Apple Walnut Muffins

Another great, whole grain, fruity vitamin packed muffin recipe!  There are several ways you can make this muffin your own, using what you have on hand!  For instance, if you don’t have walnuts you could us pecans… if you don’t have apple butter or apple sauce you could use pumpkin or carrot puree.. if you don’t like cinnamon, don’t use it…. and if you don’t have an apple, this muffin works without it, according to our reliable sources.  Don’t have buttermilk?  Use 3/4 c. fat free milk and a squeeze of lemon juice- tastes and works just like the real thing.  We made this recipe as follows and the result is a real treat of a muffin, decadent crumble topping with the brown sugary nutty goodness and a tender moist muffin full of apple flavors from Arnie and Julie’s homemade apple butter and apple sauces ( thank you for the Christmas gift!), and the chunks of apples really bring this one home.  So gooooooood, please try it:

Cooking spray
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1/2 cup natural applesauce

1/2 cup apple butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup lowfat buttermilk
1 Gala apple, cored and cut into 1/4-inch pieces

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 12-capacity muffin pan with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of the brown sugar, the walnuts 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 sugar and oil until combined. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, whisking well after each addition. Whisk in the applesauces 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 a few times to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center of 1 of the muffins comes out clean.

Let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the muffins to loosen them and unmold. Cool completely on the rack.  These can be wrapped up and stored in the freezer for easy grab and go breakfasts or snacks.  Just pull one out the night before or toss in the microwave for 45 seconds and enjoy!