Carrot Oat Bran Muffins (with Dates & Walnuts)

Muffins can be tricky.

A lot of really tasty muffins are loaded with fat and sugar–you might as well eat a cupcake.  Then there are the healthy versions–some of which are heavy enough to use as a weapon.   This carrot and oat bran muffin is both healthy and tasty…really!

Carrot Oat Bran muffin with tea

Carrot Oat Bran muffin with tea

The original recipe came from Woman’s Day Magazine ages ago but I have modified it extensively over the decades  years.  I had forgotten about it until my Kitchen Cupboard Spring Cleaning Challenge, in which I fail to try to use one old ingredient from my kitchen every other day.

As I was going through a list of potential old food,  I remembered some dates that I bought in quantity years ago, then grew tired of.  And as an added bonus I got to use carrots that were lurking in the basement refrigerator from last year’s CSA.  Still good, if a bit… ugly.

Old carrots

Last year’s carrots!

With only 1/3 cup of sugar, these muffins are not cakey sweet, but have more of a brightness–especially with the flavorful dates and oaty goodness from the oat bran. If you are feeding someone with more of a sweet tooth, you can always increase the sugar a bit.

This week in our house, schedules are crazy.  It is final exam week and, if that weren’t enough, my two older kids just started summer jobs.  This means that the muffins (we are now on batch #3) have come in especially handy–don’t you love not feeling guilty when you eat on the run!

Eating a Carrot Oat Bran Muffin

Eating a Carrot Oat Bran Muffin

Carrot  Oat Bran Muffins

Makes 12 muffins


  • 1 c unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 c oat bran
  • 1/3 c brown sugar (increase to 1/2 c if you like things sweeter)
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1 c shredded carrots
  • 1/4 c butter
  • 2/3 c  milk
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 c chopped dates
  • 1/4 c chopped walnuts


1.  Mix flour, oat bran, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and shredded carrots.

2.  Melt the butter and combine with milk and vanilla.  Add beaten eggs.

Carrot Oat Bran Muffin Ingredients

Carrot Oat Bran Muffin Ingredients

3.  Mix wet and dry ingredients until just combined and stir in dates and nuts.  Spoon into muffin cups filling mostly to the top since they don’t rise a lot.

Fill muffin cups

Fill muffin cups

Carrot Oat Bran Muffins in pan

Carrot Oat Bran Muffins in pan

4.  Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes until starting to turn golden.

Carrot Oat Bran Muffin Platter

Carrot Oat Bran Muffin Platter

5.  Let cool before eating (unlike many muffins, these are better at room temperature).

Carrot Muffins

Carrot Muffins

Kitchen Cupboard Spring Cleaning Challenge Tally So Far…

  1. Vegetable (Hearts of Palm) Dip
  2. Super Simple Sugared Nuts
  3. Blueberry Lemon Sugar Muffins
  4. Rustic Rye Bread
  5. Beef Liver
  6. Onion Jam
  7. Sun Dried Tomatoes
  8. Eggs
  9. Dates
  10. Carrots


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21 thoughts on “Carrot Oat Bran Muffins (with Dates & Walnuts)

  1. Lynn

    Yummy – these look delectable! I LOVE any kind of carrot muffin – anything with vegetables in it is good for you, right? 😉

  2. Kathy

    I like the idea that these don’t have a lot of fat and sugar. Just the kind of muffins I might make for us! Thank you, Inger.

  3. Louise

    Oh if I could only convince Michele to bake up these muffins. She detest carrots but I’ve recently discovered that they are so good for your blood, which I’m surprised I didn’t know, and she needs to build up her resistance.

    I think I will send this recipe along with my sister to Idaho. Maybe she will lure her into goodness:)

    Thanks for sharing, Inger. They look yummy.

    P.S. I had a bit of a time getting here from your comment on my blog. Your avatar leads to Google+ but there isn’t a link to your blog on it. Thank goodness you’re in my sidebar:)

    1. Inger Post author

      Now that I am on a self-hosted site, the wordpress option to identify myself often doesn’t work. I use the name/url option if it is available, and the google+ if it isn’t. But I haven’t been able to figure out how to add a link to Google+ so I guess I’m stuck.

      But I hope you get Michelle to try the muffins. They aren’t much like carrot cake, but drier, less dense and less carrot-y, so perhaps that will help…

      1. Inger Post author

        You know I just went back in to Google+ and there is a link in it, but it is really hard to find. For whatever reason, they don’t put it on the profile–you have to go to About (which of course is not very user-friendly)

      2. Louise

        I actually passed this recipe on to Michele’s friend last night. It seems they decided to have a hair shaving party and they wanted some healthy snacks. I’ll let you know how they liked them Inger.

        Believe it or not I did get my URL on WordPress but I’m not setting it up. WordPress & I don’t seem to get along, lol…Hopefully I’ll remember to check About should it happen again:)

  4. Needful Things

    These sound wonderful. Perfect for breakfast on the run. I have oat bran, carrots and dates on hand and would probably skip the sugar entirely. I made something similar for my daughter’s birthday and, to my own palette, the sugar was unnecessary.

    1. Inger Post author

      I am baking some more soon (my daughter found more old carrots), so perhaps I’ll try reducing the sugar even a little more (though I don’t think I’m brave enough to go cold turkey 😉 )

  5. grace

    while i love cupcakes and sweet muffins, that’s not necessarily what i want (or need) for breakfast. this is a tasty-looking option that appeals much more!

    1. Inger Post author

      That makes sense to me Grace. In fact, I left my oldest, who is away from home for a summer job (and complaining she might starve), with a bunch and it was nice to feel it was something more meal-like.

    1. Inger Post author

      Thanks! I like to believe that eating healthy is easier (and tastier) than we think!

  6. Beth

    Although I’m not posting about it, you’ve encouraged me to use up some of the ingredients that have been around for a while. It’s a great way to find a new recipe!

    1. Inger Post author

      It has been an interesting experience–kind of like buying a rug or a sofa then decorating a room around it. Ironically, I think I may need to re-buy a few things that we’ve gotten a bit attached to!

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