Anyone can be "the family chef". You just need good recipes and techniques! Chef Amy Fothergill shares her best recipes with you for quick and easy dishes with an emphasis on gluten-free.

Get information here about her cookbook, The Warm Kitchen: Gluten-Free Recipes Anyone Can Make and Everyone Will Love.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Gluten Free Carrot Muffins

Dealing with food allergies and sensitivities can be a difficult and frustrating experience, especially if it's for children. My daughter was diagnosed with a multitude of food sensitivities that we think are associated with her eczema. It forced me to rethink meals, snacks and parties.

After living with it for over 6 months, talking to various people and reading different web sites and blogs, I have found some great substitutes. The following recipe is one of my favorites. Whenever I've brought these muffins to a party or playgroup, no one can even tell they are gluten free. This is a real compliment!

One of my best resources this past year has been my friend Amy Andrews. You can check out her blog here. She provided me with the following gluten free flour substitution. I have found it to be very effective for baking:

3 cups brown rice flour
1 1/4 cups millet flour
3/4 cup tapioca flour

Put this in a bowl and combine with a whisk. Transfer to a container, like a qt sized mason jar. Use this as a flour substitute; it works great. For every 2 cups, she suggests adding 1/2 tsp of xantham gum.

Another advantage to this recipe, is that it has many uses; have it for breakfast, a snack or even use as a cupcake at a party. You could bake it as a carrot cake but use a different pan, increase the cooking time to 45 minutes. It's always been a hit in our house, even for the non-gluten free crowd! I hope you'll try it. Keep scrolling; there are some great pictures below.

Gluten-Free Carrot Muffins
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup white sugar*
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
3 tablespoons water
1 1 /4 cup gluten-free flour substitute (see above)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1 1/2 cups packed grated carrots (about 4 medium carrots)
Optional: 1/2 c shredded coconut (I use unsweetened)
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, combine oil, sugar, and brown sugar. Mix well. Add eggs and water, and mix.
3. In another bowl, combine dry ingredients. Mix well then add raisins, making sure they are coated with flour.
4. Mix flour mixture into wet ingredients, then carrots. If using nuts and/or coconut, add with the carrots.
5. Pour batter into greased muffin tins. Bake 18-22 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center tests clean**.
*Note: you can decrease the sugar if you would like. I haven't done it yet, but I would imagine agave nectar would be a great sub or you could use all brown sugar (but probably less).
**Note: gluten-free baking is different from traditional baking. I have found that GF baked goods need longer cooking time, even if the toothpick comes out clean.

After I made the muffins, I shredded another carrot (per the request of my almost 4 year old). I couldn't resist sharing these. They crack me up! But it goes to show that you should never make assumptions about what they will eat. How many of you would give your children shredded raw carrot for breakfast? I never thought I would but the proof is in the pudding...or maybe the muffins!


Amy Andrews said...

Glad the GF mix is working for you! Love the pix of the kids and the carrots -- too funny. I'm going to try it on mine!

AKskijester said...

Excellent recipe; the muffins are delicious! I made it with Bob's Red Mill gluten free flour mix since I didn't have the other flours on hand. I did have a little bit of trouble with the oven temperature and time - they took much longer than the allotted time, and 300 seems like a very cool oven temp - is that right?

The Family Chef said...

Hi, sorry I didn't notice your comment until now. If 300 was too long, try it at 325. I might have to retest. Thanks for checking in. I just posted a GF Granola recipe yesterday. It's good!

Roxanne said...

Mine are in the oven, they look great, can't wait to taste them.
Thank you.

The Family Chef said...

This is one of my favorite gf recipes. Hope you like it!

Roxanne said...

these are absolutely the best, my three kids love them so much I have to do a double batch!

The Family Chef said...

These are also really good with 1/2 c shredded coconut. I'll add that to the recipe now as an option. Thanks for the nice comments!

Kelly said...

Just thought I'd mention that I made a double batch of these for a ladies' Bible study and received RAVE reviews from my gluten-eating friends! One batch was made according to your recipe, but in the other I used shredded apple instead of carrot. It was YUMMY!

The Family Chef said...

Great idea for the apple. You can also use shredded zucchini or a combo of carrot and zucchini. I hadn't thought about the apple as a substitute. So glad everyone enjoyed them. I've started making the muffins into a cake. That's a winner, too.

Nina Kastner said...

I made this carrot muffin recipe. It was delicious although it did fall apart on me. I replaced the 1 cup of sugar (white and brown) with quarter cup agave. It was quite sweet. I also left out the xanthan gum as I am under the impression that companies put corn in xanthan gum and I am allergic to corn. I also left out the raisins as I am allergic to mold and told not to eat grapes. Can you suggest any alternatives to xanthan gum? Thanks Nina

Nina Kastner said...
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Nina Kastner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Family Chef said...

The only other one I have heard of is Guar Gum. Here's something I found on the web "Guar gum comes from the seed of bean-like (legume) plant, sometimes referred to as the Indian tree. It is high in soluble fiber. According to Bob's Red Mill Guar Gum product literature 'Guar Gum has eight times the thickening power as cornstarch.' Like xanthan gum, measure carefully when using guar gum in gluten-free recipes or you may end up with heavy, stringy baked goods.

Guar gum is a high fiber product and has been associated with gastrointestinal upset in some people."

Otherwise, I don't know other binders that do what the xanthan gum does.

One other possibility is using 3 Tbl ground flaxseed meal mixed with 1 Tbl water. That might help.

Hope this helps.

James said...

Not a bad recipe. Way too much sugar, considering that you add raisins and carrots are sweet. Agave is not a good sugar substitute as it's quite high in fructose.

I will tweak the recipe and let you know how it goes.

The Family Chef said...

Yes, sugar/sweeteners are one of those things in baking that can be decreased without affecting the quality. Let us know how the recipe testing goes. thanks!