After an amazing day apple picking, I got straight to baking this morning. My oldest son Levi is now going to school, so we are on the lookout for new and creative lunch box treats. Naturally, my top choice is muffins. After searching for a new recipe I came across this one (see below). Levi hasn't had a chance to taste test them yet, but they are Arlo (21 months) approved!
These muffins came out super moist and tasty. To make them lunch box friendly use soy milk instead of almond milk (to avoid the nuts), and depending on your love of cinnamon, you could reduce the total amount to 2 tsp.
1 1/2 cups apple, diced small + 1/4 cup apple, diced small, reserved for topping
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (I used soy to make it lunch box friendly)
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted (vegetable or canola oil may be substituted)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup plus all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt, optional and to taste
pinch of turbinado sugar, optional for sprinkling
pinch of cinnamon, optional for sprinkling
1. Preheat oven to 400F. Spray a non-stick 12-cup regular muffin pan very well with floured cooking spray or grease and flour the pan; set aside. (I don't prefer the cosmetic look of muffin liners and I am not sure if the paper will stick to the muffins)
2. For the Apples - In a medium bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups apples, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, and toss to coat. The flour helps prevent apples from sinking during baking; set aside.
3. Batter - In a large bowl, mash the bananas with a fork.
4. Add the sugar, milk (room temp milk will prevent coconut oil from re-solidifying; if it does anyway, some small clumps are okay), oil, vanilla, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, nutmeg, and whisk until combined.
5. Add 1 cup flour, baking powder, optional salt, and stir until just combined; don't overmix. Batter is quite thick and if yours is seemingly too thick, add a tiny additional splash milk to thin it.
6. Fold in 1 1/2 cups apples and any loose flour in bottom of bowl.
7. Divide batter equally among the cavities of the prepared pan. Each cavity will be about 3/4 full. Spraying a one-quarter cup measure with cooking spray so the batter slides right off is handy here.
8. Using the reserved 1/4 cup diced apples, top each muffin with a couple pieces, divided equally.
9. Optionally add a pinch of turbinado sugar and pinch of cinnamon to each muffin top.
10. Bake for about 17 to 18 minutes, or until tops are domed, puffed, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs dangling but no batter. Allow muffins to cool in pan for about 10 to 15 minutes before removing and placing on a rack to cool completely. Muffins will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
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