Carrot cake muffins: 5 cents each

A few months ago, we purchased a Breville juicer with all the money we saved from not drinking this year (we did slip up a couple times in February, but we’re over the hump now). Not only is it a tangible reward for our efforts, but it’s another great way to clean out the crisper, since pretty much anything can be juiced, from lettuce and cabbage to carrots, ginger, and fruit, to make an inexpensive liquid snack. Of course, with carrots being so inexpensive (especially at Costco), that’s what we find ourselves juicing most often. This is my first time owning a juicer, and I have to admit I was surprised by now much fiber was left behind. Two cups of carrot juice can yield almost two cups of desiccated orange fluff. I started accumulating the fluff in the freezer, knowing I’d come up with a use for it eventually, and this week I finally did: these muffins. B. has declared them to be the best muffins he’s ever had, and I have to agree they’re shockingly good. I don’t know if it’s the fine texture of the carrot fluff or the amount of sugar that veers them dangerously close to unfrosted-cupcake territory, but if you have a juicer, they’re a must-try. (If you don’t have a juicer, you can probably substitute grated carrot.)

As below, it makes 12 muffins. They last a few days individually wrapped in plastic; after that, freeze them. If you’re so inclined, you could also frost them with buttercream or cream-cheese icing and pass them off as cupcakes, or add walnuts and/or raisins to make them more overtly carrot cake-y.

• 1 cup flour (bulk): 10 cents
• 1 cup sugar (bulk): 23 cents
• 1 1/2 cups leftover juiced carrot fiber (or grated carrot): $0
• 3/4 cup vegetable oil: 18 cents
• 1 tsp vanilla extract: 5 cents
• 2 eggs (garden), beaten: $0
• 1 tsp baking powder: 2 cents
• 1 tsp baking soda: 2 cents
• 1/2 tsp table salt: 1 cent
• 1/2 tablespoon freshly ground cinnamon (whole sticks are $1 a bag at the Asian market): 5 cents
TOTAL: 66 cents/12 = 5 cents each

Look at all that fluff!

Preheat oven to 325 F.

Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

Combine the beaten eggs, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, and carrot.

With a rubber spatula, carefully fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. you may have to mash it a bit to get it to combine; just be sure not to mix too vigorously, or the muffins will be tough.

In a nonstick muffin tin (use paper cups if not nonstick), fill the cups about 2/3 full.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

11 responses to “Carrot cake muffins: 5 cents each

  1. I just bought a juicer and was looking for a use for all this carrot pulp. Cool recipe!

  2. We also got the Breville…looks like the same model even. What a great solution for the pulp! (We’ve been feeding it all to the compost worms.)

    We’ve learned some tricks to reduce the amount of leftover pulp. But root veggies will always produce more pulp than greens or fruits, which by design have higher water content.

    • Other than pushing slowly, what tricks have you learned?

      • Greens: roll them up, into a 3″ cigar. If you have celery stalks, carrots, cukes, or otherwise long skinny things, roll them into the center of your “cigar.”

        Cabbage: chunk it big, so as to wedge in the inlet. Push slowly, leaf edges down.

        Apple slices: wedge many together into the top of the inlet to create friction, push slowly.

        Citrus: don’t use this juicer for them at all, except lemons. I find the rotary juicer works better for getting all the juice out of the rounded core. I lemons entirely through, skin and all. Skin has lots of vit C and its oil is better digested, unlike other citrus which have to be peeled first. I then freeze the peels and clean my disposer blades (fresh!) or put down on specific veggies in my garden.

        The biggest trick is not to let the veggies bounce around on the blade — they get spun out into the centrifuge without getting processed. Big waste. I do not recommend running the pulp twice. You will get some additional juice, but not much, and eww! What a mess.

      • Good tips! I agree with you on the rotary juicer being better for most citrus, but I would never think to juice the entire lemon in the Breville…I’ll have to try it!

      • We are big “greens” juicers. If I’m unable to eat fresh what I got from our grower within a week, all those nice leaves get juiced instead. Vitamin and chlorophyll shot! A lemon and a cucumber cut the edge off of what can turn out to be an otherwise bitter liquid.

  3. To cut down on added sugar, try juicing an apple or two with your carrots, and use that fluff. It will have a lot of residual sweetness from the apples.

  4. I have a juicer, too. I try to stir a lot of the pulp back in, and sometimes blend it, but it’s hard for me to manage to drink it sometimes. I’ve been looking for a good recipe to use the pulp. By the way, if I get a lot of chunks, or am doing greens, I throw them back through the juice with something afterwards – an apple usually works and helps force things through.

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