Apple granola muffins

September 22, 2010 · 13 comments

We decided to throw a party. It’s probably my first party to organize (save children’s birthday parties, which I tend to put together at the last minute) in, I don’t know, a long-enough time for me to not remember ever actually throwing a party. But I know I’ve done it before, because I recognize this vague feeling of inadequacy.

Anyway, my kids must’ve sensed our plans, because two of them are now ill.

So, in light of the fact that on top of caring for two sickies, I’m scrambling to finalize the menu, start making food, and vacuum enough cheerios from the floor and other obscure places to make people think we don’t actually live in squalor all the time; and at risk of alienating my readers from an overuse of the word “apple” in recent posts: I will give you a recipe we came up with last weekend. It was a hit, with all but my most texture-averse family member.

These muffins are hearty, but don’t weigh you down. More like chunks of apple held together by a little dough than an airy muffin. The recipe makes an odd amount — about 16 or so — but you can half it with success. The spices and apples make them a true taste of autumn; and hey — if we keep making things with apples, maybe the weather will take a hint, get the memo that it’s officially fall, and the bizarre “Indian summer” temps in the 90s will fall by the wayside.

………………………………………………………

Apple-Granola Muffins
adapted from a recipe in The Yellow Farmhouse Cookbook

(makes 16-20 muffins; halves well)

  • 3 1/2 cups cored, peeled, and diced apple
  • 1/2 cup sucanat (or sugar)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 8 Tbsp (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups fresh whole-wheat flour (can use sprouted or alternative grain)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup granola (your favorite, preferably not too sweet)
  • 1/2 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 325º, and grease muffin tins.

Get out 3 mixing bowls (ouch). In the largest, mix together the apples and sucanat (or sugar). In a second bowl, stir together the eggs, butter, and vanilla. In the third bowl, whisk together the next 7 ingredients (flour through salt).

Pour the egg mixture over the apples, and add the granola and raisins. Stir with a large rubber spatula. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the apples, and continue to stir with spatula until all flour is moistened. The batter will be thick and very chunky.

Using a spoon, fill muffin cups until they are almost full.

Bake for about 25 minutes, turning the muffin tins halfway through baking time. The muffins will not rise much; they are done when a toothpick inserted into the center muffins comes out clean.

Let cool slightly, and serve warm.

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{ 12 comments }

Liz Wiley September 22, 2010 at 10:02 am

Oh my. I was so ready to “receive” this recipe, Katy. Thanks so much for sharing. I’ll give them a go this weekend.

kelly September 22, 2010 at 12:50 pm

Yum! Can’t wait to give them a try. I love different apple muffins and breads :)

Jennie Rader September 22, 2010 at 2:21 pm

MMmmmm, Im all over these!!!

christine hartman September 22, 2010 at 8:56 pm

Katy~What are your thoughts on sucanat, honey, etc? Sonja and I have been discussing sugary options, and your name keeps coming up. Maybe you have another post regarding this that you can point me to…Thanks! ~christine

katy September 22, 2010 at 9:43 pm

Christine, hello!

So, anytime I can use an unrefined sweetener (like honey or sucanat) I do. Times this works: granola, whole-wheat baking, hot tea drinking, etc. Your body processes these sugars differently, and they actually have some nutritional value (sucanat is rich in minerals, and local raw honey can help alleviate seasonal allergies).

There are times when I still use refined sugar: ice cream (if it is a light color like vanilla); delicately-flavored things where the strong flavor of honey or molasses (sucanat has retained molasses) will throw things off. Sucanat also has a very grainy texture that doesn’t dissolve easily; so it can make cookies look “dotted” which isn’t always appealing (you can grind it in a coffee grinder to make it finer).

Just because sweeteners are unrefined, though, doesn’t mean we can eat tons of them; even natural sweeteners should be consumed in moderation. It’s still sugar, and can throw off your body chemistry. My solution is: put it in the cookies, but avoid it in other foods (like drinks, snacks, and dinner).

Other sweeteners that market themselves as natural alternatives:
Stevia: this is safe, and good for things like sweetening tea. But not good for baking, since the ratios are thrown off.
Agave syrup: this is not a safe product; the process of extraction makes it similar to HFCS in how your body processes it.

I don’t think I have a post on this… maybe I should ; )

nana September 22, 2010 at 10:23 pm

only weird people buy sucanat. real people use sugar.

katy September 23, 2010 at 7:34 am

nana, don’t you mean “real people use high fructose corn syrup corn sugar?”

nana September 24, 2010 at 1:37 am

oh, YES. of course, that is what I meant.

DesignHER Momma September 23, 2010 at 7:42 pm

1. I don’t believe you grew up on boxed food. You know too much…

2. Can’t wait for tomorrow night. At this point, I’ve failed at finding a babysitter, but since my husband is presently out and about, i might make a solo trip. I will not miss it.

katy September 24, 2010 at 7:43 am

Hope to see you both! But if not, we’ll take you, solo ; )

I can tell you stories. About the boxed food. It’ll take five minutes for me to thoroughly describe my childhood of food.

Caroline Thompson September 23, 2010 at 8:52 pm

HI, Katy! I found you!!! Define “fresh whole-wheat flour.” I don’t have a grinder etc. What if it’s been stored in the refrigerator for awhile?

Can’t wait to make these!

katy September 24, 2010 at 7:42 am

Caroline!

So, whole wheat flour goes rancid VERY quickly. Your baking will be most successful if you have the freshest flour, which is hard to find. If you can ever find a friend with a grain mill who’ll let you grind a few pounds at a time, that’s your best option (Melissa did that for me for YEARS before I got mine!).

The best way to know if flour is rancid is by tasting it. I used to take a tiny scoop of ww flour from the bulk bins at Earth Fare, dip my finger in my hand, and taste it. If it is bitter at all, it’s rancid.

When you find good, fresh flour, buy a few pounds, and keep it in your freezer in an airtight container. It’ll keep for a couple months that way.

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