Fall is for Apples

apple muffins_LeighBeischPhotography

Apple Muffins with Carrot & Coconut. Leigh Beisch Photography

As the daylight hours shorten and the air becomes crisper, the lure of the kitchen beckons us to return to cooking indoors for friends and family.

Nothing is more welcoming than the spicy aroma of freshly baked muffins. Taking advantage of the season, why not make them apple muffins.

With almost 100 varieties of apples grown in the U.S., the uses are practically endless. What would fall cooking be without the crunchy, sweet, and/or tart fruit that is considered a nutritional powerhouse?

High in fiber and Vitamin C, apples are also a source of vitamin A, calcium, iron, vitamin B-6, and magnesium. One medium apple has just 95 calories.

From sweet to savory and from breakfast to bedtime, apples take center stage in The Apple Cookbook, 3rd Edition: 125 Freshly Picked Recipes by Olwen Woodier. Here, you will find 125 recipes, ranging from traditional favorites to the wildly unexpected.

Apple lovers will also delight in other recipes such as Farro with Mushroom, Onion, and Apple; Apple, Sausage, and Cheese Strata; Butternut Squash and Apple Soup; Ground Lamb Kebabs with Apple Mint Raita; Fresh Apple and Mango Smoothie; Almond-Apple Streusel; and dozens of other delicious dishes. The recipes are accompanied by mouthwatering photos and include lots of gluten-free options.

A delicious wake-up call for weekend guests is the recipe for Apple Muffins with Carrot & Coconut. “I frequently eat muffins for breakfast, and those containing coconut are my favorite—to the point where I often throw ½ to 1 cup shredded coconut into any muffin recipe I make,” Woddier said.

“If I have leftover coconut milk (I use it to cook chicken, seafood, and rice), that also goes into my muffins,” Woodier added. “I prefer low-fat coconut milk because in the full-fat version the cream settles on the top and needs to be blended into the separated liquid. Almond milk would be a good alternative in this recipe, but low-fat dairy milk is fine, too.”

Apple Muffins with Carrot and Coconut

Makes 12 servings

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup white whole-wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup honey
  • ¾ cup low-fat coconut milk
  • ¼ cup canola or coconut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 medium apple (Gala, Golden Delicious, Braeburn), peeled, cored, and grated (1/2–3/4 cup)
  • 1 carrot, scrubbed and grated (1/2–3/4 cup)
  • ½ cup shredded coconut, sweetened or unsweetened as preferred

Preheat the oven to 375 deg. F. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan.

In a large bowl, stir together the all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and ginger. Make a well in the center.

In a medium bowl, beat together the honey, coconut milk, oil, and eggs. Stir in the apple, carrot, and coconut. Pour into the well of the dry ingredients and stir together just until combined.

Divide the batter among the muffin cups. The cups will be almost full. Bake on the middle rack for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then finish cooling on a wire rack.

Reprinted with permission from The Apple Cookbook, 3rd Edition by Olwen Woodier, © 2015 Storey Publishing, LLC.
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