RECIPE: Carrot & chia cupcakes

RECIPE: Carrot & chia cupcakes

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Want to treat the little ones without loading them up with sugar and missing nourishing nutrients? These cupcakes are the healthy treat you’ve been looking for!

These carrot and chia cupcakes, made with nourishing ingredients, provide your children with fibre, omega-3 healthy fats and iron - as well as a little bit of happiness which all our little ones deserve. 

Fibre is important when it comes to treats. While these muffins aren’t loaded up with refined sugars, the high fibre content means the sugar contained in them is digested more slowly and absorbed into the blood stream at the same pace. 

This is good for little ones to maintain their energy levels and reduce the peaks and dips that can often be caused by processed, sugary treats. 

The use of wholemeal self-raising flour combined with regular self-raising flour provides a mix of fibre as well as the chia seeds, carrot and dried fruits. 

Getting good fats into kids can be difficult as they don’t tend to enjoy the foods that contain them like oily fish and nuts and seeds. Sneaking them in to their foods means they don’t have to worry and you can ensure you are giving them the nutrition they need. 

Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fats which provide building blocks for growing kids and their overall health including their brain and eye function. 

Iron is another nutrient that is so important to your little one’s development. Iron helps create haemoglobin, the part of the red blood cell that delivers oxygen to all the organs in the body. This is process is particularly important during periods of growth. These cupcakes contain iron-rich ingredients including chia seeds, sultanas and wholemeal flour. 

Carrots, the sneaky hidden vegetable, are also rich in beta-carotene, a form of vitamin A that can help your little one’s eyes and vision as well as their immune system function. 

Honey and orange juice provide these cakes with a natural source of sweetness and the additional spices, zest and vanilla warm these cupcakes up to make them a tasty, softly sweet and moorish treat. 
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Makes 24 mini cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 orange, zest and juice
  • ⅓ cup (50g) mixed dried fruit (sultanas, currants, raisins)
  • 2 medium carrots (around 150g), peeled and grated
  • 2 eggs
  • 100ml olive oil or rapeseed oil
  • 2 tbs honey or maple syrup
  • ⅔ cup (85g) wholemeal self-raising flour
  • ⅔ cup (85g) plain self-raising flour
  • 3 heaped tbs chia seeds
  • 1 tsp bicarb soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½tsp nutmeg
  • A pinch of salt

Cream cheese icing

  • 250g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Chia seeds and orange zest to top

How to make

  • Heat your oven to 160 degrees (fan-forced) and line a mini cupcake tray with patty pans
  • In a small bowl, combine the mixed dried fruit, orange juice and orange zest and leave the fruit to soak while you put the remainder of the mixture together
  • Using a mixer or food processor, add the remainder of the ingredients of the cupcakes into the jug or bowl adding the wet ingredients first (including the carrots) followed by the dry ingredients. Then add the contents of the small bowl with the dried fruit and combine everything together on a medium speed for around 5 seconds. Turn off your machine and check if you need to wipe the sides down then continue to mix for another 10 seconds on a low-medium speed until everything is completely combined
  • Using a spoon, divide the mixture into the cupcake tray filling each one up to around three quarters full. Gently tap the tray on to the bench top to get the mixture to evenly spread and then place the cupcakes in the oven to bake for around 10-12 minutes. You will need to repeat this two to three times unless you have multiple mini cupcake trays or one that holds 24 cupcakes
  • While your cupcakes are baking, combine the icing ingredients in your mixer or food processor or simply use a bowl and whisk. Taste and adjust to your desired taste. If you have a piping bag, place the icing into it in preparation for icing the cupcakes
  • Once your cupcakes are baked, remove them from their trays and allow them to cool on a wire rack for around 20 minutes or until they are completely cool. Then, ice your cupcakes either by using your piping bag or by dolloping around a teaspoon of icing on each one, sprinkle with chia seeds and orange zest and enjoy. Store your cupcakes in an airtight container in the pantry for 2-3 days and 5-6 days in the fridge.

Roberta's tips

  • If it’s a hot day, store your cupcakes in the fridge as they will only last in the pantry in a moderate temperature
  • If you would like to make these into larger muffins, you will need to adjust the cook time to approximately 25 minutes, until risen and firm

Roberta of Naturo Medico is a Naturopathic Practitioner who specialises in preventative care and women’s health. From her Melbourne-based clinic, Roberta sees women of all ages wanting to meet their own health goals and assists them on their path with personalised treatments specific to their needs.

Alongside practice, Roberta shares healthful and nutrient-rich recipes with her readers who inspire her to continue educating on what health and wellbeing means and how it can be achieved.

Follow @naturomedico on Instagram for more healthy eating inspiration