Educator Takiema Bunche-Smith and her son Na’im love cooking together. and one of their favorite things to make are lactose-free carrot raisin muffins. We were lucky enough to sample one—ok, maybe three—of these tasty treats during our photoshoot with the pair, and were surprised that there wasn’t any dairy in each airy bite. Maintaining a gluten- and lactose-free diet is a conscious decision Bunche-Smith made after experiencing health issues years ago.
“In late 1999, I was feeling sick on a regular basis,” she explains. “I went to see a holistic practitioner who recommended that I remove all dairy products from my diet. I did and saw amazing changes: my asthma attacks stopped—I haven’t been hospitalized since with an asthma attack—and my gut issues were pretty much cut down 90 percent.”
This led Bunche-Smith to remove wheat and gluten from her diet as well, helping her lose weight and feel more energetic and clear-minded. “Na’im appeared to have a lactose intolerance early on,” she says, “so he eats similarly to me. He does still eat wheat, and I’ve been experimenting with gluten-free versions of these muffins so that we can enjoy them together.”
Takiema’s Lactose-Free Carrot and Raisin Muffins
Adapted from the Vitamix Whole Food Recipes cookbook
1 2/3 cups unbleached white flour with wheat germ or unbleached plain white flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon apple pie spice (“You can also mix in cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice as well,” Bunche-Smith advises.)
2/3 cup organic Black Thompson raisins
3/4 cup organic whole carrots peeled and grated
1/2 cup Turbinado sugar
2/3 cup unrefined organic coconut oil at room temperature
a splash to 1/4 cup of water, unsweetened almond milk, or other milk substitute
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Wipe down a 12-cup muffin tin with a little coconut oil. You can also line with paper liners or use silicone muffin tins, which do not require either oil or liners.
- Place flour, baking soda, spices, and raisins in a medium-sized mixing bowl and stir lightly. Set the dry mixture aside.
- Grate the carrots on the medium-sized section of a grater. If using a Vitamix, blend until finely grated.
- Put carrots in a bowl, then add eggs, sugar, and oil. Mix all of the wet ingredients together.
- Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and fold or stir lightly until it is all incorporated. If the batter is a little dry, add the splash of water, unsweetened almond milk or other milk substitute.
- Scoop about 1/2 cup of batter into each muffin cup in the tin.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer the muffin tin to a wire rack to cool, then remove the muffins and enjoy!
“The original recipe states ‘these can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days or frozen for up to one month.’” Bunche-Smith says, “but I can’t verify that because these muffins don’t usually last past the second day in my house!”
Read our interview with Takiema Bunch-Smith to learn more about her motherhood journey.