Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Muffins

These little apple cinnamon muffins are perfect for the season, no matter what season you find yourself in right now. Warm with cinnamon and bursting with apples, these muffins are light and tender, yet hearty enough for a satisfying breakfast. They’re made with whole wheat flour for extra fiber, and lightly sweetened with honey. With just a baker’s dozen ingredients, you probably have everything you need in your pantry right now to bake them. I promise you won’t regret it.

I adore apples. If I had to say what is my most favorite food in the whole wide world, I would definitely declare it to be apples. My love for apples was written in the heavens from my birth: “ap-ple” was my first word as a baby, along with “pur-ple” (my favorite color) and “tur-tle” (well… I’m not sure where this one came from- I guess I just liked the way it felt in my little mouth.) Sometimes I do wonder, though, why my first word wasn’t “oat”, it being one-syllable and all, and given the fact that I also really love oats. But there is just something about apples that is just so appealing… their sweet crunchiness, their satiating quality, their portability (don’t ask me how many apple cores used to reside in the driver’s side floorboard during my college roadtrips!), even their stress-relieving qualities- there is something strangely therapeutic about munching noisily through a whole apple. Try it sometime and see if you agree. Yes, these are the reasons for my life-long love affair with apples.

Apples are so incredibly lovable even before I mention their nutritional properties! Full of soluble fiber and antioxidants, apples are low in calories and help you feel full for longer. Eating apples may also improve your gut health, as their pectin acts as a prebiotic for good bacteria to feed on. And, if you’re eating apples, or something made with lots of apples, like these muffins, that means you’re not eating a less-healthy snack. That’s a win-win in my book any day.

So, shall we make these apple-full muffins? I think so. They take only about half an hour from start to finish, your whole kitchen will smell amazing, and you’ll have something quick and healthy for breakfasts and snacks all weekend long. You’ll need:

  • Whole wheat flour: I use a combination of whole wheat and white flour here; mostly whole wheat to give hearty flavor, nubbly texture, and fiber, with a little added white flour to keep our muffins nice and light. I haven’t tried a gluten-free flour in this recipe so I can’t say for sure it would work, although I don’t see why it wouldn’t
  • Baking powder: for lightness!
  • Cinnamon: I used 2 full teaspoons here for extra warmth and flavor
  • Salt: for flavor balance (without it your muffins will taste a little “flat.” But if you’re on a low-sodium diet, you can cut it by 50%.)
  • Plant milk (or regular milk): I used almond milk here, but soy milk or low-fat milk would also work great
  • Flaxseed meal: for binding. You can also use 2 eggs instead if you like
  • Honey: for the right amount of sweetness plus a nice flavor. If you want your muffins to be vegan, feel free to use pure maple syrup
  • Vegetable oil: to add moisture and help keep your muffins fresh longer. I used canola oil, but any neutral-tasting oil will work
  • Vanilla extract: big-time flavor booster!
  • Almond extract: it really enhances the apple flavor. I used only 1/2 teaspoon and it was perfect. But feel free to leave it out if you don’t like almond flavoring
  • APPLES! I went big and used 1 1/2 apples in this recipe. My original recipe called for 1/2 cup of applesauce, but it’s hard to find in Manila sometimes (or very expensive.) So for this recipe, I grated in 1/2 an apple to mimic the applesauce in adding moisture and general apple flavor. Then I chopped another whole apple to fold into the muffins. You might think this sounds like apple overload, but I promise you it’s not.

So there you have it. I know you want to stop reading and run to your pantry right now to see if you have everything to make these muffins. So I will let you. They really would be perfect to munch on all weekend; although at the rate we’re eating ours, they won’t last until Sunday. Happy weekend, friends!

Whole Wheat Apple Cinnamon Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup white flour
  • 1 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 2 t. cinnamon
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 3/4 c. plant-based milk (can also use low-fat milk)
  • 2 T. flaxseed meal + 3 T. water (mix together and let stand 2-3 min) (can sub 2 eggs)
  • 1/4 c. honey
  • 1/4 c. neutral-tasting vegetable oil (I used canola)
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 t. almond extract
  • 1/2 apple, grated
  • 1 apple, chopped
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped (optional topping)

Method:

Preheat oven to 200C (400F). Oil a muffin tin, or line with paper muffin liners.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flours, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Mix well.

In another bowl, whisk together milk, flaxmeal/water mixture, honey, vegetable oil, extracts, and grated apple.

Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients, and mix with a rubber spatula, using just a few strokes until dry ingredients are just moistened. Don’t overmix or your muffins will be tough. Gently fold in chopped apples.

Scoop into muffin tin and top with walnuts (if using.) Bake for 16-18 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean. Makes 12.

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