I love to entertain. Even in the tiny shoebox of an apartment we live in, I love having visitors over and always do my best to give them special treatment.
This past weekend, when my friend Eric came to visit, much to my husband’s delight I treated them to some organic garlic parmesan chicken (paired with a gluten-free vegan side, of course) for dinner upon arrival, and I knew I wanted to have something for the hungry sleepy boys to have while I typed away at the coffee shop the next morning.
I started brainstorming recipes. I wanted it to be something I could enjoy as well, but pleasing a palate not so used to my healthy wheat free low sugar treats would be a challenge. I had half a bag of apples in my fridge, so I decided pretty quickly I would use them in some sort of a breakfast treat. Muffins are always a good standby but I knew I needed the perfect recipe to “hide the healthy,” so to speak.
So not surprisingly, I turned to my favorite Gluten Free blogger for inspiration. With little searching I came upon a delightful looking recipe for apple cinnamon muffins. There were only a few slight problems with the recipe; I didn’t have all the ingredients listed, including some of the flours and one quite important ingredient: applesauce.
I didn’t have applesauce, but I did have apples, I thought… So I made applesauce! Unfortunately two apples didn’t cut it for the original recipe, but with a few tweaks I was able to come up with a beautifully shaped, moist, sweet muffin with a low amount of added sugar, packed with nutrient-filled apples and healthy fats that I knew would be pleasing to even the most discerning of tastes.
Apple Cinnamon Muffins
1 cup all-purpose baking blend
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 heaping tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 cup natural applesauce (see recipe below)
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup natural cane sugar, additional if desired
1/4 cup honey or agave nectar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 flax egg (or 1 whole egg)
1/4 cup milk of choice
1 1/2 cup chopped apple
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients (through allspice) well.
2. Whisk applesauce, oil, sugar, honey/agave, vanilla, flax egg and milk. Add wet ingredients to dry, mix until just combined. Stir in apples and walnuts.
3. Spoon batter into a greased or lined muffin tin, filling 3/4 of the way. Top with sprinkle of cane sugar if desired. Bake for 20-25 minutes until just golden and a toothpick comes out clean.
To make applesauce:
Peel and dice 2 medium apples into small cubes. In a small saucepan, add 1/3 cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, add apples, 1/2 tbsp sugar and a pinch of cinnamon, stir and cover. Cook on low for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until apples have softened. Remove and mash or puree. Use as desired! (Makes about 1/2 cup sauce)
There’s nothing like a warm muffin on a cool late winter morning. Paired with a cup of tea, these beauties are the perfect “feels naughty” healthy breakfast treat.