Spiced Muffins with Applesauce

My kids went crazy for these muffins. I made a spice substitution from the original recipe as I really hate cardamom, but cinnamon and nutmeg do the trick. Even pumpkin pie spice works. The ingredient list is fairly basic, but you’ll probably have to buy some dry milk. Who really keeps that around anymore? While these little gems are tasty, the texture is a little heavier – these are not cakeish muffins. But overall, a healthier choice for the kids to sneak! Tip: using an ice cream scoop makes filling the muffin tins super fast and mess-free!

Spiced Muffins with Applesauce
Adapted from The Mayo Clinic Williams-Sonoma Cookbook 

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup rye flour
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (or pumpkin pie spice, cardamom)
Healthy pinch of grated nutmeg
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
1 cup applesauce (preferably homeade – tips below)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup raisins (I used golden raisins – it was what was in the cupboard)

1. Preheat oven to 375. Prepare your standard muffin cup with paper or nonstick spray. (We opt for paper. But be ready for random papers to be dropped around your house.)
2. Into a medium bowl, sift together the whole wheat flour, rye flour, spices, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the dry milk and stir to blend.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the applesauce, water, brown sugar, egg, and oil.
4. Add the combined dry ingredients and stir just until the batter is blended. Sir in the raisins.
5. Fill each prepared cup three quarters full (almost to the top for mine) and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 15 minutes. (Closer to 20 for me.) Cool in the cups for 5 minutes before serving.

Applesauce Muffins

Applesauce Muffins

Making homeade applesauce – if you aren’t doing this now, get started. You’ll never go back to the regular stuff. My dad’s recipe is pretty simple – peel, core, and chunk up the apples. Toss them in a big pot with a little water or apple juice. Add some cinnamon or lemon juice if you’re feeling fancy. Cook them down until they are super mushy, then use a potato masher, mash them up until the applesauce is the texture you like. It freezes beautifully and I promise you’ll never go back to the jarred stuff again.

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