I’m sure some people would argue that point, and as I am always on the lookout for new muffin recipes, I would love to find some contenders. Still, I’ve gotten this high praise for these beautiful, healthy, substantial goodies.
(photo added on Feb. 17 – still working on the photo thing!)
HEALTHY DELICIOUS APPLE PUMPKIN BLUEBERRY WALNUT MUFFINS
1 cup whole wheat flour or spelt flour, or 1/2 cup of each
1/2 cup oatmeal (I grind it slightly)
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
-OR – a combination of either or both, or pumpkin pie spice, or cinnamon plus blend
1 cup pumpkin (I use canned; cooked fresh pumpkin is an option, too)
-you can subsitute 1 cup of ripe mashed bananas for the pumpkin)
1/2 – 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce (see notes)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 – 3/4 cup chopped fresh apples (unpeeled), cooked 10 minutes to soften
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or other nut, or leave ’em out if you like)
1/2 – 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (optional, but I really like them)
Preheat oven to 350. Use either a large 6 cup or regular 12 cup muffin tin. Spray lightly, unless your non-stick really doesn’t stick.
Mix first six ingredients (dry) in one bowl, and next four ingredients (wet) in another bowl. Gently stir dry ingredients into wet until just moistened. Fold in walnuts and apples. Spoon into muffin tin; bake 35 minutes or until no longer wet in the middle. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove. Serve warm or cooled.
Notes and variations (besides the ones I’ve already mentioned…)
I have used 1/3 cup each of the two flours, plus 1/3 cup wheat germ. I have subbed 1/3 cup ground oatmeal for 1/3 cup of the flour. I have added 1/4 – 1/3 cup of oat bran or ground flax seed.
For the applesauce, I have always cooked my own: I dice two smallish apples (I like Granny Smiths or Galas), sprinkle with a little cinnamon and cook for 10 minutes; take out 3/4 cup for the chopped apples to add, and cook the rest for another 10 minutes or so, until easy to mash. Mash them in the pot with a potato masher, and this makes about 3/4 cup of applesauce. I don’t peel them and have never found the peels to be a problem in the muffin.
You could use 1/2 – 3/4 cup jarred applesauce (I haven’t tried that.) And you can add the chopped apples fresh; I’ve just found I like the texture better with them slightly cooked first.
I have used 1/2 cup of date sugar instead of brown sugar, and the muffin was drier. But that was when I used only 1/2 cup apples and 1/2 cup applesauce, and didn’t soften the chopped apples first, so it might work fine now. The taste was slightly less sweet. I have used 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup date sugar with no affect on texture or taste. Date sugar is just so darn expensive, and it gets hard and dry quickly. Just kind of pain to deal with.
As you can see by all the notes and variations, this recipe is very flexible. I’ve made it dozens of times (my husband has one for breakfast every day) and probably never exactly the same way or same quantities twice. Even the baking time has a lot of leeway. It just seems to work no matter what. Probably the worst thing that happened is I used a full 1/2 cup of ground flax seeds once and it tasted kind of greasy. So don’t do that.
Otherwise, be creative! That’s one of the reasons they are the “best”; you can do lots of different things and they still turn out great. I can think of lots more ways to make these and will possibly try them all at some point.
I draw the line at bacon, though…