Hey, What’s Cookin’?
Apples. While we enjoy them year ’round, they are at their finest in fall. Local apple orchards are bursting with so many varieties! Whether you prefer them sweet or tart, they are all at their crispiest and juiciest here in New England right now. They make a wonderfully crunchy addition to salads and a great all-natural snack all by themselves or when paired with a bit of protein, like an ounce of cheese or a tablespoon of nut butter.
One medium (138 grams) apple has a glycemic index (GI) of 38, and a glycemic load (GL) of 6. Those values are in the low range for both the GI and GL. Apples are a good source of fiber and Vitamin C, as well as Vitamin B-6, so you can feel good about having an apple anytime!
Of course the temptation to bake apples into pies and muffins is there–it’s what most of us grew up with. But that’s not a good idea when you are m.e.l.t.ing and trying hard to increase your muscle and decrease your fat stores.
But did you know that you can make apple muffins without flour and grain-free flour substitutes? Just as you can make flour-free peanut butter cookies, you can make flour-free apple muffins using almond or cashew butter as the source of fat. This muffin recipe uses a bit of vinegar (don’t worry, you won’t taste it) and baking powder to help give them volume.
Now remember, these are not going to resemble the sugar-blasted gut-bombs you can buy at DD–I wouldn’t be featuring them here if they did! But give these lightly-sweet muffins a try and see if they don’t change your idea about what makes a good muffin. They will make a great accompaniment to your morning cup of yogurt or a tasty afternoon snack with a cup of green tea!
Flourless Apple Muffins
Adapted from: Satisfying Eats
Serves: Makes 8-10 muffins
- 1-1/2 cups of peeled and finely chopped or coarsely grated sweet apples (2 Honeycrisp or Gala apples)
- 1 tbs water
- 1/2 cup almond or cashew butter
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 2 or 3 tablespoons agave nectar or honey, to taste
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp white vinegar
- 3 tbs finely chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with 8 paper liners.
- Place the chopped apples and water in a small microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and cook on high for 1 minute (if grated) or 2 minutes (if chopped) or until tender. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl add almond butter, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, 2 tbs agave nectar, and drained, warm apples. Blend well and taste; adjust sweetener if needed.
- Add baking soda and vinegar; mix quickly. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup or scoop to divide batter among 8 muffin cups. Sprinkle muffin tops with nuts (optional) and bake for 15-17 minutes. The “toothpick test” will not work for these muffins; check for surface firmness and springback. Just don’t overbake!
- Remove muffins from the oven and place the pan on a wire rack for 3 minutes. Remove muffins from pan and return to wire rack to continue cooling.
Notes: Chopped ripe pears would make a fantastic variation, but remember that pears must be absolutely ripe, with soft, juicy flesh, before you can cook with them. Hard pears are unripe pears; they have very little flavor and it will not improve upon cooking. I suggest you use cashew butter as well, because almond butter is strongly-flavored and may overpower the delicate flavor of the pears.