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Carrot, Apple and Walnut Muffins

I didn't cook anything at all last week because between being out of town with family, a sick kid and then ending the week with a couple of 13+hr work days, there was no opportunity to spend any time in the kitchen at all, apart from making tea and smoothies. We ate a lot of toast and miso soup and spent lots of time in bed watching tv and then I was off to work, not eating anything to write home about apart from an old school Sheriff's lemon meringue pie that the food stylist had baked for the ad. We were shooting a commercial for Sheriffs (now owned by Dr Oetker) and I was instantly transported back into my mother's kitchen. Not being much of a birthday cake kind of girl, I asked for a lemon meringue pie every year as my birthday cake instead. I didn't realize until I was well into my twenties that my mother's famous lemon meringue pie was ALWAYS Sheriff's (much like pretty much every other mom from our generation) and although I make my own lemon curd now, I do have a soft spot for the furniture polish taste of Sheriff. That's my new slogan I am going to pitch to Dr Oetker
 "It still tastes like Lemon Pledge... but in a good way!"

So, back to muffins, it seems that the new breakfast of choice has changed from french toast to a muffin and a fruit yogurt smoothie so I have been looking for delicious recipes to try out. The Kid loves a good carrot cake but I didn't want to just make a straight up carrot cake muffin that would really be more like a cup cake since these do have to serve as a breakfast food. After a week of looking around,  I was pretty stoked to find this muffin on Grown To Cook. I changed it up a bit, used even less sugar than she did without causing any damage to the end product. I also subbed in flax seeds for poppy seeds and threw in some of my crazy Wegman's white whole wheat flour. The crumble topping is the bomb and is probably not the most nutritious part of the muffin but it IS the most delicious part and delicious has to trump nutritious sometimes because that is the way things are.

Since Vera, from Grown to Cook, is from The Netherlands, the original recipe was completely in metric and by weight so i did my best to convert it into cups/tbls instead because I still don't have a digital scale and I find it really frustrating to try to figure out smaller weights on my scale. Frankly, I am getting kind of old and my eyesight is terrible and I end up squatting down and squinting with my nose pressed up agains the scale trying to tell if that is 100g or not and that is just not dignified. We won't even discuss some of the messes I have made by misreading my old school scale.

I haven't passed these by my son yet but I ate one already and I think they are delicious so unless he has lost his mushy, tween mind, he will love them just as much as I do.

Carrot, Apple and Walnut Muffins
adapted from Grown To Cook

2 cups unbleached AP flour
1/2 cup whole wheat white flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
4 large eggs
160 ml sunflower oil
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
220 g grated carrot (approx 1 medium large carrot)
200 grams grated apple (approx 1 1/2 medium sized apples)
100g or 2/3 cup chopped walnuts

3 1/2 tbls unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup white whole wheat flour
2 tbls brown sugar
1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
2 tbls pumpkin seeds
1 tbls poppy seeds
1 tbls flax seeds
1 tsp water
2 tbls honey

preheat oven to 325F

First mix your topping together by mixing the butter, flour and sugar together, working the butter in with your fingers until it's all incorporated and the texture is nice a pea like. Stir in the oats, the pumpkin seeds and the poppy/flax seed and mix well. Finally, add the water and honey and stir it all together - I used my fingers to make sure it was really worked in well. Set aside.

Now, to make your muffin mix, put the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a bowl and whisk together really well.
In another large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, oil, vanilla and sugar until it's yellow and the sugar is nicely incorporated. Add in the grated carrot and apple, give it a few good stirs and then gently fold in the walnuts and the flour mixture, just until the whole thing is wet. Don't over mix or beat it or your muffins will be tough.

Spray your muffin tins with cooking spray and put paper liners in each cup. Fill each cup 3/4 of the way (I got 18 muffins from this mix but I don't like them huge) and then scatter the topping evenly and generously between all of your muffins.
Bake in the oven for about 28 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
Let them cool for 5 or 10 minutes in the pan before taking them out and letting them come to room temperature on a cooling rack.

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