Eating Seasonally: Carrot-Raisin Muffins (with Pecans!)

I don't think I ever thought about carrots having a "season" until last year. Carrots are just always there, and they seemed to taste the same no matter what the time of year, unlike things like strawberries that were so clearly better in season. Well, that all changed when I tried local farm-fresh carrots. It turns out carrots DO have a season, and they taste sweeter and oh-so-nice when eaten while they're still fresh. The first carrots in early summer seem to be the sweetest, but the ones coming out in abundance now are still very nice.

In the last few weeks we've been inundated with carrots from our farm share, and a bag I bought from the buying club (not knowing that we would be getting so many from the farm). I've been pondering freezing some for winter, and I still might, but I wanted something else to do with them, so I came up with this muffin recipe. I've made it twice already, so I think it's a winner!

-3 whole eggs, beaten
-3/4 cup plain low fat yogurt
-1/4 cup vegetable oil
-3/4 cup vegetable oil
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-3 cups shredded carrots

-1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
-1/2 cup all purpose flour
-1 1/2 tsp baking powder
-2 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp kosher salt
-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
-grated fresh nutmeg, to taste

Add Ins
-1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
-1 cup raisins, soaked in boiling water for 5-10 minutes and then drained

1. Preheat oven to 350 and line muffin cups.
2. Mix wet ingredients together. Add dry ingredients and mix just until combined (overmixing will bring out gluten and make your muffins tough!).
3. Gently stir in the add-ins of your choice (I used both raisins & pecans and thought it was a great combo).
4. Scoop the batter into muffin cups, filling to the top. Bake for 22-25 minutes until golden brown and delicious! Transfer pan to wire cooling rack for 5-10 minutes, then remove muffins from pan and allow to cool on the rack. Enjoy!

Carrot-Raisin-Pecan Muffin
Very tasty, and really not that bad for you, since I cut out most of the vegetable oil and used mostly whole wheat flour. Plus they're packed with veggies. Oh, a few notes for you:
-You could almost certainly substitute applesauce for the yogurt. I haven't tried it, but I plan to. Applesauce is normally my go-to oil substitute when baking, but this time I had a lot of yogurt in the fridge.
-Soaking the raisins is a good way to keep the muffins moist, despite the low-fat healthiness. If you skip this step, your raisins will pull moisture out of the muffin!
-I'm thinking next time I might try cutting back to 2 eggs. Most recipes I found for carrot breads, muffins, etc. used 3 or 4 so I went for 3 to start.