Thursday, October 7, 2010

Carrot-Apple Nut Muffins

Nothing says fall like apple and pumpkin picking, cider, corn roasts, and fall festivals. Sadly, there aren't many (if any) pumpkin patches and apple orchards here in Florida. Because my husband is travelling or has games every weekend during the fall, I know our chances of making it up to North Carolina for a Fall-activity packed weekend is out of the question. So you can imagine how excited I was when I walked into Whole Foods and found these little 1/2 peck bags of apples! Yes, they were shipped all the way from New York (carbon footprint - ouch!) but because they're in season, and massive quantities are shipped at least.

Two weeks ago, the apples in the bags were Macintosh, but last week they were Honeycrisp, the most delicious of all apples! I find that Macintosh is my favorite for caramel apples because they're not quite as sweet, but Honeycrisp are perfect for a sweet, bright, crunch snack. They also hold up really well to baking!

I don't bake muffins and breakfast snack type things as much as I used to because we don't really need the extra baked goods around the house. However, these are pretty healthy, and are a cross between carrot cake and apple muffins, two of JJ's favorites. I thought he'd really like them, and I was correct! And it's very fitting that the Apple muffins come from a wonderful blog, Apple a Day! 

Tips and Trades:
-I halved this recipe, but kept the apple and carrot at the whole amount. They were still quite tasty, but didn't puff as much as a regular muffin. I'd suggest adding another tsp. of baking powder if you use the full apple/carrot amount in the halved recipe. I got 12 smaller muffins.
-Can't find Honeycrisp? Try using other apples that are good for baking, here is a great guide!
-This recipe is the original, Kelsey got around 20 muffins, the recipe claims to yield 16.

Carrot-Apple Nut Muffins
from Kelsey at Apple A Day, originally by Williams-Sonoma

1 c. unbleached, all-purpose flour
1 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 c. oat bran (or ground rolled oats)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2/3 c. firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. nonfat buttermilk
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 1/4 c. grated apple (I did not peel it first)
1 1/4 c. grated carrot, peeled (about 2 medium)
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
1/2 c. mixed raisins and dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 400*
Grease muffin tins or add paper liners, recipe should yield between 16-20.
In a large bowl, whisk flours, oat bran, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and brown sugar.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat eggs, buttermilk and yogurt.
Add the flour mixture until it is just about moistened, do not over mix!
Add the grated apple, carrots, nuts and raisins, stir until just distributed.
Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling about 3/4 full.
If desired, sprinkle with coarse sugar and cinnamon.
Bake until a toothpick comes clean when inserted in the center, about 15-18 minutes.
Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, transfer muffins to a wire rack and cool to room temperature.
Store in an air tight container.


Kelly said...

Honestly I wouldn't worry so much about the carbon footprint thing. You make good choices overall and from everything I've read, transporting food is only one part of the equation and whenever a supplier is buying in large quantities is often just about the same as a single person driving to an orchard. This isn't to say that the transportation issue isn't an important one, but everything I've read suggests it gets a little bit blown out of proportion when weighed against some of the other factors of food production. Those look awesome btw. Carrot and apple have such a natural affinity for each other.

Dawn said...

I need to make some muffins! You have inspired me. These look so good and I like the size.

Joanne said...

I love love love Honeycrisps! They are my absolute favorite apple of all time. Fantastic muffins!

Considering that NY is basically exploding with apples at the moment, I wouldn't worry too much about the carbon footprint!

Also, thanks for your sweet comment on my lasagna/Marie Claire post! It's amazing to me just how many of the girls who responded have had some experience with EDs.

Best Baby Gift Basket information said...

I love these muffins! Healthy but good at the same time!