?  (Thanks for catching my incorrect listing, Ginny! I’ve fixed it now.)  🙂

Here’s the recipe.  I hope you get a chance to try it.

Gluten Free Apple & Carrot Mini-muffins
Makes 36 mini muffins (1.5 – 2 Tablespoons of batter per muffin)

2/3 c. sorghum flour
1/3 c. tapioca starch flour
1/4 cup flax seed meal (ground flax seeds)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum
4 ounces baby carrots (about 2/3 cup, loosely packed)
1 large apple, peeled, cored and chopped into pieces
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
4 Tablespoons butter, melted (or olive oil)
2 ounces candied ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla


  1. Preheat your oven to 375F.
  2. In the bowl of your food processor, finely chop the candied ginger into small pieces.  Continue to process until the ginger begins to ball up into a small ball of sticky ginger.  Scrap into a mixing bowl.
  3. Now place the baby carrots into the food processor.  Process until fine pieces.  Add the apple slices with the lemon juice and process to combine well.  (In total, this will be one cup of apple and carrot mush.)  Scrap this into the mixing bowl with the ginger.
  4. Mix together the apple/carrot and ginger.
  5. Add 1/2 cup of sugar, 4 tablespoons melted butter, vanilla, and  2 eggs.  Mix until even again.
  6. Sift together sorghum, tapioca, ground flax seeds, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and xanthan gum.
  7. Dump dry ingredients in to wet and mix together on low until combined.  Increase speed to medium-high and beat together for 2-3 minutes.
  8. Line/prepare muffin tins.  If using mini-muffin tins, fill each with 1 1/2 tablespoons (or so) of the batter.  If using large muffin cups, fill 2/3 of the way with batter.  Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown on top.  A toothpick inserted in to the center will come out clean when the muffins are done.
  9. Allow to cool completely before storing in an airtight container on the counter top.  (These muffins may freeze nicely as well.)

Happy Muffin-making!

GF: Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Carrots and Fennel Bulbs

It’s the weekend before school starts and amidst the mix of planning, adoption classes, and babysitting my neighbor’s crazy cat, my love and I found time to go putz at the Farmer’s Market.

It’s actually one of my favorite weekend errands.

Today we found the most delectable golden beets, fresh gorgeous carrots, rainbow chard, fresh fennel bulbs, incredible yams and sweet potatoes, cucumbers, string beans, peaches, apples and the last of this season’s blueberries from our favorite farm. All organic. And all cheaper than we would pay for them at the grocer.

This summer we’ve found the most incredible things at our local market. In the past, we’ve stopped and eaten a few things at the taco stand (I order chicken tacos in corn tortillas… speaking Spanish is a bonus here as I can explain that they need to clean the grill, etc). A few weeks ago, however, I ventured to another vendor and found some incredible salads – all of which could be made gluten-free by a rather knowledgeable vendor who was quick to answer my query about the gluten-free status of her dressings (all GF) and salads (all made to order/easily made GF). We’ve enjoyed eating lunch in the sunshine while watching the world pass by.

Today we raced down to the market after working on at the gym. Wearing our gym clothes, we stopped and had a great lunch at the “salad lady” stand and I watched as the crowd ebbed and flowed around the different picnic tables, vendor stalls and fruit bins. Many of the crowd was gearing up for the start of school. I heard parents planning fruit purchases with kids for their lunches – figuring out if the kids wanted peaches or apples with their lunch. (Personally, I was voting for the peaches as apples seem to be available always and the fresh gorgeous peaches will disappear all too soon.)

After lunch, we strolled through the stands toward our favorite blueberry farm/vendor. I was sad to see her sign declaring that this was the last weekend for their blueberries. OH! They have been so good this summer. We’ve been down to pick up two quarts almost every weekend since the berries have been available. Today, lamenting the end of the season, we bought a half flat or blueberries. I was actually a little worried about how many we bought, but we’ve already eaten almost 1/3 of them! (OMG! We shall soon look like Violet Beauregard!)

To help balance our fruit bonanza, I led the way to our favorite organic farm stand. We saw the most gorgeous veg. It actually made us both stop and consume the stand with our eyes. The colors were beautiful. Between the heirloom zucchini, rainbow chard, golden and deep red beets, and patty pan squash, I didn’t know where to start. I ended up picking up a bag of gorgeous carrots, a few fennel bulbs, some sweet potatoes and yams, golden beets and heirloom zucchini. Oh yea. I love the farmer’s market!

This recipe celebrates my veg purchases. While I made it a week ago, it still celebrates what we’ve been buying locally lately. It’s a little cooler here than usual (for this time of year) which I think is pushing me toward the roasted root veggies. It satisfies my soul to taste the goodness of these veggies… not to mention nourishes my body. And, to be honest, it is a treat to cook the ingredients we pick up at the farmer’s market together. I love peeling the carrots while thinking about the day with my love, roaming through the Farmer’s Market greeting friends and spying great finds.

What do you buy at your Farmer’s Market?
Do you have a favorite vendor or two too?

Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Carrots and Fennel Bulbs
Serves 2, (with a few leftovers for 2 lunches)
-Can be easily doubled

2 large sweet potatoes (we used red garnet)
3 large carrots
2 fennel bulbs
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons olive oil
salt/pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 425F
  2. Peel sweet potatoes and carrots. Clean and prep fennel bulbs.
  3. Slice sweet potatoes and carrots into long sticks (about 1/2″ thick by 3 inches).
  4. Slice fennel bulbs in half and then cut each half in to four sections.
  5. Toss bulb sections, sweet potatoes and carrots with olive oil and brown sugar. Season with salt/pepper.
  6. Cover a cookie sheet (with rims, to catch any dripping juices from the brown sugar and sweet potatoes) or a 9 by 13 baking dish with parchment paper (or a silicone baking mat) and spread the root vegetables in a single layer covering the pan.
  7. Roast for 45-60 minutes, turning and stirring every 15-20 minutes. Roast until all are tender and sweet potatoes/fennel begin to brown.
  8. Serve with your favorite fall meal. (We had homemade applesauce, grilled pork loin and these veggies. Well, okay… and a couple handfuls of blueberries for dessert.)

Happy Gluten-free Eating, All!

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