Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Cinnamon Muffins -- With a Healthy Twist

Mmm. My house smells like autumn. Yours can too. With this delicious, healthy recipe!

This time of year I am always looking for new ideas for after school snacks and yummy things to send in school lunches. My children love cinnamon and this muffin recipe went over really well. It calls for applesauce instead of oil so it is low fat and scrumptious. We have a fair amount of zucchini hanging out around here from our garden, so I used shredded zucchini instead of apples and it worked great.

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
 3/4 cup sugar (The original recipe called for "granular no-calorie sucralose sweetener, e.g., Splenda ®") 
 1/2 teaspoon salt
 2 teaspoons baking powder
 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
 1 egg, lightly beaten
 1/3 cup milk

 2 apples - peeled, cored and chopped OR shredded zucchini

1.      Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a 12 cup muffin tin with foil liners or spray with cooking spray.
2.      In a large bowl, whisk together the 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup whole wheat flour, 3/4 cup sweetener, salt, baking powder, and 2 teaspoons cinnamon.
3.      In a separate bowl, mix 1/3 cup applesauce, egg, and milk. Stir the applesauce mixture into the flour mixture until just blended. Fold in the apples. Spoon into the prepared muffin cups, filling about 2/3 full.
4.      Optional Step: In a small bowl, mix 1/2 cup sweetener, 2 2/3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, 2 2/3 tablespoons whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup applesauce, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, and oats. Spread evenly over the muffin batter.
5.      Bake 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

I skipped the optional step for the following less healthy, but “more appealing to my children” option:

1 Tablespoon butter
Cinnamon and sugar mix

Brown butter on the stove. Put cinnamon sugar mixture in a bowl. After muffins are cooked and have cooled for 4 or 5 minutes, dip muffin top in browned butter and then cinnamon/sugar and give them to your hovering children to listen to them “ooh” and “aah.” Or satisfy your own cravings and enjoy a guilt free snack.

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