Apple Walnut Muffins

From my Healthy Living column in Moncton’s Times & Transcript.

People enjoy a variety of activities during the holiday season. For some, it’s traveling, for others it’s decorating, and for young children, it’s waiting for Santa. As for me, I enjoying cooking (and of course, eating the results).

Below is an easy recipe for muffins that I’ve recently created. Muffins can be made within half an hour and don’t require fancy baking equipment. Extremely versatile, they can be made with a variety of substitutions. For example, the following recipe can be made with chopped bananas instead of apples, pecans or almonds instead of walnuts, or with raisins and a half cup of flaxseed meal instead of nut products if allergies are a concern.

Apple Walnut Muffins

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (sometimes called white whole wheat pastry flour)*

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

½ tsp cinnamon

1 large apple, chopped

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

1/3 cup chopped dates

1/3 cup flaxseed meal (optional)

2 cups apple juice concentrate

½ cup cashew or peanut butter

Preheat your oven to 375 °F/ 190 °C.

In a large mixing bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the cinnamon, apple, walnuts, dates, and flaxseed meal.

In a separate mixing bowl, use a handheld blender to combine the apple juice concentrate and nut butter until smooth. Add the mixture to the flour mixture, gently stirring. Pour equal amounts of batter into a dozen baking cups in a muffin tin.

Bake the muffins for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and thoroughly cooked (use a toothpick to test their readiness). Let cool, then serve!

Makes about a dozen muffins

*Whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour is the key to lightly textured whole grain muffins. Using regular whole wheat flour will make the muffins too dense and heavy. Find whole wheat pastry flour at larger grocery stores, bulk food stores, and health food stores.

Originally published in the Times & Transcript on December 10th, 2010.


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