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I like to mix up muffins regularly because they give us healthy, wholesome breakfasts and healthy snacks for little money. Making muffins from scratch only takes a few more minutes than making them from a mix, and you know your scratch muffins are full of good things instead of chemicals. This morning we had double delicious apple muffins. I’ll talk after the recipe about how healthy they are. Feel free to skip that if you’d rather think they’re decadent!
This recipe makes 6 muffins, perfect for a medium-sized family (or a small family who wants muffin snacks later!). If you can get organic ingredients and farm-fresh eggs, by all means use them. We do!
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 tablespoons whole-grain oat flour (or just use old-fashioned rolled oats, all wheat flour, or flax meal if you don’t have oat flour–remember: use what you have!)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 1 tablespoon (or more) ground cinnamon
- pinch/sprinkle of allspice
- 1/4-1/3 cup chopped walnuts (I just crush them in my hand as I’m adding them to the mix)
- optional: small handful of raisins or currants
- 1 apple (like Gala, McIntosh, or Arkansas black)
- 1/2 cup applesauce or apple butter (oh, yes, this is the double-delish part: apples and apple sauce!)
- 1/3 cup buttermilk or kefir (or milk mixed with yogurt if you don’t have either one in the house, or just milk if that’s all you have. Like I always say, use what you have!)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tablespoons sugar (brown or maple okay–or more, up to a quarter cup if you’re family is addicted to sugar–use less if you used apple butter instead of apple sauce)
Optional: cinnamon and sugar to sprinkle on top before baking.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 6-cup muffin tin. Get a 1-quart (small) mixing pitcher or bowl. (Using a pitcher will make everything easier to pour into the muffin cups.)
Begin by chopping the apple. I like to cut my apples into halves, quarters, and eighths first, so they I can remove the minimum amount of core. Since I use homegrown or organic apples, I wash them well but do not peel them. The peel is both healthy and pretty. Your apple pieces should be no more than 1/2 inch cubed each.
Make-and-eat directions: If you are going to make the muffins right away, you can mix everything together immediately. Just start with the dry ingredients and then add your wet ingredients. Stir well to combine but do not over-stir. Pour into prepared muffin tins. Sprinkle on cinnamon and sugar (optional). Bake the muffins for 20 minutes. Let them cool briefly in the pans and then turn out to cool (or just turn them on their sides to cool.) Enjoy!
Night-before preparation, for even quicker morning baking: If you want to eat these on a school day (or get them ready for the kids to bake in the morning while you sleep in!), you can mix together all the dry ingredients separately from all of the wet ingredients. In the morning, preheat the oven (350′ F) and grease your muffin tin. Then combine the wet and dry ingredients. Bake for 20 minutes and eat or take them with you!
Dutch oven directions for camping:
Follow the directions for night-before preparation to mix your dry and wet ingredients separately. Put both in separate camp-worthy containers. Freeze the wet ingredients if you won’t use them for a few days. The morning you want to eat your muffins, use 6 metal cupcake “papers” in the bottom of a small Dutch oven. Put on the lid and add coals top and bottom and bake for 20-25 minutes. Alternatively, you can just grease the Dutch oven itself and make this recipe coffee-cake style. Cut the finished cake into wedges.
What’s good about these muffins?
These muffins are great whether you are watching your cholesterol, concerned about high blood sugar, or trying to keep your intestines in good shape. With both soluble and insoluble whole grains as well as a lot of apple, little sugar, and almost no fat except for the good fat in the walnuts, these muffins are wholesome health food. Don’t worry, though; your family will never notice!
Healthy snacking: These muffins make great afternoon snacks or even a light dessert. For a snack, try spreading two halves with some natural warm peanut butter. (Making the peanut butter warm will help natural peanut butter spread without tearing the muffin.)
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