Apple Spice Muffins

I woke up hungry for muffins yesterday morning and I wanted to try to make something other than my old standby, blueberry muffins. Now, I absolutely love blueberry muffins but I really wanted to try something different. So I decided on trying my hand at making apple muffins. I had Braeburn apples already on hand so I decided you use them. Braeburn apples have a firm texture and are sweet with just a little bit of tartness. They are perfect for baking since their firmness enables them to stand up well to being baked. They are also delicious to eat just as is. But on this morning, they were destined to go into my muffins. I decided that I wanted my muffins to be really spicey too, because I thought that would play off nicely against the apples. I settled on adding nutmeg, ginger, ground cloves and of course, cinnamon. I also decided that I would add raisins and pecans to the muffins. I love raisins and apples together in my oatmeal so I knew that I had to have raisins in my apple muffins too. I chose to use part whole wheat flour and part all purpose flour. It's not enough whole wheat flour to overwhelm your taste buds but enough to add some more substance to the muffins. I wanted to cut down on the fat and cut out the cholesterol so I used some applesauce as a fat replacer and flaxseed and egg whites in place of whole eggs. I'm really happy with how the muffins turned out! The recipe makes a lot of muffins, 30 to be exact, so just store the extra ones in the freezer and you'll have plenty of Apple Spice Muffins for breakfast or snacks without having to make more! I like my muffins warm so I just split them open and reheat them in my toaster oven. Grab a muffin or two and a cup of yogurt and you've got a quick and delicious breakfast! Apple Spice Muffins

2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1 c. whole wheat flour

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 tsp. ground cloves

1/2 tsp. ground ginger

3 tbsp. whole flaxseed, grind up right before using plus 1/2 c. water

1 1/2 c. white sugar

1 1/2 c. brown sugar

1/4 c. canola oil

1/4 c. natural applesauce

2 egg whites

1 c. water

4 Braeburn apples, peeled and chopped (tossed with 4 tbsp. of the flour and spice mix)

1/2 c. pecans, chopped

1 c. raisins

Preheat the oven to 350°F and add muffin liners to a muffin pan.

In a small bowl, combine the flour with all the spices and stir together with a fork to blend the spices together with the flour.

Wash, peel and chop 4 apples. Chop the apples to the size that you like or if you don't like chunks, try grating the apples instead. Then toss the apples with 4 tablespoons of the flour and spice mixture until the apples are coated with flour. Tossing fruit in a bit of flour helps prevent the fruit from sinking to the bottom of the muffins, cake or whatever else you are baking.

Grind the flaxseed using a coffee grinder. Then add the milled flaxseed to 1/2 cup of water in a large mixing bowl. Mix on high speed for 1 minute until the flaxseed and water is mixed together until it looks like the consistency of egg whites. Next, to the mixture add the sugar, oil, applesauce and egg whites. Mix together until it is completely blended and the mixture is almost frothy.

Next, add 1/2 of the flour and spice mixture and mix just until combined. Then add 1/2 cup of water and mix until the liquid is mixed in. Then add the rest of the flour mixture, mixing just until combined, followed by the other 1/2 cup of water and mix until the liquid is mixed in.

Lastly, add the apples, pecans and raisins and stir with a spoon until the fruits and nuts are mixed evenly throughout the dough.

Using an ice cream scoop or large spoon, scoop out the muffin dough and place in the muffin tin, filling the cups until they are almost full.

Place in a preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Makes 30 standard sized muffins.

Nutritional information per muffin:

188 Calories

4 g. fat

0 g. saturated fat

0 mg. cholesterol

169 mg. sodium

38 g. carbohydrates

2 g. fiber

26 g. sugar

2 g. protein