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Apple Morning Muffins

I’m always looking for healthy baked goods, especially muffins and other breakfast pastries. I love breakfast and muffins, but I really prefer to get my days off to a relatively healthy start. This is especially true on weekdays, when I – and most people – are likely to be sitting around a bit more than a weekend. Flipping though the new issue of the Vegetarian Times that arrived this week, a recipe for Morning Muffins caught my eye.

The muffins had no added fat (meaning that there is no butter or oil added to them) and plenty of fruit. They also used low fat yogurt as the part of the wet ingredients in the recipe. Sounds like a nice way to get going in the morning, right?
I wanted to try them right away, so I made a few quick substitutions and ended up with a recipe that was similar in principle to the original. I’ll say that my recipe was “inspired by” the original VT recipe.

The original recipe for the muffins called for using 1 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour and 1/2 cup all purpose flour, so I lost some of the whole grain-ness by using all all purpose flour. I made up for this, in my opinion, by using diced apples instead of all dried fruit. As much as I enjoy dried fruit, fresh fruit is much lower in calories and makes the low-fat muffin a bit moister.

They’re quite good when they have just cooled, and the apples are a nice touch. They are best the first day they are made, but since they’re so low in calories and fat, you don’t have to feel guilty about eating a couple of them.
If they’re too healthy for you, cut your muffin in half and spread with butter before eating. Or, simply skip this recipe and go straight to the delicious (but decidedly less healthy) Apple Streusel Muffins.

Apple Morning Muffins
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup raw sugar (regular sugar will work fine)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup diced apple (1 large apple)
1/4 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350F and line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg.
In a small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, eggs and vanilla. Pour into dry ingredients and stir until just combined and no streaks of flour remain, adding in the apples and raisins at the last minute. Do not overmix.
Divide evenly into muffin tins and sprinkle with 1 tbsp additional sugar, if desired.
Bake at 350F for 16-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the muffin springs back when lightly pressed.
Cool on a wire rack. Muffins are best when just cooled.

Makes 12 muffins.

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  • Anonymous
    August 19, 2006

    looks healthy! i totally know what you mean about getting a healthy start to your day. i can’t wait to try it…

  • J
    August 19, 2006

    hi nic, from the sounds of the recipe, i can already imagine how gorgeously moist the crumb must be! thanks so much for sharing the recipe – this is definitely a cut-and-keep!

  • Ana
    August 19, 2006

    I love muffins and also eyed the VT recipe when I got the magazine last week! Just was you mentioned, I am another fan of fresh fruit as oposed to dried when comes to muffin, so I loved your idea of using apples in the same base recipe! Yum!! I will try it when I make muffins this week! But I guess I will stick to the whole-wheat flour, I love the taste of it, nutty!

  • :: Lavender cupcaker ::
    August 20, 2006

    wow..i like healthy stuff and so far i haven’t try any apple muffins..yours looks really great! Shall try it out this coming wk for breakfast! Thanks for the recipe.

  • Claire
    August 21, 2006

    I think I’m trying these this week, but like Ana I’ll leave in the whole wheat flour. I love the stuff.

  • Anita
    August 23, 2006

    With the whole wheat flour and the fresh apple is how I want to try it out too…soon. Is whole wheat pastry flour different from regular whole wheat flour? Thanks for another great recipe.

  • Nic
    August 23, 2006

    Anita – Whole wheat pastry flour is different from regular whole wheat. They are not interchangeable without changing the texture of the muffins because whole wheat is much coarser. Use all purpose if you cannot find whole wheat pastry flour.

  • Eric
    August 23, 2006

    I made this just the other day, and they turned out wonderful.

    I used half whole wheat flour, half AP flour.

    Thanks for the recipe!

  • risingsunofnihon
    August 30, 2006

    What a great recipe now that it is back to school time. These can be made ahead and doled out to the kids on the way out the door… or even before if you’ve got early risers! Thanks for another great recipe.

  • Priyanka
    December 24, 2006

    Brilliant blog. Just tried your morning apple muffins and loved em. Thank you.

  • sonia
    May 28, 2007

    Hi Nic,

    That’s a lovely recipe.But please tell me, if I use yogurt instead of the buttermilk how much yogurt would I need?


  • Kid-Kat
    March 16, 2008

    Hi! I want to try this recipe, but I’m worried about paper liners. With just eggs and buttermilk as fat, will the muffins stucks to the papers?

  • Melinda
    September 17, 2009

    I just made this recipe. I used 1 cup milk + 1 Tbsp vinegar (waiting 5 minutes for the reaction to take place) in the place of the buttermilk. I put in too much apple, but didn’t actually measure how much I put in. I otherwise followed the recipe. I had a real problem with the muffins sticking to the paper liners. They are stuck solid, such as I have never seen. This makes them really tricky to eat. I didn’t end up liking how the apples themselves turned out after being baked in the muffin batter. I don’t know if this is because of the type of apple I chose (granny smith), the size I cut the pieces (about 1/4 inch cubes), or something else. The spices in the recipe were flavorful and worked well together. They are somewhat reminiscent of pumpkin pie, minus the pumpkin. I stocked up on apples today, as I am currently on a quest to find a suitable replacement for an apple muffin recipe I lost several years ago when moving. Perhaps one of your other apple muffin recipes will do the trick! 🙂

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