Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Adventurous Cooking and Baking

Also known as, What To Do With Those Fall Apples

I'm sort of adventurous when it comes to recipes. By that, I mean that I'm not a big fan of recipes. It's way more fun for me to bake and cook if I don't have to keep looking at a recipe card/website/book a million times. I'm an obsessive overchecker (it said tablespoons right? *checks* Yep!... walks back to bowl. It said tablespoons right? *rinse and repeat*). There are some things I just have to follow the recipe for, but sometimes I like to get a bit creative. For example, most of the dinners I make, I don't follow a recipe for. I just find things that I think will go well together. I'm not a super talented chef, but I make pretty tasty, somewhat simple meals. I try really hard to use as many real foods as I can when I cook and bake. This often times means that if I do  find a recipe to try, I have to tweak it so I don't use shortening, white flour, or other ingredients like that, that we don't keep around. A downfall is that I'm only brave when it comes to Steven and me. I actually get really nervous when I'm cooking for other people! Steven loves almost everything I've ever made, but that doesn't mean guests will! So I do have to get a bit more brave about that. And maybe expand my dinner-with-guests repertoire to more than 2 meals. (So that I can have you over more than twice.)

Anyway, my mother in law gave us a ton of apples last week when we went to her house. They have an apple tree in the backyard and the apples were beginning to drop, so she filled an entire grocery bag full for us to take home. I was looking around online for something to make, and most recipes were desserts. Seeing as we need another dessert around the house like I need another pound clinging to my waistline, I thought muffins would be better. I try to get us away from eating cereal, even the healthier kinds, any chance I get, so muffins would be good for that. I find muffins made with healthy ingredients to be more filling than many cereals, plus we suck at portion controlling cereal. Plus, we can eat them as breakfast or a snack and not have to feel guilty since we use whole wheat flour. Specifically, we use white whole wheat, which is just as good for you as whole wheat, but has a softer taste. It's comical that I'm saying "we" since Steven probably couldn't identify the flour if his life depended on it :P.

So,long story long, I searched around but couldn't find anything that was just right. Instead, I came up with my own recipe (some ingredients I took from the tons of recipes I perused, and some I came up with on my own from past baking experiences). These are so delicious that they could almost count as dessert! These muffins are light and spongy, and very moist! Here it is:

Whole Wheat Apple Oat Muffins

Mix together:
1 1/4 c. white whole wheat flour 
1 c. old fashioned oatmeal
1 tbsp. of brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 dash of nutmeg 

In a large, separate bowl, mix:
1 large egg
1/2 c. whole milk 
1/4 c. sunflower oil, or oil of choice
1/3 c. honey

Peel, core, and run 6 medium sized apples through the food processor, or chop them very finely. When using the processor, you want it to be applesauce consistency. Mix the apples into the wet bowl, and then mix the dry bowl ingredients into the wet bowl. Put the mix in a baking dish or muffin tins. Bake in a dish for 22 minutes at 350 or in a muffin tin for 17 minutes at 350. Baking times may vary slightly. 

Yields: ~15 muffins

Some tips:
We use Trader Joe's brand white whole wheat flour. King Arthur's is just as good, but more expensive in our area.
You can up the ante on the real-ness of these muffins by using steel cut oats instead of old fashioned. I think I might try that next time!
The brown sugar is the only thing that disqualifies this recipe from being real, so you can feel free to leave it out. I try to avoid sugar as much as possible, but brown sugar is so good!
You can probably use whatever percent milk you want. I switched over to full fat dairy products (in moderation) after reading studies about them aiding in weight loss (versus skim/low fat which did not), and reading that full fat dairy is way less processed (which shouldn't have surprised me).
Use more apples than you need and throw some applesauce in the fridge! It is DELISH and so easy!

If you make these, please let me know what you think! 


  1. that sounds delish - can't wait to try it! I can't imagine steel cut oats working out very well, their consistency is so coarse.

    1. I've seen people use them in baking before, so I will have to try it next and let you know!

  2. We went to the apple orchard last week and I've been trying to add apples to EVERYTHING ... I'll have to try this! I made apple stuffed pork chops that were DELISH!

    1. YUM! I wish I liked pork chops because that sounds amazing! I need to find some more dinner recipes I can use them in.