These healthy carrot muffins are amazingly delicious and moist. Sweetened with dates and pineapple, they are full of flavor and so nourishing. Truly a real deal even with no refined sugar.
Carrot Muffins With Dates
I am always testing dessert and baking recipes to use less refined sugar. And I am delighted to have another successful recipe with fantastic results.
Classic favorites and regular desserts will always be appearing on the blog and I totally enjoy those too. But nourishing treats check off so many points.
After a well received response for my date-sweetened banana muffins, now you can add this to your baking list. These muffins are wholesome, hearty, moist, easy to make and taste like carrot cake.
The combination of ingredients gives these healthy carrot muffins a complex and enjoyable taste.
Table of Contents
Ingredients for Carrot Muffins
- Flour: Choose all purpose flour or whole wheat flour. The latter will give a hearty texture. Try white whole wheat flour for a milder wheat flavor. And pastry flour muffins will be lighter and delicate.
- Carrots: Choose firm, plump, bright orange carrots that are smooth and without cracks. Avoid carrots that are black near the top or if they are soft and limp.
- Oil: Use any oil with neutral flavor — cold-pressed sunflower oil, olive oil or avocado oil. But you can also try coconut oil. Don’t skimp on the oil, or the muffins will be dry.
- Dates: Choose soft and plump medjool dates as they are easy to work with. If dates are too dry, cook them with a small amount of water, at low medium until soft.
- Ready-Made Date Paste: It is available online or at middle eastern stores, but be sure to remove any pits or fragments. Use 300 grams (about 10 ounces) for this recipe. The date paste can be sticky, so work with oiled palms or food prep gloves.
- Crushed Pineapple: We need an 8 ounce can of crushed pineapple in its own juice. That will give 100 grams crushed pineapple and ½ cup juice.
- Walnuts: Toast nuts at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes, cool and chop them coarsely.
- Raisins: I like using dark raisins, but golden raisins are ok too.
- Dried Coconut Flakes: Adds a nice flavor.
- Flavors: We need ground cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla.
- Other Ingredients: Eggs, Baking Powder, Baking Soda and Salt.
How to Make Carrot Muffins
Brief overview below. *Full recipe for healthy carrot muffins at the end of blog post.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Wet Ingredients: Process dates with pineapple juice into a paste. Whisk in oil, eggs and vanilla into smooth mixture. Stir in shredded carrots and crushed pineapple.
- Dry Ingredients: Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir in walnuts, coconut flakes and raisins.
- Combine: Add dry ingredients into wet ingredients.
- Bake: Spoon batter into muffin pan and bake at 375 degrees F.
- Pineapple juice: The date paste made with juice should be smooth and spreadable. If the dates are too dry, you may need a bit more juice to get that consistency.
- Carrots: These healthy muffins have a hearty texture, so regular grated carrots are fine. Grating carrots on the finer side may not be necessary.
- Thick Batter: The batter consistency should be thick enough to mound; in between that of cake and drop cookies. Adjust with flour if needed.
- Domed Muffins: Don't hesitate to fill the muffins pans, for nice domed muffin tops.
- Hot Oven: Preheating oven to 425 degrees F and then lowering it to 375 degrees F prior to baking, will help the muffins rise better.
These wholesome muffins taste like carrot cake and are great for breakfast or as a snack.
Carrot muffins are vegetarian, dairy free and soy free. Below are some suggestions, but I have not tried some of these.
- Gluten-Free: Substitute all purpose flour with Bob’s Red Mill gluten free flour.
- Nut-Free: Skip walnuts or use pumpkin seeds and coconut flakes.
- Egg-Free: Use flax or chia eggs instead of regular eggs. Combine 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal or chia seeds with 3 tablespoons water and allow to rest for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Vegan: Try flax or chia eggs.
- Lower Fat: Sufficient oil is needed for these date-sweetened muffins. But you can experiment with replacing some oil with applesauce.
- Other Sweeteners: These carrot muffins are pretty moist, so maple syrup or honey could make the batter too wet. Another option is to try our oatmeal banana muffins.
Combine dry ingredients and have them ready. Make the date paste and grate carrots ahead.
Healthy carrot cake muffins are best for 1 to 2 days at room temperature. They can be refrigerated 4 days or frozen for 3 months in freezer safe bags or containers.
What to Serve Along
Enjoy these healthy carrot cake muffins with milk, saffron tea, hot chocolate or coffee.
Why are These Carrot Muffins Healthy?
The muffins are made with the several nourishing ingredients.
