Healthy Peanut Butter Carrot Cake Muffins // Recipe

Hi all! Today I am sharing a recipe I threw together after realizing I had nearly a whole bag of shredded carrots just sitting in the fridge. Not only that, but when am I not craving a little treat? (the answer is that I am always craving a treat!) Luckily, these muffins come in at only 91 calories (sans frosting), and just 108 calories with the frosting!
Aside from the nutritional stats, the flavor is definitely there, despite the omission of any white flour or white sugar! Side note, these are boyfriend approved! Some of my recipes don't pass his taste test, but he enjoyed these! I think these muffins are perfect as a snack or part of breakfast, or just an additional side to any meal. I will be sharing the macros for the muffins below, for those that like to keep track! Keep in mind, if you use different brands of protein, a different type of milk, or a lower fat cottage cheese, the nutrition will be slightly different.

Peanut Butter Carrot Cake Muffins
-1/2 cup + 2 tbs of coconut flour (71 grams)
-2 level scoops of Orgain Peanut Butter Protein Powder (85 grams)
-1.5 tsp of baking powder
-1.5 tsp of cinnamon
-1/4 tsp of nutmeg
-1/4 tsp of salt
-1 tbs room temperature or melted coconut oil (14 grams) 
-2 room temperature egg whites
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
-1/4 cup of cottage cheese (55 grams) (you could also use plain greek yogurt instead) 
-1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce (54 grams)
-1 tbs maple syrup (I got this recommendation from another recipe-I don't have maple syrup and wanted to save on calories, so I actually used Jordan's Skinny Sugar Free Maple Bourbon Pecan Syrup)
-2 tsp stevia
-1 cup of grated carrots (79 grams) (I only had pre-shredded carrots from the store-if you have these, boil or steam them for a few minutes before putting into the recipe-otherwise they will not be very tender once the muffins are cooked)
-2 cups of almond milk (light, unsweetened)
-18 grams (about 2.2 tbs) of crushed walnuts (to sprinkle on top of muffins) 

+Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.
+Grease a muffin pan (standard size, not mini!) and set aside.
+ Add coconut flour, protein powder, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and stevia to bowl. Mix well. 
+In another bowl, add vanilla extract, cottage cheese, applesauce, syrup, egg whites and almond milk. If you prefer, you can use a hand mixer or blender to really smooth this out (because of the cottage cheese). I did not, and just mixed by hand, and it was just fine!
+Mix carrots into wet mixture.
+Mix wet and dry mixture together, then add the coconut oil.
+Portion out the mixture into 10 of the muffin cups (this mixture will be on the slightly thick and sticky side, almost like cookie dough).
+Sprinkle walnuts on top.

++Place muffins in the oven and bake for about 9 minutes. Don't open the oven, but decrease the temperature to 350 after the 9 minutes are up. Bake for an additional 16-19 minutes. You'll know they are done if you stick a  tooth pick in the center of a muffin and it comes out clean. The tops should be slightly browned. I baked mine for the additional 17 minutes and found that at first, the center was the slightest bit soft and goofy, but once cooled, was literally the perfect consistency. 
++Let cool for at least 5 minutes before taking out of tin. If you greased it correctly, you should be able to put a dish on top, flip the tin, and have the muffins come out cleanly. I did this and let them cool for another 15 minutes before icing them.

*These are not the most moist muffins ever-which you should not be expecting anyway because most of these ingredients are healthier alternatives to a decadent muffin. They are good without icing, but I do recommend topping with an icing or putting peanut butter on top for the best flava!

+++Macro nutrients per muffin (makes 10 muffins):
Calories: 91 grams
Carbs: 9 grams
Dietary Fiber: 4.2 grams
Net Carbs (Carbs-dietary fiber): 4.9 grams
Fat: 5.1 grams
Sugars: 2.8 grams
Protein: 6.8 grams
Sodium: 127.7 grams
Vitamin A: 13.33%
Vitamin C: 1.02%
Calcium: 1.57%
Iron: 4.59% 

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
-2.25 tbs of 1/3 Less Fat Cream Cheese (38 grams)
-9 grams of coconut oil (a little over 1/5 a tbs)
-1/4 tbs Peanut Butter Powder (2 grams) (I used Tru-Nut)
-1/8 tsp Cinnamon
-1/2 tsp stevia

++Melt coconut oil and cream cheese together (about 20 seconds-the cream cheese will burn if you don't keep an eye on it!)
++Mix the remainder of the ingredients together.

++Put icing in a ziplock back and cut off the corner to pipe onto cooled muffins. Orrrrr if you don't care what they look like, just smear the icing all over those babes! 
++Enjoy. Look at the wonderful masterpiece you just created.

+++Macro nutrients for icing (per muffin):
Calories: 17
Carbs: 0.3 grams
Fat: 1.7 grams
Sodium: 15.1 grams
Sugars: 0.3 grams
Protein: 0.3 grams
Vitamin A: 0.25%
Calcium: 0.25%

Let me know if you're interested in more recipes! I am constantly cooking and meal prepping at home! I try to follow a pretty healthy and clean eating lifestyle most of the time, but on my weekends off work I am not opposed to a cheat meal or a night out! I have a ton of "treat" and dessert recipes that I have modified to be healthy, and a lot of keto inspired meals (so if you're following a keto diet, let me know-I was for quite some time!)

Thanks for reading!
XO, Kelsey