Apple season is upon us and the bushel of apples on my kitchen counter are calling to me to use them! These apples are so beautiful that you can shine them up on your pant leg and sink your teeth right in for an oh-so-sweet-crisp-tangy-amazing bite and be at one with the apple bliss. That’s a given. But, so are these… Cinnamon apples, apple chips, apple slices, apple granola, apple smoothies, apple sorbet, apple butter, apple pie, apple cake…. and, ah, apple muffins!
I make mini muffins more than full size muffins not only because they’re cuter, but because they are easier to pack in lunch boxes, easier to freeze and just the right size to have with a cup of tea. Check out the alternative fruit and nut combinations and have fun making muffins with or for your loved ones! Know that you’re getting whole grains and healthy fats in these little gems.
Apple Walnut Muffins
(yield 24 mini or 12 regular muffins)
½ cup sorghum flour
½ cup quinoa or millet flour
½ cup amaranth flour
½ cup arrowroot flour
1 tsp xanthan gum
½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp gluten free vanilla powder (or add 2 tsp gluten free vanilla liquid extract to the liquid mix)
½ cup rice syrup or 3 medool dates, softened in ½ cup water and blended until smooth or ½ cup maple syrup
1 Tbsp chia seed
¼ cup hot water
¼ cup coconut oil
1 ripe banana, mashed
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 ½ cups apple, small diced
¾ cup walnuts, chopped
*other fruit/nut combos to try are pear/almond, banana/pecan, peach/cashew. Substitute these fruits for the apple at the 1 ½ cup portion, however, for great results make sure to choose very firm, almost under-ripe fruits since these are all juicier or more liquid forming than apples.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Line the muffin pan of your choice with paper liners.
- Combine the flour blend in a mixing bowl.
- Combine the chia and hot water in a small bowl and set aside until the chia absorbs the water.
- Combine the chia gel with the remaining ingredients for the liquid blend in another mixing bowl. Make sure that the banana is very well washed and everything is quite a smooth liquid. If you aren’t partial to the nubby bite that chia adds to baked goods, you can blend the liquid mixture in a Vitamix or other blender until the chia is smooth.
- Pour the liquid blend into the flour and stir well to combine. Fold in the diced apples and nuts.
- Scoop tablespoon size portions into mini muffin cups or ¼ cup portions into regular muffin cups.
- Bake the mini’s for 12 minutes or until golden; bake regular muffins for 18-20 minutes.
- Check the done-ness of one muffin by inserting a wooden tooth pick into the center and pulling it out. If there is a goo on the stick, you need to bake for a few minutes longer.
- Remove the muffins from the oven and transfer them from the tin to a cooling rack. Gluten free baked goods have a tendency to be more moist than glutenous baked goods, so allowing these muffins to cool and get great air flow underneath the papers will help ensure bottoms that aren’t soggy.
- Serve or freeze (freeze on a baking sheet and then transfer the frozen muffins to a zip lock or freezer safe container).