Allergen Free Cooking: Apple and Carrot Muffins Recipe


In recognition of international Food Allergy Awareness Week  (May 11 – 17, a leading allergy pharmaceutical company, Pharma Dynamics, has joined forces with well-known food consultant, Heleen Meyer on creating allergen free recipes.   This is the same team that introduced the heart healthy Gatsby last year.

An estimated 3 million people suffer from food allergies in South Africa and most of us will experience an allergy or food intolerance at some point in our lives.

Mariska van Aswegen, spokesperson of Pharma Dynamics says people can be allergic to many different types of food, but the most common food allergens include peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, gluten, milk, eggs, soya and shellfish.

“Through ongoing research and education, we seek to improve the lives of people affected by allergies, and our partnership with Meyer further extends our allergy awareness campaign.  Our primary aim is to create awareness of allergy symptoms and ultimately how to manage them.  Allergic reactions can range from a mild response to anaphylaxis, which is a severe and potentially life-threatening reaction.

“Having a food allergy can make cooking and eating a bit of a challenge, which is why we have come up with our first batch of allergy-free recipes..”  says van Aswegen.

Heleen Meyer, who is most famous for her easy and mouthwatering recipes, also authored, Cooking from the Heart – a heart-friendly recipe book, inspiring South Africans to make healthy cooking and eating a way of life (backed by Pharma Dynamics), says her team has made sure that none of the allergen-free recipes compromise on flavour whatsoever.  For more info and to get more recipes visit Also check out my column in the Cape Times tomorrow, I’ve prepared a delicious allergen free recipe this week.

I found the video on this post on the internet, I love how it explains what food allergies are.  Have a look!  Also get to try out this Apple and Carrot Muffin recipe below!

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Apple & Carrot Muffins by Heleen Meyer  

Makes 10 – 12 muffins

Dairy-free / Nut-free / Sugar-free / Gluten-free option (see below)


Baking is often associated with lots of sugar and a lower nutritional value. By preparing an apple purée and using a ripe banana, no sugar is needed. Grated apple and carrot adds flavour and texture to these delicious muffins. Use them as a treat or snack in a lunch box for the whole family.


Apple purée (makes 250 ml)

4 apples, peeled and cubed

60 ml (¼ cup) water

10 ml (2 tsp) lemon juice



125 ml (½ cup) wholewheat flour

125 ml (½ cup) cake flour

7,5 ml (½ tbsp) baking powder

5 ml (1 tsp) ground cinnamon

125 ml (½ cup) finely grated carrot

125 ml (½ cup) coarsely grated apple

125 ml (½ cup) prepared apple purée

1 large ripe banana, mashed with a fork

2 eggs, beaten

90 ml (6 tbsp) oil

5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla essence


1. Apple purée: Place apples, water and lemon juice in a small pot. Cover with a lid and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Simmer until soft. Drain liquid, but keep it. Purée with a stick blender until smooth and add some of the cooking liquid, if necessary.

2. Muffins: Preheat oven to 180 °C. Place muffin cups into a muffin pan or lightly grease the pan with oil.

3. Mix all the dry ingredients together and stir in the grated carrot and apple. Mix the remaining ingredients together.

4. Stir the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients to form a smooth batter. Take care not to overmix it. Spoon into muffin cups and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

5. Allow to cool on a cooling rack and serve as a snack.



1. Gluten-free option: Substitute the wholewheat and cake flour with 250 ml (1 cup) gluten-free flour mix (available from large supermarkets and health stores). Substitute baking powder with

5 ml (1 tsp) bicarbonate of soda and bake as above. If you have gluten-free baking powder, use as above.

2. Any left-over apple purée can be frozen and used for other baking, or used to sweeten savoury dishes. If preferred, the apple cubes can be simmered with a cinnamon stick – just remove it before puréeing the apples.

3. Add 80 ml (⅓ cup) dried cranberries to the muffins, if preferred.


About Author


Thuli Gogela is a Food Technologist with 8 years of experience developing products in food manufacturing. She is dedicated to discovering wholesome traditional dishes and recipes with a distinctive taste from different parts of the African continent. Thuli is well known for her food blog, Mzansi Style Cuisine which was established in 2010. She saw a gap in the traditional food market that people were hungry for. From there, it didn’t take long to build her brand. In 2013, she started writing a recipe column for the Cape Times for and has collaborated with some of the biggest brands in South Africa namely, Knorr, Nedeburg Wines, First Choice and Spekko rice. Not only does Thuli feature traditional African dishes, she’s also open to developing recipes, food consultations and brand collaborations.

Comments ( 2 )

  • Marieka

    Thanks Thuli, the recipe looks delicious and I will definitely bake it for the little ones!

    • You are welcome Marieka! Please let me now how it goes! 🙂 Enjoy!

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