I know it seems too soon to post another muffin recipe, but the Tropical Muffins are gone, because my husband was eating them two and three at a time. Well, these are not so sweet, with only half the sugar, and they contain the one secret ingredient that will curb his appetite—cinnamon. I can’t understand who wouldn’t like cinnamon, but there it is, and I use it to my own benefit sometimes.
In addition to sour cream and carrots, there are chopped walnuts and flaked unsweetened coconut, so there are plenty of flavors and textures in these muffins—they’re just not sweet ones. None of the additions—carrots, coconut, nuts, sour cream—are sweet, except for the brown sugar. I think the muffins would be great with some cream cheese and a nice big cup of coffee in the morning. You could certainly sweeten them up with different additions or with a sweet spread. I just wanted something hearty for breakfast.
Sour Cream Carrot Breakfast Muffins
Preheat oven to 375°; prepare a muffin pan with paper liners or butter.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, salted or unsalted, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 large egg
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
- Beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add sour cream and egg and continue beating until well combined.
- Stir in dry ingredients—flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon—just until lightly combined.
- Add carrots, nuts, and coconut and mix until well combined. The batter will be thick.
- Scoop the better into the muffin cups—it should mound high in the cups, but it will not spread out or run over.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 25 minutes worked for me.
Calling these muffins tropical was easier than putting all the ingredients in the title, and I figure anything with coconut can be called tropical. Besides ricotta, the ingredients that flavor these muffins are dried apricots, flaked coconut, and roasted almonds. The muffin batter is plenty sweet, so I used unsweetened coconut and apricots.
The batter is very thick and you can see that I used a large scoop of it in each cup without the muffin spreading out or running over the cup. I find that thick muffin batters work that way, so I don’t follow those fill to 2/3 full directions you see so often.
I adapted this recipe from my Heavenly Lemon Ricotta Muffins.
Tropical Ricotta Muffins
Preheat oven to 350°; line a muffin pan with paper liners.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, room temperature
- 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 large egg
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup almond milk
- 24 dried apricots, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup flaked unsweetened coconut
- 1/2 cup roasted almonds, roughly chopped (mine were oven roasted and salted)
- Beat sugar and butter together until light and fluffy.
- Add ricotta and vanilla; beat until combined.
- Beat in egg.
- Add dry ingredients and beat at low speed just until beginning to combine. Do not over-beat.
- Add milk and beat at low speed until combined.
- Stir in apricots, coconut, and nuts until well distributed.
- Scoop batter into liners in muffin pan.
- Bake for 18 minutes and check for doneness. Mine needed another five minutes to be done in the center.
- Cool in pan on rack for at least 15 minutes before removing to completely cool.
This recipe differs in both ingredients and method from the one I posted two years ago. I like both for different reasons, as you’ll see.
Two years ago I wrote about Homemade Muesli, one where I hand-chop all the fruit and nuts and toast the oats. It’s a great recipe because of the large pieces of everything—dried apricots, almonds, raisins, figs, coconut. As I wrote then, it’s great to get all the chewing from muesli. Maybe that’s why you don’t need much of it, 1/4-1/3 cup soaked in some almond milk. It’s plenty for breakfast and you don’t get a sugar high like you do from commercial cereals, including commercial muesli. You get more of a steady, balanced addition to your daily diet.
A few months ago, I started mixing part of the ingredients in the food processor—nuts, apricots, figs—where the results are these little clusters of energy balls that stick together even after mixing with grains and coconut and seeds. They still have some chewiness, but I would say less than the other muesli. That’s the one I’m showing you today.
Muesli Recipe II
Preheat oven to 350°; line a sheet pan with parchment paper, which makes it super easy to pour the toasted grains into a bowl.
- 1 lb whole grain rolled oats
- 1 cup wheat germ
- 1 cup unsweetened, flaked coconut
- 1/2-1 cup seasoned sunflower seeds
- 1/2-1 cup pumpkin seeds (my grocery was out of these!)
- 15 dried apricots
- 15 dried Sierra figs (a green-skinned fig, it is lighter in color and has a tougher dried skin than the mission fig, for example)
- 1 cup oven-roasted, lightly salted almonds
- 1 cup shelled walnuts
- Mix together the oats, wheat germ, and coconut. The coconut and wheat germ are less likely to scorch if you mix them with the oats. Spread out on parchment-lined pan and toast in oven for 5-10 minutes, keeping a close eye on it to make sure they don’t burn. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before lifting the parchment and pouring all into a large mixing bowl with the sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
- Place the apricots, figs, almonds, and walnuts into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the ingredients reach a fairly uniform consistency with some variation, but don’t process too much or you will make a paste. Pour the fruit-nut mixture into the bowl with the grains and seeds and stir until well mixed. The pulsed fruit and nuts will form into little balls of varying sizes, and this is what you want. Some of the wheat germ will stick to them, as well as some of the little seeds.
- Let it all cool completely in the bowl, stirring occasionally, before pouring into a container with a tight lid.
Serve in 1/4-1/3 cup servings soaked for about 20 minutes in almond milk or the milk of your choice. You could alternately put the moistened muesli in the microwave for 30 seconds to warm up. I let mine sit while I drink that second cup of morning coffee.
So, I asked, “Do you want some kind of a dessert for the Fourth, something with fruit, berries, maybe whipped cream or cream cheese?” And he says, “Yeah. Coconut cream pie.” What? Not the kind of fruity, easy to throw together dessert I was imagining, but coconut cream pie it is. Next time I won’t ask if I’d rather make something else.
I really like this recipe for “Classic Toasted Coconut Cream Pie,” because it uses all coconut milk as the filling liquid, where others usually use a combination of coconut milk and cream or half and half, and some don’t use coconut milk at all, which I do not understand. I also like that it calls for unsweetened dried coconut, so you know exactly how much sugar goes into the dessert. It’s a wonderfully creamy pie that is sweet enough, but not cloyingly sweet. This time around I even made her pie crust, a butter crust, and the whole thing turned out great, even if two of my pie shell sides tried to collapse.
Follow the link above for the recipe, but here’s what I did differently.
- I did not toast the coconut, which is Bob’s Red Mill® Unsweetened Flaked Coconut. Sometimes, I’m just not in the mood for the toasted flavor. I did, however, soak the large flakes in some warm water until softer, and then drained it and let it dry a bit.
- I did not follow the direction to fold part of the whipped cream into the pastry cream filling, so my pie has what appears to be more whipped cream on top than the original picture. The pastry cream is so good and fluffy that it doesn’t need the addition of any whipped cream.
Here’s that link to the recipe again: “Classic Toasted Coconut Cream Pie”