I make a lot of muffins. They’re quick to mix, take only a short time in the oven, and freeze well. They make a tasty addition to a lunch box and when homemade, are a healthier alternative to other sweet treats available on supermarket shelves.
I like to try different flavour combinations but, as I’ve mentioned before, it can be a challenge to find one that everyone in our house likes. My latest bake-up was flavoured with orange, carrot and a hint of ginger.
I usually stick to the same standard recipe, playing around with flour and liquid mixes. This time I added in a little sorghum flour. Sorghum is a gluten free flour which is starting to become easier to find in Australia. It can also be found in Indian grocers with the name “Jowar”. According to my package of Bob’s Red Mill sorghum, it “adds hearty protein and superb flavour” and recommends adding 15-20% to a flour mix. On a FODMAP note, sorghum is not listed in the Monash University app, so I leave it up to you to decide if you want to try it.
I found this mini loaf pan in a low-cost department store and grabbed a couple thinking I could use them for a variety of recipes. So far I have made individual meatloaves, banana loaves, and now these muffin bars. This shape actually makes the muffins fit more easily into our lunchboxes and being food grade silicone, nothing sticks! In fact, when I made mini meatloaves I froze half, which I could then pop out into a freezer bag and still use the mould until I cook the meat loaves.
Back to the muffin bars…I have made this orange and carrot combo several times now, reducing the added sugar more and more, this time to only ⅓ cup; the orange adds enough extra sweetness. For something new the ginger flavour added a subtle and delicious warmth and a small amount of golden syrup enhanced this. As a little surprise I also added just a few dark chocolate chips to the centre of these muffin bars.
I was hoping to get a few of these into the freezer for the week ahead … none made it!
PS: The Monash University Public Lecture “Beating the Bloat” is on tomorrow. I’ll be there taking notes but it will be available online at some stage if you can’t make it. I’ll let you know
The flour mix should total 2 cups. You could follow what I did below, or substitute part or all for a different mix: buckwheat or quinoa flour instead soghum, almond meal instead of oatmeal, a gluten free flour mix instead of spelt.
Different flour mixes may require different volumes of liquid. Start by holding some of the liquid back, adding the rest to reach thick but runny consistency. Muffin batter is quite forgiving so be brave a experiment!
1 ¼ cups (190g) spelt flour (or your preferred wheat free flour mix)
½ cup (70g) oatmeal
¼ cup (40g) sorghum flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/3 cup (75g) raw castor sugar
1 large carrot, peeled
½ cup (125ml) grapeseed oil, or other lightly flavoured oil
approximately ½ cup (125ml) milk, buttermilk or dairy free alternative
2 tablespoons golden syrup, warmed slightly (or something like treacle or brown sugar)
1 teaspoon vanilla
dark chocolate chips, optional
Preheat oven to 180°C and spray 12 hole muffin pan with oil, or line holes with muffin papers.
Sift spelt, sorghum, baking powder and ginger together. Add the oatmeal and sugar and blend with a whisk.
Grate carrot with a fine-medium grater and finely zest the orange. Stir the carrot and orange zest through the dry ingredients.
Measure the oil into a measuring jug. Juice the orange and add juice to the oil. Add enough milk to bring the total liquid volume to 1¼ cups (310ml). Add the eggs, golden syrup and vanilla and beat with a fork to combine.
Add the wet to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Spoon half the mixture into the prepared muffin pan. Add a few chocolate chips to each muffin, then top with the remaining mixture.
Bake 15-17 minutes, or until golden and muffins spring back when gently pressed.
Turn muffins out onto a wire rack to cool. Freeze any not eaten on the same day.