I have a compulsion: I will almost always buy apples at the store, whether we need them or not. I’ve been known to have three almost-full bags of apples knocking around my crisper drawer, because for some reason I just can’t stop myself from buying them at the grocery store. It’s as if some unconscious part of me takes over in the produce section and says, “Mmmm, apples! Delicious!” and just throws them in the cart without me having any control over it. (That also happens with cucumbers.) They are our standby lunch fruit, so we’ll go through 5-10 apples a week just by putting them in lunches (depending on if there are also grapes in the house, in which case I will take those for myself…) but we always, always seem to have extra apples. I don’t know if they multiply in the fridge or what, but it seems to take forever to get through a bag and I invariably have leftovers at the end of the week. When I am actually thinking intelligently about my grocery shopping, I will either restrain myself from buying apples or figure out some way to use up my extras – like turkey cutlets with sauteed apples and onions for dinner one night, or these muffins.
Ah, muffins. Who doesn’t love muffins? They are tasty, easy, and they have the cutest! name! ever! But most of the time, they are also laden with butterfat and nutritionally void calories. I try to make muffins at least somewhat nutritious by using whole grains, like rolled oats, along with whole wheat flour, and adding some flaxseed meal for the Omega-3s. Tossing in a little fresh fruit can’t hurt, either. And that’s where the apples come in… a relatively nutritious muffin, and an opportunity to use up some of those extra apples that are taking up half my crisper drawer? That’s a very nice way to wake up on a weekend morning.
Whole Grain Apple-Cinnamon Muffins
1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour*
2/3 cups rolled oats
1/3 cup ground flaxseed meal
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup skim milk
8 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
2 large (preferably organic) eggs
1/3 cup honey
3 medium apples, large-diced
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a 12-cup muffin tin by spraying the wells with a baking spray (like Pam for Baking or Baker’s Joy), or by lining with paper or silicone muffin liners.
- Combine the dry ingredients – flour, oats, flaxseed meal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon – in a large bowl and whisk together.
- In a smaller bowl, combine the milk, applesauce, eggs and honey, and stir to combine.
- Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix well.
- Stir in the diced apple pieces. Portion batter equally into muffin wells.
- Bake for 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the muffins comes out clean.
*The whole wheat flour actually adds to the taste of these muffins, so I encourage you to stick with it. If you simply don’t like the taste, you can substitute white whole wheat flour, which is much milder but retains the same nutritional benefits as regular whole wheat, or even all-purpose flour, which is less nutritious. Whole wheat flour also gives the muffins a somewhat denser crumb than you would get with all-purpose flour, but again, I think it works well with the apple pieces. Certainly, you can substitute some of all of it, but please do give it a try!
Yield: 12 muffins.
Source: Covered In Flour