Apple Muffins

Now that the wedding has come and gone we get to delve back into our to-do list. The fun one that has things like update recipes and make macaroons on it… Not the one riddled with obligatory tasks like making table numbers. We are looking forward to fun and to relaxing. After all isn’t that what being newlyweds is all about?? Anyways, over the past few years I have adjusted this recipe from the original I was taught and the original one I posted here. This is where we are today.

Apple Muffins

  • 1 stick butter, melted and cooled
  • 4 ounces unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 4 small Granny Smith apples, cored and diced into 1/4″ pieces
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin trays with papers and spray papers with nonstick spray.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl sift together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
  3. Cream together butter, sugar, applesauce, eggs and vanilla extract mixing until light,  airy and well-combined                   
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet in thirds and mix at a gradual speed – you don’t want to over-mix or make a mess. Mix the first two thirds then wait.   
  5. Add the diced apples to the remaining flour and stir to evenly coat the apples; add to muffin batter and fold to incorporate.
  6. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter.
  7. If you are making mini-muffins, cook them for 18 minutes rotating halfway through. For larger muffins you will need 25 minutes, again rotate the pan halfway through cook time.
  8. Let cool in pan 5 minutes before removing to cooling rack to cool completely.
  9. These guys are delicious with yogurt, coffee, or by themselves.


Cake (muffins) to remember

As you all know I love a good muffin. I made a new one last night. As per my usual I adapted it from another recipe. The original recipe is my dad’s favorite cake, but I don’t have the correct pan for it so I had to improvise. This isn’t a sweet batter, but it’s moist and delicious. These are a great no matter the occasion, whether it’s a meet in greet (what I made them for), or just your weekly breakfast. My future mother in law crumbled up the muffin and added it to her Greek yogurt which looked very good. Carvers favorite is just warm with a cup of coffee. These are very flexible and with the added applesauce and apples they yield 1/2 fruit serving per muffin. Also a bonus is the smell that permeates the kitchen and beyond. (My father says I shouldn’t have messed with the original recipe, but I think he would understand once he tasted one.)
Muffins to Remember

Preheat oven to 350. In a small skillet, toast 2c chopped walnuts for about 5 minutes, remove from heat and let cool. Chop 2 medium Granny Smith apples, should be 1″ cubes, set aside. In a large bowl cream 1 stick unsalted butter (room temperature) and 4 oz unsweetened applesauce. With mixer on medium speed, add in 2c granulated sugar and mix until combined. Scrape down sides and add in 2 eggs (room temperature), 3T egg whites and 2t vanilla extract; mix well. In a small bowl sift together 3c whole wheat flour, 1 1/2t baking soda, 1/2t salt, 1t cinnamon and 1/4t nutmeg. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet with mixer on low-speed; mix thoroughly. The batter will be very thick. Fold in walnuts and apples until combined. Spray muffin tins with non-stick spray or line with papers. Fill tins until two-thirds full. Bake for 35 minutes, rotating half-way through cooking time. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 10 minutes, remove and let finish cooling on a rack. Makes 18 muffins, 1 muffin per serving. Points Plus: 3. 

Recipes and Prep

Preparation for the week

Here is my grid for the week: Food Plan Sheet I usually print out a Blank Planner Sheet on Thursday and start brainstorming what snacks/meals I want to have. Some considerations at this point: what do I already have in the house, what is in season, what did I make/eat this week, what am I craving. I jot down all these items on a post-it or on the back of the grid – keep it all in one place! Once I have accommodated the have/want/need, I go to the WW Good Health Guidelines: 5 fruit/veggie, 2 dairy, 2 oil, lean protein, whole grains and liquids. Let’s use dairy as an example: my needs are 2 dairy servings/day and I am now on a yogurt kick. Yogurt cups super easy to grab in the morning, a good source of protein and are 6oz which is 2oz short of a single dairy serving. Lucky for me I like a splash of coffee in my coffee so I make sure I get 2oz milk/day in my coffee. I find the easiest way to get my fruit/veggie needs is to get a bit in each meal and snack. Healthy oils have always been the hardest for me to get in. This week with all the soups and salads I will get my oils in as dressing and a dip for bread.

Once I have a set of recipes/meals chosen, I write down the page number and points value for each recipe I am using and put it at the bottom of the grid. As I am copying page numbers and points values I build my grocery list. Once you have plotted dinners or major cooking I finish my grocery list based on my other meals and snacks. Then all there’s left to do is hit the store and put the goodies away. The organization and cooking/prep is saved for another day…. Lots of recipes to share today!!!


Apple Bran Muffins: these have great texture and a subtle sweetness from the raisins and apples, they are best when served warm (especially with a cup of tea)

Preheat oven to 425. Spray 12 large and 12 small muffin tins with cooking spray (or line with muffin papers). Mix 2 1/2c bran, 1 1/3c whole wheat flour, 2 1/2t baking soda, and 1/2t salt in a large bowl. Add 2 eggs, 2/3c low-fat buttermilk, 1/2c applesauce, 1/3c molasses, and 1/4c honey and mix until combined. Fold in 1 medium Granny Smith– diced and 1/2c raisins. Fill the muffin tins until 2/3 full. Bake for 12-15 minutes, rotating halfway through baking time. Serves: 16; 12 regular (1/serv), 12 mini (3/serv); Points Plus: 4

Scallop-Broccoli Stir Fry

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add 1t vegetable oil – continue to heat until a sprinkle of water sizzles in the skillet. Add 1 1/2lb fresh scallops to the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until seared and opaque – about 5 minutes. Transfer scallops to a plate. Add 3c broccoli florets and 1c sliced carrots to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently for about 5 minutes until bright and tender. Add in 1/4c warm water, 1t minced garlic and 2T reduced-sodium soy sauce to the vegetables in the skillet. Cook 2-3 minutes longer, covered over medium heat. Add in scallops to warm through, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes. Serves:4. Points Plus: 5

Unsweetened Granola: awesome for a light crunch on fruit or yogurt

Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl mix 1c rolled oats, 2T wheat bran, 1/2c sliced almonds and 4T honey; make sure all are evenly coated. Bake for 30 minutes rotating halfway through cook time. Serving size: 2T (makes 1 1/2c), Points Plus: 2

Ed Fretwell Soup: this makes a HUGE amount of soup but it is delicious and very easy!!!

Rinse beans in water- soak over night at room temperature.Drain beans and put in a large pan. Add garlic, sage and 10 cups cold water. Cook over high heat- bring to boil. Boil for 5 mins then reduce to simmer and cook uncovered for 1 hour. Skim away foam.While beans cook warm oil over medium heat in a soup pan. Add  onions, celery and carrots- cook stirring frequently  for 10-15 mins. Add zucchini and broth, increase heat to med-high and bring to a simmer. Add swiss chard, cabbage and tomatoes. Cover the pot and simmer gently for 1 hr. Then add the beans and their cooking water- discard sage. Add salt and stir well. Simmer for another hour stirring frequently. Serves 24. Points Plus: 3, per cup.

Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

Heat 1t olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 1 medium onion, diced and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add in 4 large beefsteak tomatoes, diced, 2t minced garlic, salt, pepper, and 1c vegetable broth. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 12 minutes. Uncover mixture, add in 1/4c tomato paste, stir and let cool about 5 minutes. Using an immersion blender (or regular blender) blend the soup into a smoother texture. Add in 3c skim milk, 2T minced basil and stir to combine. Heat over medium heat for 5 minutes until warmed through. Serve hot. Serves: 4 (1 1/2c) Points Plus: 4