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Carrot Oat Muffins With Dates, Crystallized Ginger & Walnuts

Who wants a bite of my Carrot Oat Muffins with Dates, Crystallized Ginger & Walnuts? They are oil free, quick to make, and are chewy, sweet and have a bit of heat from the crystallized ginger. Pull up a chair and let me tell you how these came about.

Monday I saw a tweet from my friend Liren with a link to her Carrot Oat Muffins. The photos were gorgeous, and having made a few of Liren's recipes before, I knew these would be solid.

And then I went ahead and changed about a zillion things about her original recipe ;)

First, I'm not a fan of cinnamon or nutmeg, so I took those out. I used unsweetened apple sauce instead of canola oil. And then I added some of my favorite ingredients: dates (because god know I'm lacking in the real ones!), orange zest, crystallized ginger and walnuts. 

Ta da!

Carrot Oat Muffins with Dates, Crystallized Ginger & Walnuts
Inspired and adapted from KitchenConfidante
Makes 12

2.5 cups grated carrots
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup oats (plus more for the optional topping)
zest of one orange
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
10 dates, chopped
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 large egg
1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
12 muffin liners

1. Preheat the oven to 350.
2. In a large bowl combine the first ten ingredients.
3. In a smaller bowl whisk together the egg with apple sauce, two types of sugar and vanilla.
4. Incorporate the wet ingredients into the dry and using a scoop divide equally among twelve lined compartments of a muffin tin. Sprinkle the tops with extra oats.
5. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out relatively clean.

These aren't the ginormous muffins you'll find in Costco, but they don't need to be because they have so much flavor and sweetness and texture! Don't chop dates or walnuts or crystallized ginger too small: you want to be able to know what you are eating. 

With the oats and the dates and the apple sauce, these are basically a health food ;)

Have one or two of these for breakfast or dessert or a snack. I bet they'll freeze well too!

Thanks Liren for the inspiration!

PS Loving my henna drawing I got at work ;)