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.