Gluten-free Orange Carrot Muffins (with vegan variation)

We try to limit our big box shopping.  But we haven’t found a decent replacement for the toilet paper we like, the stuff that is kind on both our bottoms and our wallets  So after successfully downing (literally) 48 rolls of the stuff over the past month and a half, it was time to return to the big box store.  We got toilet paper and carrots — lots and lots of carrots.  They were on sale and we must all be beta-carotene deprived because we sort of drooled at the sight of them.

They don’t fit in our fridge.  I think bog box stores do that on purpose so you will go back and buy a bigger fridge.  And then a second freezer.  And then a storage unit for the back yard for all the junk you had to move out of the garage to fit the new freezer.

I showed them.  I’m not buying a new fridge and freezer (mostly because I live in an apartment and they won’t allow it).  Instead, I am making carrot muffins — more muffins than we currently have rolls of toilet paper.

I doubled this recipe so that I have easy snacks for the kids this week.  Doubling it filled 2 muffin pans of regular sized muffins AND a small cake pan.

To reduce the sugar and fat, I used apple sauce and fruit juice.  They are plenty sweet.

1 egg
3/4 c. orange juice
1 apple, pureed or 1/4 c. applesauce

1/4 c. butter or coconut oil

1/2 c. sugar (I used 1/2 white and 1/2 brown)
2 c. brown rice flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 t. cinnamon
2 c. shredded carrots

Whisk wet ingredients and sugar together (not the carrots).  Combine all dry ingredients.  Add dry to wet and just combine (don’t over mix). Fold in the carrots.

Fill muffin cups and bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes.

Let cool.

Frosting (I slightly modified the recipe here on the Whole Foods website*):
1 package (8 oz.) cream or neufchatel cheese or 1/2 c. Organic Spectrum Butter Flavored Shortening
1/4 c. coconut oil or butter
3 T. maple syrup
1/4 t. maple flavoring

Beat cream cheese/shortening and butter/coconut oil together until smooth and creamy.  Slowly add syrup and flavoring until nice and smooth.  Take a goofy, staged picture that can never compete with those taken by people with real cameras.

*I get nothing from the Whole Foods people, and I am sure they did not invent this recipe, but they should send me a little something-something because I have spent A LOT of money there.  A decent camera would be nice.  Just sayin’.