A Squared: Fall Baking: Healthier Apple Pecan Oatmeal Muffins

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Fall Baking: Healthier Apple Pecan Oatmeal Muffins

Whenever the weather gets chilly-- especially in the early fall-- I find myself in the mood to bake. I try to refrain from baking too often since it can often be super unhealthy, so this time around I decided to challenge myself and come up with a healthier baking option: something I can eat without feeling too guilty.

Let me start out by saying that this is not a typical muffin recipe. I wanted to make something that I could eat for breakfast or a snack and feel good about it-- not something full of sugar and butter that's more of a dessert masquerading as breakfast. So, while they aren't light and cakey (because hello, that's basically dessert) they are really satisfying and perfect with a banana and a cup of coffee for breakfast. The consistency is dense because of the ratio of fruit to batter (there's a lot of fruit!) and between the apples and the Greek yogurt they stay super moist.

As far as the "healthier" aspect is considered here, this are about as guilt-free as a muffin can get. They are made with a combo of oats, wheat flour, and all purpose, but apples really make up the bulk of the muffins. There is a smidge of canola oil, but the majority of the moisture here comes from skim milk and Greek yogurt. The sweetness comes from a little brown sugar and a little pure maple syrup. Round it out with some protein from egg whites and pecans and we're good!

  • 4 large apples, peeled and cored *I used a combo of Honeycrisp and Gala
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. canola oil
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 Tbs. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fat free plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 egg whites 
  • Cooking spray
  • 3/4 cup pecans, rough chopped (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place paper muffin cups in a muffin tin and lightly grease them with cooking spray.

Chop the apples into a 1/4-inch dice and set aside.

Add flours, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl and stir until combined.

In a separate bowl combine milk, oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract, yogurt, and egg whites. Whisk until well blended. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredient mixture and add apples (and pecans, if you are using them). Stir until just combined.

Spoon into the prepared muffin cups and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and muffins are golden brown on top.

Freeze or refrigerate until ready to eat.

Adapted from recipe courtesy of Clever Muffin.

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