Carrots: Are a good source of beta carotene, fiber, potassium, vitamin K and antioxidants. The soluble fiber in carrots can lower blood sugar levels, improve gut health and blood cholesterol levels. Carrots are a good source of the antioxidant lutein, which is good for eye health.
Dates: They are high in fiber, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6 and a good source of niacin, calcium, phosphorus, iron and polyphenols. Hence are a wholesome alternative to refined sugar.
Olive oil: It makes the carrot cake muffins moist and is a great source of heart healthy monounsaturated fats.
Walnuts: A great source of omega-3 fatty acids and a good source of healthy fats — monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, fiber, protein and antioxidants.
Flour: Choosing whole wheat flour would provide more fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It has a lower glycemic load, releasing sugar slowly from the carbohydrates and keeping you satisfied longer.
Fiber, protein and fat in the muffins, are all nutrients that promote more stable blood sugar levels.
More Muffin Recipes
More Carrot Recipes
★ DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? PLEASE COMMENT AND GIVE IT A STAR RATING BELOW!
Healthy Carrot Muffins With Dates
- 1 cup chopped medjool dates packed tightly, 10 oz (300 g), see note
- 8 ounces crushed pineapple will give ½ cup juice and 100 grams crushed pineapple
- ⅔ cup olive oil or any neutral oil, see note
- 4 eggs large
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla sugar
- 2 cups grated carrots from ¾ pound carrots
- 2 cups all purpose flour or whole wheat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ⅓ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ⅓ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¾ cup walnuts or pecans, toasted, coarsely chopped, plus extra
- ⅓ cup raisins
- ¼ cup dried coconut flakes extra for decoration
- butter, flour or muffin liners as needed
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a muffin pan, by applying butter in the wells, sprinkle flour all over and dust off excess. Or line with paper muffin liners.
- In a food processor, take dates with ½ cup pineapple juice and process into a smooth paste. Transfer the paste to a medium bowl and whisk in oil, egg and vanilla into a smooth mixture. Stir in grated carrots and crushed pineapple.
- Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in another medium mixing bowl. Stir in chopped walnuts, raisins and dried coconut flakes.
- Then add dry ingredients into wet ingredients and stir just to moisten; do not overmix. The batter should be thick enough to form a mound with a scoop (see note for tip).
- Spoon the batter almost full into the prepared muffin cups. Top with whole walnuts and coconut flakes. Lower the temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and bake until a cake tester inserted comes out clean and the muffin tops are golden brown, about 18 to 20 minutes. Remove muffins from the pan and let cool.
- Dates: Choose soft and plump medjool dates. Use more dates for sweeter muffins. If dates are too dry, then place in saucepan, add small amount of water (increase as needed), heat at medium high and when bubbles appear, lower the heat and simmer. Cook it until soft, turn off the heat and allow to cool.
- Ready-Made Date Paste: Available at middle eastern stores or online. Be sure to look for any pits and remove. Use 300 grams (about 10 ounces) for this recipe.The date paste can be sticky, so work with it using food prep gloves or oiled palms.
- Measure The Flour: Unpack the flour and lightly spoon it into measuring cup and level it with the back of a knife. Or weigh the flour.
- Oil: Since we don’t use sugar, oil is necessary for optimal moistness. You can try lowering it to ½ cup but the muffins will be less moist. Or experiment replacing some oil with applesauce.
- Pineapple Juice: The date paste made with juice should be smooth and spreadable. If the dates are too dry, you may need a bit more juice to get that consistency.
- Batter: Adjust the thickness of batter with flour if needed.
- Make Ahead: Combine dry ingredients and have them ready. Make the date paste and grate carrots ahead.
- Storage: These are best for 1 to 2 days at room temperature. They can be refrigerated for 4 days or frozen for 3 months.
- Nutrition Facts: Without walnuts and coconut flakes - 280 calories, 36 g carbs, 5 g protein, 14 g fat, 3 g fiber, 14 g sugar. You can make 18 smaller muffins, and each would be 226 calories, 25 g carbs, 10 g sugar.
- For more information on ingredients and variations (vegan, gluten-free, egg-free, nut-free, lower fat and other sweeteners) scroll up the page to the blog post.
I had these muffins for breakfast this morning and OMG were they delicious! I definitely will be making all spring long!
Delicious muffins without the guilt! The pineapple in this recipe really added a lovely sweet flavor.
So glad you liked it.
This is such a unique recipe. I have to save it in my best recipe listing. Love the combination of Dates and pineapple to sweeten it and the spice flavors too. This is yum.
Thanks for the lovely feedback.
I love that you use dates in this recipe. So yummy!
I really like carrot cake muffins, this recipe is so easy and a great breakfast option