Today is my stepfather’s birthday!!! Even though his introduction into my life when I was nine wasn’t a very smooth one, my stepdad has become a huge part of my life! He’s taught me not pick a carrot from a plate at a potluck and then put it back because it looked deformed. He also helped me learn my multiplication table – and God knows how much I struggled with that one! He’s the one I later drove crazy with interminable vocabulary homework. And of course he has always been very supportive of me – in both the high and low points of my life – letting me know that it was okay to follow my own path. I am so grateful to have him as a stepfather because never has he overstepped his boundary, and yet has always managed to be a key parent figure in my life. So today I want to wish him the happiest birthday and let him know how much I love him!
As we haven’t been in the same city for his birthday in the last few years, I got excited today and decided to bake him some muffins. My stepdad loves apples so I figured it would only be appropriate to include apple in these little goodies. He also loves coffee so, again, only logical to bake breakfast muffins! The apple sauce in this recipe, as well as the absence of gluten and anything dairy, all contribute to making these muffins super light. But don’t let yourself be fooled because these are loaded with nutrients – walnuts, pumpkin seeds, coconut oil, flax seeds, apple, banana…you name it! All the ingredients here are the least refined and most natural possible, making these muffins a guilt-free indulgence. ;)
Apple Muffins – serves: 12 muffins | prep time: 15 min | cooking time: 25 min
- 2 cups gluten-free all purpose flour (I use Trader Joe’s)
- ½ baking powder
- ½ baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ ground ginger
- ½ ground nutmeg
- a pinch of salt
- ½ cup unsweetened apple sauce
- 1 large apple (fuji or gala)
- 1 large ripe banana
- 3 tbsp melted coconut oil
- 2 tbsp ground flax seeds
- 6 tbsp water
- 4 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp plain almond milk
- ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/3 cup raisins
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
Prepare your flax eggs: mix the flax seeds and water in a small bowl or cup and let sit in the fridge while you prepare the rest.
Soak the raisins in water and let set apart for now.
In a large bowl, combine all your dry ingredients and mix will. I suggests sifting the flour into the bowl.
Peel and cut the banana into thin slices, and mash into a separate medium bowl. Then shred the apple using a cheese grater and add that to the mashed banana. Add in the rest of the wet ingredients, including the flax eggs. Whisk everything together until the mixture is smooth and uniform.
Then slowly incorporate the wet mixture into the dry one, mixing it all together until everything is well combined. Avoid over-mixing the batter.
Drain the raisins and incorporate them into the batter, along with the pumpkin seeds and and walnuts. Make sure to leave a few nuts and seeds on the side for the topping.
Scoop the batter evenly into 12 muffin cups and top with the extra nuts and seeds. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out dry.