whole-wheat apple raisin muffins

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It’s been too long! With school beginning, cross-country practice, and work, the last week has been go-go-go. I haven’t found the time to blog. My time now comes from an open fourth period, which at my school, is the last period of the day (we run a block schedule). I can’t tell you how nice it is to have a shorter school day, and be able to go home! It’s as if I’m a normal person, not just a student. I’m also allowed an open lunch period. Being a junior rocks. I have so much more freedom! My class schedule at school goes something like this:

  • Block 1: Teaching Assistant for Spanish II
  • Block 2: Honors Calculus
  • Lunch
  • Chemistry
  • Open Fourth Period

It’s definitely a change from having four classes every day, but I like having free time, when I can do other things besides school-related stuff (like blog!). But don’t worry, I’ll make sure my studies don’t slack! Chemistry is dull, but I will just have to let the class progress into routine. I do LOVE my calculus teacher though! He is seriously funny. Seriously.

Enough of school…on to the muffins! I made these muffins on a relaxing Saturday, after my first cross-country meet of the season (the meet went well!). I was kind of on an apple kick, and wanted to make some sort of muffin/bread thingy…apple muffins anyone? These muffins have a light, yet hearty texture, while packing in a warm, cinnamon-y flavor. Using apples and big, juicy raisins brings an extra bite of sweetness.

Whole-Wheat Apple Raisin Muffins, adapted from smittenkitchen.com

  • 1 cup of whole-wheat flour (I had some fun and used 1/2 cup of red whole wheat flour + 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (use 1/2 teaspoon if using kosher salt)
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (I used OECJ)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup yogurt or buttermilk (I used full-fat Brown Cow..oh yeah!)
  • 1 apple, cubed
  • 1/2 cup flame raisins

Note: I would like to try using melted butter instead of softened butter, as I think this will allow for a denser, more moist bread, like banana bread. I would also like to try using 1/2 extra-virgin olive or canola oil, like in my favorite zucchini bread. Similarly, I would like to try using applesauce to replace some of the fat & because it would add another punch of apple flavor. Could I make the entire recipe with whole-wheat flour? You betcha.  It will take some experimenting to find the perfect muffin, but the recipe that I used is pretttty darn delish :) If you try any of the alternatives, let me know how your muffins tasted! I think this muffin recipe is a fairly healthy treat, snack, quick breakfast (as far as muffins go). Yes, it does have a whole stick o’ butta, some suga, and full-fat yogurt, but these ingredients are pure and natural. There’s no funky margarine or oils or ultra-processed junk. Plus, there are countless ways to make the recipe even more healthified, as mentioned above. So eating one of these muffins makes me feel good, knowing I put natural yummies into my tummy, even if there is some good ol’ butter involved :)

To begin, measure out the flours, baking powder and soda, salt, and cinnamon into a mixing bowl.

Mix to combine all of the dry ingredients.

Then, set that bowl aside to get started on the wet ingredients. First, cream 1 stick of butter (I prefer salted).

Then, measure out the sugars and cream ’em up.

I wasn’t satisfied with my creaming, so I whipped out my handy dandy mixer to lend me a little help.

Ah, much better.

Next, crack the egg right. into. the. bowl. Yep, that’s right, no checking before hand. The adrenaline of baking..will it be a bad egg? Will it be a good egg? Thankfully, I had a good egg :) (You can certainly use another bowl to crack the egg.)

Now use that mixer and mix the egg right into the butter & sugars. Looks a little like a skeleton if you ask me…

After the egg has been mixed in, carefully fold in the yogurt or buttermilk.

Then, after chopping up the apple into small cubes, mix it in gently.

I left my apple peel on (more nutrients!), but feel free to peel the apple before adding. Then, I tossed in some flame raisins…giant, juicy, sweeter than sweet raisins (they’re not hot, as the name suggests!). Gosh I love those beauties!

After the raisins have been carefully mixed into the wet ingredients, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing as little as possible.

A nice, thick batter. That’s ready to be baked! Scoop the batter into sprayed muffin tins.

This would be a great spot to sprinkle on some turbinado sugar for a crunchy top. Bake the muffins for 10 minutes at 400 degrees, then turn down the heat to 350 and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. And then, you’ll have freshly baked apple muffins!

Allow the muffins to cool for 5 minutes in the baking tin, then take them out and place on a  cooling rack.

And there you have it! Whole-wheat apple muffins, with infinite possibilities of adaptations. I thought these muffins were better the day after they were baked (they’ll keep for several days).

I need to do some Calculus studying, that’s for sure. Have a wonderful last day of August!

Abby

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