Tag Archives: apples

Baked Apple Donuts #LMDConnector

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Pumpkin, pumpkin everywhere. Pumpkin pies, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin lattes, pumpkin puddings… that’s fall, right? Not for me. The essential fall flavour in my kitchen is none other than the trusty apple. We order apples by the bushel through a local co-op – in fact, just this past weekend, we took delivery of 80 pounds! Apples are yet another food with strong memories for me – I remember making apple pies by the dozen with my grandmother, with fruit picked fresh from the trees in her back yard.

This month’s recipe is inspired by perfectly ripe, crisp, juicy apples. I considered making a pie or stuffing and baking them, but my poor neglected donut pans have been calling to me. This recipe is a perfect cakey donut, just right to pair with a cup of coffee, or to pack in your child’s lunch. It’s reasonably healthy with whole wheat flour, maple syrup and yogurt, too.

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Baked Apple Donuts

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
2 Tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 small apples, grated
Melted butter, cinnamon & sugar, for dusting.

Preheat your oven to 375F. Prepare donut pans by spraying lightly with a non-stick spray.

In a large bowl, combine flours, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, whisk together yogurt, milk, vanilla, eggs, melted butter and maple syrup. Gently mix wet ingredients into dry, being careful not to over-mix. Fold in grated apples.

Spoon {or pipe} batter into prepared donut wells. Bake at 375F until lightly golden brown, about 15 minutes.

Remove from pan and let cool. Brush with additional melted butter, and dip in cinnamon sugar before serving.

Makes 12 donuts.

For other ideas on how to make your life more delicious, visit the Life Made Delicious page for inspiration!

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Disclosure: I am part of the Life Made Delicious blogger program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation. The opinions in this blog are my own.

Apple Chai Coffee Cake Muffins

Apple Chai Coffee Cake Muffins

I love muffins, and so does my family. Muffins and loaves are usually what they ask for when I ask “what should I bake today?” Apple muffins are a particular favourite of mine, especially in the fall and winter when apples are plentiful and inexpensive compared to other fruit. And given that my children eat apples like they’re going out of style, which necessitates me purchasing them by the bag pretty much every week, apples are something I always have on hand. This recipe was inspired by an apple coffee cake that I made. I wanted to make it smaller, easier to send with Eliza for her morning snack at school and in my husband’s lunch, and I wanted to spice it up a little, and not just go with the usual cinnamon and sugar streusel. The result is this: a lovely apple muffin that is moist and tender, with just a hint of chai spice. Perfect to enjoy with a morning cup of tea as a special breakfast treat.

Apple Chai Coffee Cake Muffins

Normally I’m not a “healthify your recipes” kinda girl – when I want to indulge, I want to indulge, if you know what I mean. But given that my family loves baked goods so much, I like to tweak my muffins to make them just a little bit healthier, and do things like use whole-grain flours, applesauce, less sugar {and substitute honey when I can}. This recipe uses a couple of my standard baking tweaks – some whole wheat flour subbed for white, and applesauce instead of some of the butter. When I make better choices with my ingredients, it might not be a super healthy option but at least I feel a little less guilty when I grab one on my way out the door.

Apple Chai Coffee Cake Muffins

Apple Chai Coffee Cake Muffins

Spices:
1 tsp cardamom
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp ground star anise
1/8 tsp ground cloves

Batter:
Spice blend {less the reserved 3/4 tsp}
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, melted & cooled
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
3 small apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped

Streusel:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp reserved spice blend
5 Tbsp cold butter

Prepare muffin tins, greasing or lining 18 wells with paper liners. Preheat oven to 350.

In a small bowl, mix together spices – cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, anise, & cloves. Reserve 3/4 tsp of this mixture for the streusel.

In a medium bowl, combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the larger portion of the chai spices. Blend well.

In a large bowl, combine brown sugar and eggs, whisking until smooth. Add yogurt and buttermilk, and mix until all the lumps are gone. Stir in butter and applesauce. Fold in dry ingredients until just combined, and then gently stir in the chopped apples.

To make the streusel, mix together brown sugar, flour, salt, and reserved spices. Cut in cold butter with a pastry cutter or two knives, until well blended and crumbly.

Fill muffin cups half way with batter. Top with a spoon of streusel, and then fill with more batter. {Tip: Press the batter in gently so that it sticks to the batter on the bottom and the layers bake together, otherwise the muffins can fall apart.} Top with a generous sprinkling of streusel, and bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Yield: 18 muffins

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Carrot Apple Soup

Carrot Apple Soup

Spring comes late in the prairies. We get a glimpse of it early, but we are then quickly swept back into winter with frosty mornings and icy winds that take your breath away. While everyone else is getting the first green glimpses of spring, the Canadian prairies are still bitterly cold for the most part. And for me, nothing warms me up faster than a bowl of thick, hearty, homemade soup.

Carrot Apple Soup

A soup like this gets its heartiness from carrots and apples cooked to tender perfection and puréed into velvety smoothness. There’s no cream, and really no significant fat to speak of other than the initial bit to lubricate the pan while sautéing the vegetables. It’s a nice healthy way to stay warm on a chilly not-quite-spring day, and get a good-sized serving of vegetables in. My kids even like it, this is one of their favourites and frequently requested by my five year old when she’s in the mood for soup.

Carrot Apple Soup

If you like your food spicy, too, this soup can benefit from a good amount of heat. The red pepper flakes are completely optional, so if your family doesn’t like the heat, omit them. My husband always likes to take the spiciness a step further and finish his bowl off with a squirt of sriracha, too. And this recipe is easily doubled {or tripled} and freezes really well. I usually make a batch much larger than the recipe below, usually two or three times as much, and I freeze it in both individual and family-sized portions for a quick meal on one of our crunch nights, or for lunches for taking to work.

Carrot Apple Soup

Carrot Apple Soup
(adapted from Joy The Baker)

1 head garlic
1 Tbsp coconut oil {or olive oil} + more for roasting garlic
1 small onion, diced
2 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tsp red pepper flakes {optional}
1 large apple, washed, cored and roughly chopped {not peeled}
1 1/2 lbs carrots, peeled and sliced
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 tsp allspice
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 375F. Chop the top off the head of garlic and place on a square of foil. Top with a smear of coconut oil {or a drizzle of olive oil}, seal up in foil, and roast until fragrant and golden, ~1 hour. Squeeze garlic out of its papery sheath and set aside.

Heat coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft and translucent, 5 minutes or so.

Add the ginger and roasted garlic, and cook for another minute.

Add carrots and apples to the pot, and cook for 3-4 minutes more, until apples begin to soften.

Add chicken or vegetable stock, and turn the heat up to medium high. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and cook until carrots are tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat.

In small batches, transfer to a blender a blend until smooth. {Tip: don’t over-fill your blender, or hot soup may explode out of it!} Return to pot over low heat. Add more broth if required, or if you prefer a thinner soup. Stir in allspice, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a drizzle of a seasoned oil – chile or roasted garlic are my favourites.

Yield: ~5 cups, or about 4 servings.

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