Your mother was right—carrots are good for you! And your grandmother was right, too—carrots make a great addition to cakes, cupcakes, and muffins! It may seem odd to add a vegetable in when you are baking, but carrots give baked goods a soft, moist texture. Try it out for yourself with this great, gluten-free recipe for applesauce carrot muffins. But first, some facts about how nutritious and just plain useful carrots are—get ready, because there are a lot of them!
- The list of antioxidants in carrots goes on and on. Besides vitamin C, carrots have beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, lutein, caffeic acid, coumaric acid, ferulic acid, cyanidins, and malvidins.
- Studies show that carrots are particularly good for your cardiovascular system because of the many different antioxidants they contain that work in tandem. They also contain polyacetylenes, which have anti-inflammatory properties and also help to prevent excessive clumping of red blood cells.
- Everyone has heard that carrots are good for the eyes. The beta-carotene they contain is made into vitamin A, which is used in the retina to help with night vision. Studies also show that beta-carotene also protects the eyes from macular degeneration and cataracts.
- Carrots may help prevent cancers, such as lung cancer, colon cancer, and breast cancer.
- The vitamin A and antioxidants in them make eating carrots a good idea if you want nice skin. Carrots help to prevent acne, dry skin, and even premature wrinkling. Some people even grate carrots up, mix them with honey, and make a face mask.
- Carrots are even an antiseptic! You can prevent infection by boiling them, mashing them up, and put them on cuts.
- Carrots, eaten regularly, reduce cholesterol.
- Carrots can prevent stroke.
- The vitamin A in carrots helps to get rid of toxins in the body, and reduces fat and bile in the liver. The fiber in carrots help to keep the colon clean.
- Carrots can also help keep your teeth nice and clean. When you are chewing this crunchy veggie, plaque and food particles are being scraped off of your teeth. They also stimulate saliva production, which helps to wash teeth off, too.
Now that you know just how great carrots are, you’ll enjoy these gluten-free applesauce-carrot muffins even more. And, they’re so tasty your kids won’t even realize they are packed with nutrition.
2 cups gluten-free, all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup applesauce
1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a muffin pan with liners—this recipe will make 12 muffins.
In a large bowl, sift together: the sugars, the flour, the baking powder and soda, xanthan gum, cinnamon and nutmeg.
In a separate bowl, mix together the applesauce, vegetable oil, egg, and vinegar.
Combine all ingredients together, and mix well until it is smooth. Fold in the carrot and add in the walnuts.
Fill muffin cups until they are 2/3 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
Let the muffins cool in the muffin pan for a few minutes, then take them out and put them on a cooling rack.
The health benefits of carrots are many, but if you aren’t crazy about how they taste you can reap these health benefits anyway, by using carrots to make tasty muffins and other treats.