We’re all about Fall flavors, and if they come in the form of a healthy, packable muffin, even better. These Spiced Apple Muffins from Dr. Sonali Ruder, aka The Foodie Physician, are packed with sweet apples and warming spices, and topped with an irresistible cinnamon sugar topping.
Dr. Ruder, who is an ER doctor and author of several cookbooks, suggests adding these to your kids’ lunchbox as a low-sugar snack and using a mini muffin pan to create smaller portions. To keep them fresh, store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 6 days. Or, simply freeze them – without worrying about time to thaw, says Dr. Ruder: “Throw them into a lunchbox and they’ll be ready to eat by lunchtime. They’re the perfect make-ahead treat!”
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon allspice
¼ teaspoon cardamom and or ginger (optional)
¼ cup neutral-flavored oil (like grapeseed or vegetable oil)
½ cup applesauce
½ cup vanilla Greek yogurt (I use Chobhani 0% vanilla Greek yogurt)
¼ cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup packed light brown sugar or coconut sugar
2 cups apples, peeled and finely chopped (I like to use Honeycrisp)
Cinnamon Sugar Topping
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
Whisk both types of flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice (and any other spices) together in a large bowl.
Whisk the oil, applesauce, Greek yogurt, eggs, maple syrup, vanilla, and brown sugar together in another large bowl.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Gently stir the ingredients together with a spatula or whisk until just combined. Do not overwork the batter. Gently stir in the diced apple.
Scoop the batter into the muffins pan, filling the wells about ¾-full. For the Cinnamon Sugar Topping, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Sprinkle some of the cinnamon sugar on top of the muffins.
Bake the muffins at 375°F for 20-22 minutes. The muffins are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean with just a few moist crumbs. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 10 minutes then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
A Note on Substitutions
* If your child can’t have eggs, you can substitute flax eggs. To make a flax egg, mix 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of water in a bowl. Let it sit for 5 minutes until it thickens. Then use it in the recipe as a substitute for 1 egg.
* If your child can’t have regular flour, you can substitute a gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour like Bob’s Red Mill.
Dr. Sonali lives in Delray Beach, Florida with her husband Pete and two children, 10-year old daughter Sienna and 4-year old son Luca. To find more of her recipes, visit her website The Foodie Physician.