You might be wondering why I’m featuring a recipe for apple muffins in February…
Typically we think of October as the height of apple season, so I was surprised to learn that some apple varieties aren’t available until much later. For example, Pinata apples are harvested in mid-October, but because the flavors intensify in cold storage, they’re not actually packed and shipped to stores until late January.
After sampling Pinata apples for myself, I can say that they’re most definitely worth the wait. Sweet, crisp, and juicy — so juicy that I literally had apple juice running down my chin — these apples are a real treat!
Pinata apples adapt well to cooking temperatures, so I decided to incorporate them into a healthy apple oat bran muffin… It is American Heart Awareness Month after all.
Packed with heart healthy grains and golden raisins and diced Pinata apple chunks, you almost won’t believe that these muffins are good for you!
I’ve made two batches in the last week because my kids keep gobbling them all up. In fact, my nine-year-old told me that I need to sell the recipe to Tim Hortons so they can put my apple muffins on their menu (sweet boy!), but instead I’ll share it with you all for free.
I firmly believe that the real “wow factor” comes from the light sprinkling of streusel topping. Made from brown sugar, ground flaxseed, chopped pecans, and butter, it adds just enough crunch and sweetness without a ton of additional calories. You could always skip this step and still have a moist and flavorful apple oat bran muffin.
For the muffins:
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 3/4 cups oat bran
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
- 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 Pinata apples (or your favorite variety) — peeled and diced
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 1 cup milk
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 large egg whites
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
For the streusel topping (optional):
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 4 tablespoons chopped pecans
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Make the streusel topping first by mixing together the brown sugar, ground flaxseed and chopped pecans.Cut in the cold butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Combine flour, oat bran, brown sugar, ground flaxseed, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt well with a whisk. Stir in diced apples and golden raisins.
- In another bowl whisk together milk, applesauce, vanilla extract, egg whites and coconut oil.
- Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and stir together until combined.
- Spoon three tablespoons of batter into lined or cooking spray coated muffin cups. Sprinkle streusel topping over the batter if desired. Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 18 minutes.
If you don’t regularly use coconut oil, you could swap it with canola oil or even additional applesauce instead. However, coconut oil has many wonderful health benefits and adds some additional flavor — I’d highly recommend giving it a try. Scrambled eggs are delicious when cooked with a little coconut oil!