Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Back to School Muffins

I love back to school time! When I was a kid, school supply shopping was one of my favorite activities. Even now I feel the urge to buy new pens, pencils and notebooks every August.

This is also when parents look for healthy options to pack in the kids’ lunchbox or serve as an after school snack. This muffin recipe is a winner—and kid-tested!

The recipe is from Miriam Jacobs’s book The School Lunchbox Cookbook. I used it in an article I wrote in 2005 for the Concord Monitor newspaper in New Hampshire. For the photo shoot, I invited the neighborhood children (and their moms) to come get their picture taken for the newspaper and enjoy a few treats. These muffins were a hit—so much so the kids requested I make a second batch, which disappeared just as quickly as the first! And yes, the grown-ups liked them, too!

I’ve made these muffins ever since. Full of healthy stuff like whole wheat flour, oatmeal, apples, coconut, and yogurt, and sweetened with honey instead of sugar, they are a yummy way to start the day or stave off hunger as an afternoon snack. The muffins are very moist and just slightly sweet. Next I plan to try some different add-ins, like dried cranberries and nuts. The basic recipe could be adjusted to fit any time of year.

Apple, Oatmeal and Coconut Muffins
Makes 12 muffins

2 cups chopped apples
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup low-fat plain yogurt
2/3 cup honey
1/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/3 cup extra-light-tasting olive oil
1 egg
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a muffin pan with vegetable spray, or place baking cups in the muffin pan.

In a mixing bowl, combine the apples, oats, yogurt, honey, coconut, and oil. Mix well. Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes. Then add the egg and mix thoroughly.

In another mixing bowl combine the flour, baking powder and spices and mix well. Add to the oat mixture and stir until the try ingredients are moistened.

Fill the muffin cups; they will be quite full. Bake for 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean.
Let the muffins cool in the pan for a few minutes. Then remove them from the pan and let cool completely.

1 comment:

  1. I have to say, I really love back-to-school shopping also. And back-to-school baking! These look great.