I’ve seen similar recipes that more closely resemble cupcakes than muffins. This healthy version uses exclusively whole wheat flour and very little sugar, because carrots and fruits add sweetness. A minimal amount of oil is substituted for the usual butter.

These muffins stay moist for a long time at room temperature, but can also be wrapped individually and frozen.

Ingredients:

2 cups white whole wheat flour

1/2 cup organic brown sugar

1 Tbsp. baking powder

2 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 cups grated carrots

1 apple, grated

3/4 cup applesauce or mashed banana

1 Tbsp. vanilla

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries

1/2 cup neutral oil

1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds

1 Tbsp. maple syrup

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger and salt.

2. Add remaining ingredients and stir with a silicone spatula until no dry spots remain. Do not over-mix. The batter will be very thick.

3. Line a muffin pan with paper muffin cups and spray them with nonstick cooking spray. Liners are not necessary, and you can just spray the pan instead.

4. Divide the batter evenly among the 12 cups. Use a big spoon to do this, and you might need to get your clean fingers into the job also.

5. Mix the sunflower seeds with maple syrup and press a teaspoon of them into the top of each muffin.

6. Bake at 375 degrees for 28 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

7. Cool the muffins in the pan for 10 minutes and then transfer them to a cooling rack.

Wendy Andresen lives in Camden with her husband, Ray; her Sheltie, Sunshine; and her bunny, Rustle. She welcomes responses to her column at wendyandrayzer@yahoo.com.