Any nuts can be used in this recipe. I like to use walnuts or hazelnuts. You can replace the carrot with more apple if you like and can substitute the apple with pear.
100g mixed nuts
280g raw (demerara) sugar
200g carrots, unpeeled and grated
200g apples, unpeeled and grated
150ml vegetable oil
300 (2 cups) freshly milled flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
50g cold butter
70g freshly milled flour
50g (½ cup) freshly rolled oats
50g sunflower seeds
1 tsp vegetable oil
3 tsp honey
Dry-toast the nuts in a heavy-based frying pan over medium–high heat for 3–5 minutes until fragrant and golden, then roughly chop.
2. Whisk the eggs together in a large mixing bowl and once things start to get foamy, slowly begin to pour in the sugar. Keep whisking until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has doubled in size. Whisk in the carrot, apple, oil and toasted nuts. Use a spatula to gently fold in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
3. The mixture can be baked straight away but I suggest leaving it in the fridge overnight. This will give the flour a chance to hydrate and the baking powder to activate, resulting in a more consistent muffin texture. The mix will keep for 3–4 days in the fridge so it’s not a bad idea to make a double batch and bake every second day so you can have fresh muffins all week with little fuss.
4. Preheat the oven to 180˚C. For the topping, place the cold butter and flour in a bowl and rub together with your fingertips. Add the oats, seeds and oil, mix well, then mix in the honey. You want a crumble-type mixture. If it’s too dry, add a splash of water to get it to a lovely, crumbly consistency.
5. Grease a 12-hole standard (60 ml/1⁄3 cup) muffin tin and line the holes with squares of baking paper. Spoon in the muffin mixture and press it down to the level of the tin.
6. Cover the top of the muffins with the crumbly topping mixture. Place the tray in the oven and cook for about 25 minutes. Check the muffins at 15 minutes and every 5 minutes from there. The good ol’ skewer test is the perfect way to see if they’re cooked through.
7. Once cooked, remove the muffins from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 5–10 minutes. Remove them from the tin, peel off the baking paper and place on a wire rack.The Natural Cook by Matt Stone