We weren’t afraid to include oil in these healthy fruit-and-veggie muffins. We used coconut oil, which contains high levels of lauric acid, a saturated fat that has been shown to raise levels of good (HDL) cholesterol. It also adds richness and tenderness, meaning that the recipe is still delicious even with less sweetener.
Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350ºF. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners and spay the liners lightly with cooking spray.
Reserve 1/2 cup of the blueberries for garnish. Place the remaining blueberries in a large bowl and lightly crush them with the back of a fork (crushing keeps them from sinking to the bottom of the muffin batter during baking). Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt to the blueberries and stir to combine. Whisk together the milk, oil, brown sugar, carrots, eggs, lemon zest and vanilla in another bowl, whisking until no clumps of brown sugar remain. Fold the milk mixture into the flour mixture until just combined (don’t worry if there are a few lumps).
Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups. Press the reserved blueberries into the tops of the muffins. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the tops of the muffins with the turbinado sugar. Rotate the pan and continue to bake until the muffins are golden and a toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean, 20 to 24 minutes. Cool the muffins in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer the muffins to a rack to cool completely.