Muffins are a great item to prepare in advance. They freeze well and are very portable, perfect for a healthy, on-the-go snack or light meal. For this version I tried to keep them as nutritious as possible by starting with a base of sprouted spelt and sprouted buckwheat flours. This extra step in the processing creates a whole grain flour that is easy to digest, with more bioavailable nutrients.
From there, the muffins get some density and healthy fats from almond meal (ground almonds) and moistness from apple sauce, Greek yogurt and a bit of cultured butter. Natural sweetness comes from dates and maple syrup and vanilla and cinnamon add a bit of seasonal spice.
I used Honeycrisp apples to make the apple sauce and for the apple pieces in the muffins. They can be a harder variety to source but they most prevalent this time of the year, especially at farmers’ markets. They own up to their name with a deliciously sweet flavour and crisp, juicy texture. Any other sweet varieties like Gala also work well for apple sauce and baking.There are over seven thousand varieties of apples available around the world but across the board, apples are generally a good source of fiber, vitamin C and many powerful polyphenols, many of which act as antioxidants. Several of these nutrients are in or just under the skin so for maximum benefit keep the skin on and for the most ideal option go for organic. Fruits with thicker skins like avocados and oranges have been shown to have lower amounts of pesticides but fruit with thin skin like apples, and especially when those thin skins are eaten, often have a higher concentration.
- 1 apple, finely chopped
- ½ cup dried cranberries, finely chopped
- Dry Ingredients
- 2 cups sprouted spelt flour
- 1 cup sprouted buckwheat flour
- 1 cup almond meal
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 vanilla bean (or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract)
- Wet Ingredients
- 1½ cups unsweetened apple sauce
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla cashew milk (or any preferred nut milk)
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 cup Medjool dates, pitted and finely chopped (around 16-18)
- ½ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup salted butter, softened (cultured if possible; or coconut oil for a dairy-free option)
- 4 eggs
- Preheat oven to 375°. Line 36 muffin tins with parchment paper liners.
- Place all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine.
- Place all the wet ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour the wet mixture over the dry ingredients and stir well until they are fully mixed together. Fold in the apple and cranberries until evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
- Scoop out the mixture evenly into the muffin tins, filling them around ⅔ to ¾ full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- Place pans on cooling racks for 5-10 minutes. Once the muffins are cooled enough to touch, take them out of the pans and leave them to cool completely, directly on the cooling racks (leaving them in the pans can make the bottoms soggy). Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a few days and in the freezer for up to a few months.