Breakfast may be the most important meal of the day, but it can also be the most challenging. Not many people have time (okay, make time) to fix a nutritious breakfast on weekdays. Lately, my breakfast has consisted of tea and a sprouted grain English muffin with almond butter (and sometimes honey). Ken usually eats cereal (good, because it is the lesser of the evils when compared to Pop Tarts, but bad because it is high carb and not very nutrient dense).
These Apple Pecan Muffins turned out to be a perfect alternative to our normal breakfasts. I found the recipe in Ellie Krieger's The Food You Crave, which has "recipes for a healthy lifestyle." I made a few changes (and I have a few more I'd like to experiment with in the future). Here is my version:
Apple Pecan Muffins
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup spelt flour (substitute for all-purpose flour)
1 cup oat flour (substitute for whole-wheat pastry flour)
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda (I used Bob's Red Mill)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup canola or olive oil
2 large eggs (I used brown/cage free)
1 cup natural, unsweetened applesauce (2 of the individual servings)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup lowfat buttermilk
1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 12-capacity muffin pan with olive oil or cooking spray, or use paper or foil muffin liners.
In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar, the pecans and cinnamon.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and whole-wheat flour, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, whisk the remaining 3/4 cup brown sugar and oil until combined. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, whisking well after each addition. Whisk in the applesauce and vanilla.
Whisk in the flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with the buttermilk. Whisk just until combined. Gently stir in the apple chunks.
Pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan and sprinkle with the pecan mixture. Tap the pan on the counter to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the muffins to loosen. Remove from pan and cool completely on the rack.
Note: for me, this recipe yielded 12 regular muffins, plus 5 muffins baked in mini-tart pans. You can keep these muffins in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer up to 3 months, in an airtight container.