Healthyish Apple Spiced Muffins

IMG_1675In an attempt to be an organized parent this school year, I’m aiming to be a better planner in the family food department. Meal planning has never been appealing to me since I’m an impulse eater and usually eat what my mood dictates (the same way I like to get dressed in the morning). But lately, I’ll admit that the more planning I do, the more smoothly things run. So, I started off the week with some snack plans that included these healthyish muffins (are any really that healthy?). My girls love Tim Hortons blueberry muffins so their bar of sugariness is set really high yet I took on the challenge of finding a healthier option that’s made with whole wheat (and no white sugar). Tall order, I know.

After some Googling, I finally came across this recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction. I liked that it had ingredients I had on hand, didn’t require a mixer, and the comments all seemed really positive. I decided to make mine sans nuts, because school allergies, and used coconut oil instead of butter or vegetable oil. They were SO good. I was afraid that being 100 percent whole wheat, they would be flat or too dense and that wasn’t the case at all. You’d never know they are made with no white sugar or white flour.

Note: I didn’t have any applesauce on hand so I made some by cooking about four peeled, chopped apples with a bit of water and some cinnamon (until soft enough to mash with a fork). It makes nearly two cups so you’ll have some leftover, which makes for a great kids (or adult) snack.

The kids said they looked like brownies (bonus) and tasted like banana bread (since there’s cinnamon and all spice in there, I’m guessing). Next time, I might make a banana version and see how it goes. I had one for breakfast this morning with a smear of salted butter and it was heavenly. Never thought I’d use that word for a healthyish muffin.

Tip: If you like muffins rather large and with a big top, try baking them with no paper liner and fill the cup with batter right to the top. It means you have to heavily oil or butter your muffin pan but they’re more like a coffee-shop variety this way.

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Recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (226g) whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup (160ml) pure maple syrup (I used number 2 amber for a deeper flavour)
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) melted coconut oil (or butter or vegetable oil)
  • 1/3 cup (60g) smooth unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (240g) shredded/grated apple (about 2 apples)

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C). Grease a 12-count muffin pan with butter or oil, or use cupcake liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, salt together until combined. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, maple syrup, oil, applesauce, and vanilla together until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, stir a few times, then add the grated apple. Fold everything together gently just until combined and no flour pockets remain.
  3. Spoon the batter into cups, filling them all the way to the top. Bake for 5 minutes at 425 then, keeping the muffins in the oven, reduce the oven temperature to 350°F (177°C). Bake for an additional 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The total time these muffins take in the oven is about 23-24 minutes, give or take. Allow the muffins to cool for 10 minutes in the muffin sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool until ready to eat.

Make ahead tip: Muffins stay soft, fresh, and moist in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Muffins freeze well for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and heat up (if desired) before enjoying.

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