Guilt-Free Apple Spice Muffins

Applesauce in abundance, how about sweetening up some spiced muffins?

A Family Favorite!

           A trip to the orchard can be dangerous. It sounds like a wonderful way to spend an afternoon with the kids – picking apples! And it is always lots of fun, but it takes much less time than we anticipate, so we keep picking. In no time, we have a bushel of apples, every one precious so they all have to come home, along with the cider and a couple of cider doughnuts!

       We’ll make a pie, and some muffins, cut out apple “doughnut” rings to dry, but the biggest dent will be the making of applesauce. Luckily, it is one of the easiest first dishes to make with kids, and one that is finished quickly. The naturally sweet applesauce helps to sweeten any number of quick breads, and can replace a good deal of the fat as well.

Replaces sugar and fat

           Applesauce provides both the sweetness and a good deal of the fat in these muffins.  I make these for the kids to eat for a quick breakfast when they really don’t want to eat anything at all, and it is already a mad dash for school. They have no added sugar or dairy, and everyone in our family can actually eat these because they are gluten-, wheat-, dairy-, and nut-free, and pretty low in fat. 176 calories, 30 grams carbs, and 2 grams of fat. (P.S. Don’t tell people any of this, just tell them you made some lovely apple spice muffins…).

            This recipe makes 12 good-sized muffins.

2 cups gluten-free flour

1 tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tsp. ground cardamom

1 tsp. ground ginger

¼ tsp. ground cloves

1 tsp. salt

2 cups diced apples, plus a little more for the topping

1 cup raisins

4 large eggs

2 tbsp. canola oil

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

A couple of tablespoons of uncooked gluten-free oatmeal

            Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and line a 12-cup cupcake tin. You can also spray liberally with cooking spray.

            In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, and salt, and whisk together. Add apples and raisins and combine to coat everything.

            In a separate bowl or measuring cup, combine eggs, oil, extract, and applesauce. Mix well and add to the dry ingredients. Mix with a wooden spoon until no dry spots appear.

            Using an ice-cream scoop, fill the cups. Sprinkle the tops with the rest of the apples, finely minced, the uncooked gluten-free oatmeal, and a little cinnamon and sugar (the only added sugar).

            Bake for 25 minutes or so, turning the pan once during baking.

            Let cool completely.

Raisins or no raisins?

           Everyone can have what they like. There’s always one raisin hater in the family, but it’s easy to satisfy them all. You can mix everything else up and fill half the cups in the tin, then fold in one-half cup of raisins to the remaining batter to fill the rest. Place a raisin on top of each one to indicate raisins within.

Other dried fruits:

You can also use dried cranberries, currents, or any other favorite dried fruit that you like with apples.

© Copyright 2018 – or current year, Dorothy Grover-Read

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