These Vegan Carrot Cake Muffins are perfect for an easy grab-and-go breakfast or snack! Kid-friendly, added veggies and packed with fiber and protein. And, no, you can’t even taste the lentils!
Breakfast is kind of a big deal in my house. Not only is it the first meal of the day (obvs!), but it is also the one my family tends to “bulk up ” at. Meaning, its is the meal that they tend to eat the most at. I think everyone has a “bulk up” meal (you’re thinking about which one is your’s aren’t you 😉?) and my crew’s is definitely breakfast. I have found that if they (any myself) start their day with a light breakfast, it sets the tone for a day constant snacking, hangries and just being a grump in general.
So, for everyone’s sake…I try to have some easy breakfast options on hand that serve up so serious fuel to make the start of the day filling and everyone a bit happier.
And these vegan carrot muffins (with lentils!) have become a quick favorite in our house. I love that there is tons of protein and fiber in these wholesome muffins, along with a healthy dose of veggies. And just to make things fun, I add a few chocolate chips into the mix because…well, chocolate
Now, before you freak out about the idea of lentils IN a sweet baked good, I pinky promise that you don’t taste the lentils. Trust me…both of my kid, husband and friends ate them and pretty much begged for more.…always a promising sign that you have made something delicious. So this is an easy way to boost the fiber and protein content of your muffins.
Health benefits of lentils
Lentils are part of the legume family right there with beans and come in lots of different colors. For this particular recipe, I used green lentils since they are cheap, easy to find and work in lots of different recipes (try my Instant Pot/ slow cooker Lentil Soup).
Not only are lentils inexpensive and versatile, but they also pack a serious nutritious punch. They are packed with goodness like… (source)
- B vitamins
How to cook lentils
I opt to buy and cook my lentils from dry because they are way cheaper that way and pretty low fuss to cook.
Like all legumes, I prefer to soak my lentils in water overnight to help them be easier on the digestion and cause less bloating (and gas!). However, if legumes don’t make you “musical” in the bathroom, you can opt to skip the soaking process and go straight for cooking.
- To cook lentils for this recipe on the stove top, cover the lentils with water in a pot and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat and let the lentil simmer for about 20 minutes. Drain and let them cool a bit before adding to the recipe.
- To cook lentils for this recipe in the Instant Pot, combine 1/3 cup dry lentils with 1 1/2 cups water. Cook on HIGH pressure for 9 minutes (it will take about 5-6 minutes for your IP to reach pressure). Quick release the pressure once cook time is up. Drain and let the lentils cool a bit before adding to the recipe.
- To cook lentils for this recipe in your slow cooker or crockpot, combine the 1/3 cup dry lentils with 2-3 cups of water and cook on LOW for 4 hours or on HIGH for 2 hours (depending on slow cooker). Drain and let cool before adding to the recipe.
- Skip the dry lentils and buy precooked lentils! I find them in the fridge or freezer section of many health focused grocery stores!
- Make them gluten free. Sub the whole wheat flour with your favorite 1:1 gluten free flour blend! I like Bob’s Red Mills blend.
- Egg-free not important? If you don’t need these muffins to be vegan, replace the water and flax meal in this recipe with 2 large eggs.
- Dairy-free not important? Again, this these muffins look like something you need in your life but them being vegan isn’t important to your crew, use whatever milk your family enjoys or has on hand!
- Skip the chocolate chips. And enjoy these as is!
- Replace chocolate chips with raisins or chopped nuts. Or whatever else you can dream up!
- Replace the mashed banana with unsweetened applesauce. If you can’t do bananas, don’t like bananas or just don’t have any one hand…this sub works like a dream.
If you love these vegan carrot muffins, here are some other veggie-loaded vegan recipes
- Strawberry Beet Instant Pot Applesauce
- Carrot Apple Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oatmeal
- Fudgy Beet Gluten Free Brownies (vegan)
- Butternut Squash Vegan Cheese Sauce
- Instant Pot Black Bean & Sweet Potato Chili
Did you try this veggie-loaded muffin recipe and now you’re hungry for more?
Vegan Carrot Muffins (with lentils!)
- 2 tbsp ground flax meal
- 5 tbsp water
- 1 cup mashed banana or sub with unsweetened applesauce
- 1 cup cooked and cooled green lentils about 1/3 cup dry. See above for cooking suggestions
- 1/4 cup oil I use coconut oil or avocado
- 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk or your favorite milk of choice
- 1/4 cup maple syrup or date syrup Sub honey* if vegan is not needed
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup grated carrot
- chocolate chips** to taste and optional
- Preheat your oven to 350 ℉ and line a 12-hole muffin tin with liners. Set aside
- Combine flax meal and water in a small bowl and let it sit for about 5 minutes to let it "gel". This will form a "flax egg" and work as a binding agent in the muffins.
- After the "flax egg" has has a chance to gel, add it to a blender along with the maple syrup/ date syrup, banana, lentils, oil, vinegar, almond milk, and vanilla.
- Blend until mixture is smooth.
- Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and process until just mixed. DO NOT over mix. Over-mixing can result in dense muffins. If you aren't sure your blender can handle the dry ingredients, dump the blender contents into a bowl with dry ingredients and mix by hand.
- Finally, fold in grated carrots and chocolate chips (if using).
- Portion batter into prepared muffin tin and top with extra chocolate chips if desired.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Let cool in pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Enjoy and let cool completely and store leftovers in an air-tight container in fridge or freezer.
The nutritional information is provided as an estimate only and may vary based on the product type, servings and other factors. If you are following a diet, please consult with a professional nutritionist or your doctor. Stay healthy!