Cold + family + a season full of wanting to provide for those you love = lots of food. We all know this, we luxuriate in the the holiday season as an excuse to toss our diets out the window and enjoy all the splendors we usually deny our taste buds. Which is great, in small doses. But being surrounded by piles of delectable, high sugar/fat/cholesterol treats can also be very dangerous. I like to try to make sure that everything I offer to my friends and family on these festive occasions is something that I won't feel guilty about giving to them. If it's not something I would eat, I don't think I should be offering it to someone I care about. Here is a delicious recipe for muffins that are utterly sin-free for this celebratory season. They are vegan, fat-free, and have just enough cinnamon to let your taste buds snuggle together with holiday feeling on your tongue.
Whole Wheat Apple Muffins
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tbsp sugar* (You can also use Splenda baking sugar or another sugar substitute. Just follow the instructions on the package. I've made this recipe with three different white sugar substitutes and it always turns out yummy.)
3 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt, or less to taste
1 tsp cinnamon, or more to taste (I like more, but use your personal discretion)
1.25 cups water
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (I like the chunky kind, but again, its up to you)
1 large apple or 2 small apples*, chopped** (*I adore granny smith apples in general, but especially for this muffin recipe. The tartness really jives very nicely with the cinnamon. If you like things sweeter, use red apples.) (**Again, personal discretion time. The apples are going to get nice and soft when baked. I like to chop them rather fine, but you can leave them in bigger chunks if you want to.)
Set oven to 425F.
Combine flour, salt, baking powder, sugar (or substitute), and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Add in chopped apples and mix to coat the apples thoroughly. Combine water and applesauce and stir them together before adding to the dry ingredients bowl. Fold together until thoroughly combined. The batter will be sort of thick and goopy when it's good and ready.
Spray muffin tray with something so the muffins don't stick (I use Baker's Joy, but you can use Pam, Pam with Butter Flavoring, vegetable oil spray...whatever you want.) Bake for about 20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Let cool and enjoy.
Makes 12 delectable muffins for breakfasting or snacking.
If you want them to be a little more "cupcakey," you can sprinkle a little cinnamon sugar or brown sugar on them when they first come out of the oven. The sugar will melt a bit and give them an extra sweetness and a little crunch.
I've also mashed up walnuts and tossed them on to the tops of the batter before baking, which turned out delectable as well.
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