Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sunny Apple Muffins

It's Winter, and officially bleak and blah outside. I just came off my first week of full-time teaching, which while exhilarating and everything I could have hoped for in a job, is also exhausting. I have been out of the 40-hour-a-week workforce for years, and until my body readjusts I'll just have to run on adrenaline and coffee.

Oh, and muffins.

Sunny Apple Muffins

Yes, while not the most nutrient-dense of foods, a homemade muffin with the mid-day coffee sure perks up the spirit, especially during the Winter, when not too much by way of bright, fresh fruit is around. They're one of the easiest things to customize, too, being the type of food that is a bland enough base to add almost anything to, and a sturdy enough formula to handle many an ingredient substitution. I (and a few of my co-teachers) have become major fans of these muffins in particular - filled with chunks of apple, crunchy-sweet sunflower seeds and rich butter, they also get a slight bit of added texture from crushed arrowroot cookies and a wealth of flavour from sunflower "milk" and nutty whole wheat.

I originally was able to find the sunflower milk I used at the health food store near me in Tetra-Paks, but I've since heard the product was discontinued. If you can find it, it's worth the hunt for a recipe like this or a rustic bread where the nutty flavour will be highlighted - if not, you can either make your own or use your favourite "milky" beverage (flavour-wise, I'd suggest either flax or hemp), or just use regular ol' dairy. Like I said, muffins are vehicles for variation!

Sunny Apple Muffins
Makes 10
1 cup + 2 tbsp unsweetened sunflower "milk" (storebought (which is tricky to find) or homemade, you can use any of your favourite milks too)
¼ cup melted butter
⅓ cup sugar
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp salt
½ tbsp Homemade Egg Replacer powder
1 ¾ cups whole wheat flour
⅓ cup finely crushed arrowroot cookies, vanilla wafers or graham crackers
2 tsp baking powder
1 large apple, peeled and diced
⅓ cup honey-roasted sunflower seeds
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease a muffin tin (liners don't work as well here).
  2. In a bowl, whisk together milk, butter, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and egg replacer.
  3. Stir in the flour, crushed cookies and baking powder until just combined.
  4. Fold in the apple and sunflower seeds.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes or until muffins test done.
  6. Turn out immediately and cool on a wire rack.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 128.0
Total Fat: 7.7 g
Cholesterol: 12.4 mg
Sodium: 97.8 mg
Total Carbs: 14.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.0 g
Protein: 1.2 g

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