Sweet sweet Friday: Superfruity Halloween Muffins

I’ve been haunting every green grocer and supermarket in our neighbourhood this week, looking for a Halloween pumpkin. But Cinderella’s fairy godmother must have been around and turned them all into carriages because there were none to be found (plus, of course, it’s spring here and pumpkins aren’t exactly in season).

The main reason I wanted a pumpkin – apart from the Halloween connection – was to make Aine’s Vegan Pumpkin & Poppy Seed Muffins. Aine is an actress and dedicated vegan and she has a lovely and inspiring blog, PeaSoupEats. You should check it out, even if your idea of veganism is choosing chicken instead of steak.

Anyway, with no pumpkins to be found I thought laterally and went for the next best thing – carrots (well, they’re orange, at least). I fiddled around with Aine’s recipe and this is what I came up with. The trick with these is that they look like a treat but they’re full of stuff that’s good for you (and the little horrors in your life). Hope you have a sweet sweet Friday and a Happy Halloween.

Superfruity Halloween Muffins
The stewed apple replaces oil in this recipe (thanks for the tip Aine!) and I found date syrup in my local ethnic warehouse. You could use golden or maple syrup, but once you’ve tried date syrup you won’t go back!

1 3/4 cups white flour

1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
pinch sea salt
1 1/2 tsp cinammon
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1/2 cup dates, roughly chopped
2 carrots
1 small overripe banana
3/4 cup low fat milk
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
1/4 cup stewed apple (or applesauce, or apple puree, or whatever else you call it)
1/4 cup date syrup
1 Tbsp blackstrap molasses

Preheat the oven to 200C and prepare your muffin tins. There is no oil in this recipe so it pays to grease the tins well or use paper or silicone liners.
Peel the carrots and slice into coins, then cook in boiling water until soft and mashable. Mash to a puree and let cool. This should yield about 3/4 of a cup. Make it up to one cup with mashed banana (you may not need all the banana).
Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl, then stir in the nuts and dates.
Pour the milk and vinegar into a large jug and let it sit for five minutes to curdle and thicken. Add the other ‘wet’ ingredients (stewed apple, date syrup, molasses) and stir gently.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and fold together gently. DON’T beat it or your muffins will be Halloween horrors.
Dollop into muffin tins (I made a dozen mini and six full-size ones) and bake for 20-25 minutes, until they are springy and pass the clean skewer test. Dust with icing sugar and serve with pride.



  1. October 28, 2010 / 9:15 pm

    They look so pretty dusted with icing sugar, they'd work well for Christmas too! The recipe sounds delish, I have bookmarked 🙂

  2. October 29, 2010 / 3:09 pm

    Oooh excellent! They look lovely. I made apple butter and I had heard it was excellent as a fat/oil replacement – now I shall try using it. And you have just given me a reason to go browsing through the food aisles for stuff I haven't got! I know I have fig, maple and golden syrup… I'd better add to my collection!

  3. October 29, 2010 / 6:57 pm

    Lovely muffins and such a relief when you know how healthy they are – te he! I really like date syrup and it makes a great topping for cakes just mixed in with melted chocolate – yum!

  4. October 30, 2010 / 2:34 am

    Yum, these sound utterly delicious. I have also used pear puree as a substitute for oil/butter in cakes – equally as effective.
    The blog hop went 'live' last Sunday but you are more than welcome to browse through the links to all of the participants.
    Now – as for the races … hmmmmm, I'll let you know how I go!

  5. October 30, 2010 / 9:33 am

    They sound so healthy they're like a Muffin Salad!! I'm definitely going to give them a try. Do you think you could use applesauce instead of oil in most sweet recipes? It sounds like a brilliant tip!! x

  6. October 31, 2010 / 6:42 am

    How has date syrup passed me by?!?!?! Seems I am the last to know of this revelation lol. Fantastic muffins too ;0)

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