Friday, October 2, 2009

Apple Oatmeal Muffins

Apple Oatmeal Muffins - Photo by Taste As You Go

There's no doubt about it -- fall is definitely here in New York City. The air is crisper. The temperatures are cooler. And every day, I have to fight off the temptation to pull on my favorite (and most pitiful-looking) sweater and go for long, slow rambles through Central Park. It's right around this time of year that I proclaim that fall is my favorite season - the vibrant colors of the leaves beginning to turn and the promise of satisfyingly warm comfort foods like beef stew and chili and, as we approach Thanksgiving, chestnut stuffing (my absolute favorite) and apple and pumpkin pies. The New Englander in me begins to ache -- I love the fall.


Apple Oatmeal Muffins - Photo by Taste As You Go

While it seems almost cliché to admit this, I grew up right up the street from an apple orchard in Connecticut. Long before the houses of suburban development began to speckle the hills surrounding my neighborhood, there stood acres and acres of apple trees. And at the bottom of the hill, there was a tiny farm stand where you could buy all the apples and cider and cider donuts you could ever want.

Apple Oatmeal Muffin - Photo by Taste As You Go

Inspired by the availability of locally harvested apples and driven by the desire to try out the new juicer I received in the mail as my fundraising gift from the folks at EIF Revlon Run/Walk for Women, I decided to bake muffins. Apple muffins. Apple oatmeal muffins.

Apple Oatmeal Muffin - Photo by Taste As You Go

Subtly sweet and a bit hearty from the addition of oats, these muffins quickly became a favorite of mine. They were great straight out of the oven, slathered with butter. They were great to grab and eat before my morning runs. They were great as a mid-afternoon snack. And, because it's "just me," I had enough to stash some away in the freezer for a weekend I didn't feel like doing anything. Or for a weekend when my boyfriend is visiting and I want to impress him with my baking skills but don't feel like starting from scratch.

So, get out there! Stand in the middle of the market and allow yourself to be inspired by the seasonal fruits and vegetables. You never know what delicious food may come from it!


Apple Oatmeal Muffins (makes 10-12)

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup apple juice (I used fresh apple juice, thanks to my juicer, but aim for 100% apple juice)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine eggs, honey, oil, apple juice, milk, oats, apples, and vanilla.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  4. Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients until just mixed. Keep in mind, you want the batter to be lumpy, so don't over-mix!
  5. Spoon enough batter into lined muffin pan to fill baking cups. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  6. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack.

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