Apple & Carrot “Superhero” Muffins

In the mood for some fall baking? Me, too! I’m cozying up with these apple carrot muffins and a cup of coffee. My dog, Cookie, is looking for some crumbs.

My sweet publisher sent me a cookbook called Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow. a few months ago. The cookbook was co-written by Olympian/NYC Marathon champ Shalane Flanagan and chef/nutrition coach Elyse Kopecky.

I should confess that I dislike running and only qualify for the “hangry” aspect of the book’s name, “Quick-Fix Recipes for Hangry Athletes.”

Nonetheless, the book is up my alley because it’s full of stimulating, whole foods-based recipes. I haven’t been able to get this hybrid apple-carrot muffin recipe out of my thoughts. They didn’t disappoint!

The authors term these muffins “superhero” muffins because they are muffins that sustain. They gave three options in the book, and I chose the muffins using grated fresh carrots and Granny Smith apples.

These muffins are quite robust and healthful, which makes them great grab-and-go breakfasts or snacks. I think these would freeze well for several months, if you want to keep them on hand for hangry situations.

Bonus? These muffins are gluten free and naturally sweetened, and easy to mix together by hand. Apple carrot muffins for the win.

I have recipes for apple muffins and carrot muffins, but I adore this combo of the two. Warming cinnamon blends the delicious apple and earthy carrot flavors together.

This recipe uses almond meal instead of whole wheat flour, which creates a nutritious and moist interior. These muffins are a little dense, in a nice manner, rather than light and lacking in substance.

You may easily swap around the mix-ins, or leave them out if you’d rather. The authors suggest walnuts, raisins or chocolate chips, and remark that Shalane prefers to sweeten them up with chocolate chips. I opted for pecans in instead of walnuts, and I think you could use any dried fruit for the raisins (chopped if large) (chopped if large).

Also read how to make Fluffy Cranberry Orange Muffins


  • 2 cups packed almond meal or almond flour (10 ounces) (10 ounces)
  • 1 ½ cups old-fashioned oats (certified gluten free if necessary) (certified gluten free if necessary)
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Optional mix-ins: ½ cup chopped walnuts (I used pecans), or raisins or chocolate chips
  • ½ cup honey or maple syrup
  • 3 eggs
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup grated Granny Smith apple (approximately 1 ½ apples)
  • 1 cup peeled and grated carrots (approximately 3 carrots) (about 3 carrots)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper muffin cups (I didn’t because I have full faith in my muffin pan, but use them if you’re concerned).
  2. In a large basin, combine the almond meal, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and optional mix-ins, if using.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the honey, eggs and butter. Whisk in the grated apple and carrots. Pour the mixture into the dry ingredients, mixing until just mixed.
  4. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling each to the brim. Bake until the muffins are well browned on top and a knife inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Allow muffins to cool completely before storing.
  5. Store leftover muffins in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. If you want them warm, reheat them on low power in the microwave.


Recipe from the Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow. cookbook by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky.

MAKE THEM NUT FREE: (The muffins will no longer be gluten free with this variation, which was provided by the recipe author.) Whole wheat pastry flour or whole wheat flour can be used as an alternative to the almond meal. Increase the butter to 8 tablespoons (1 stick), since wheat flour is much drier, and reduce the oats to 1 cup.


MAKE THEM DAIRY FREE: I haven’t tried, but I’m confident that you could substitute coconut oil for the butter. Please report back if you give that a try!

EGG SUBSTITUTION NOTE: I don’t think you can successfully replace the eggs with any substitutes here. I tried with a similar almond meal-based recipe, and it was an epic fail. However, you can use flax eggs in my carrot muffin recipe (and you could even use half grated apple, half carrots to make those muffins more similar to this recipe).