Low-fat (and delicious) apple muffins
The story of these muffins starts with a recipe for zucchini bread. I’ve loved zucchini bread for as long as I can remember, but I rarely get to eat it. So when one of our buyers brought in a home-baked loaf last week, I was delighted. And inspired. On Sunday morning, I decided to bake my own zucchini bread (and muffins). I’m clearly a glutton for punishment, since I chose the Cook’s Illustrated “modernized” recipe (always complicated, sometimes unnecessarily so) over my co-worker’s simpler Paula Deen classic. I’ll admit, if I did it again, I’d go with Paula.
Anyway, my children were not impressed.
“Vegetables don’t belong in muffins,” said one of my daughters, after taking a tiny taste. “Why can’t you do blueberry or corn? That would be normal.”
I’d bought a bag of apples at the grocery store. Apple muffins seemed pretty “normal” to me, so I froze the zucchini muffins, washed the dishes and started over.
I did some googling and found this recipe, which had rave reviews and seemed simple enough. But I wanted to lighten it up a little and incorporate some whole wheat flour.
Here’s my modified version. The muffins were delicious, though the kids thought I should’ve diced the apples a little finer. They’re still holding out for corn or blueberry. Maybe that’ll be next weekend’s project.
1.5 cups sugar (I used cane juice crystals)
1/4 cup oil
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 cups peeled, cored, diced apples (around 3 apples)
Brown sugar for topping (around 1/2 cup)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and brush a muffin tin with melted butter. (This is a Martha Stewart trick, but it works great and you can skip those annoying paper liners. A little goes a long way; make sure to cover both the cups and the top of the tin.)
Whisk sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla in a large bowl until well-combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, and mix until combined. The batter will be very thick. Add the diced apples.
Fill each muffin cup about 3/4 of the way full. Sprinkle with brown sugar.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20-24 minutes, until the tops are lightly browned and a toothpick in the middle comes out clean. Makes 24 standard size muffins.