Growing up, my parents told me to eat up because there were underprivileged, malnourished children in Africa who were starving. Fast forward twenty odd years, and here I am having a guilt trip with all this “food” I’m wasting with leftover juice pulp. On top of that, all this time I thought composting meant sprinkling the pulp on soil (Yes, I did that. Dad, I apologize.). Apparently not, and doing so actually depletes plants of their nutrients, since it has to expend energy to compost the waste. Guess I’m not socially responsible or yuppie enough to be into that whole at-home composting thing…yet. Mental note:
The other day, I made a simple orange + carrot juice, which meant I was left with unadulterated carrot pulp. It felt too pure to waste, as if it was brimming with potential and begging to be used. To be honest, I’ve never been a fan of carrot cake…or any vegetables in my clear-cut, “dessert” category. Regardless, I decided to go out on a limb and bake… (drum roll, please) Cinnamon Carrot Muffins! Breakfast, anyone?
The idea was inspired by and adapted from Breville, which was originally a Carrot Apple Ginger Tea Cake recipe. I modified the recipe a bit to my liking. The lesson here is to make do with what you have, and to be attuned to what you like. The recipe below makes 9 fibertastic heapings of Cinnamon Carrot Muffins (well, more like carrot muffins with a hint of cinnamon):
2 cups carrot pulp
1½ cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoons cinnamon (increase to ½ if you like your cinnamon)
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1¼ cups 2% milk (vegan alternative: replace with soy or almond milk)
¼ cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon flax seed
1 teaspoon chia seed (garnishment)
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F, and place 9 cupcake wraps in a 12-cup muffin tin.
2. Combine dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, sugar, flax) in a Kitchen Aid mixer and whisk.
3. In another bowl, combine wet ingredients (oil, milk and vanilla). Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and gently whisk, being careful not to over mix. (Don’t ask me why.)
4. Add in the carrot pulp. Whisk again.
5. Scoop into muffin tins, sprinkle chia seeds on top, and bake for 20 minutes.
6. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.
7. Noms to the nth degree.
The verdict is out and the general consensus is that it’s tasty! The texture itself is richly dense and moist. The muffins hardly taste like carrot, a good thing in my book. There’s a barely-there sweetness that makes them guilt-free; even more guilt-free is the fact that you’re no longer wasting any food. Upcycling to the max! That said, not only are you getting fiber with the carrot, but you’re also reaping the benefits of flax and chia. Super foods galore! If you’re like me, always on the go and barely rushing out the door in the morning, this makes for a quick and easy homemade breakfast. Cheers mate, to health and longevity!