Healthy apple cider muffins

If you're like me, and starting the New Year with a goal of eating healthier, here's a recipe for a relatively healthy muffin. I got it from the Cooking Light Great Food bulletin board, one of my online hangouts. I'm not going to lie and say they are as tasty as, say, a full-fat chocolate chip muffin, but they are pretty good.

Spiced Apple Cider Muffins

2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
4 teaspoons whole-wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts (optional; I did not use)

Muffin batter:
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 large egg
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup apple butter -- such as Smuckers
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup apple cider
1/3 cup low-fat plain yogurt
1/4 cup cannola oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat 12 muffin cups with cooking spray.

To prepare struesel: Mix brown sugar, whole-wheat flour and cinnamon in a small bowl. With a pastry blender or your fingers, cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in walnuts, if using. Set aside.

To prepare muffins: Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl.

Whisk egg and brown sugar in a medium bowl until smooth. Whisk in apple butter, syrup, cider, yogurt and oil. Add to the dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula just until moistened, Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups (they will be quite full). Sprinkle with the struesel.

Bake the muffins until the tops are golden brown and spring back when touched lightly, 15 to 25 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Loosen edges and turn muffins out onto a wire rack to cool slightly before serving.

Per muffin: 209 calories; 7 g total fat (1 g sat, 3 g mono)


Emiline said...

Sounds delicious! I love Cooking Light. I can't wait until the next issue comes.
I like the "reading level" thing. I'm afraid to see what the reading level of my blog is. It's probably 2nd grade.

Deborah said...

I'm a fan of the crumb toppings, so I'm sure I'd love these!!

eatme_delicious said...

Those look really good! Looks like they're kind of crispy on the top? I love when muffins have crispy outsides. Apple cider sounds like a great type of muffin and it uses the elusive (to me at least) apple butter! But I will make apple butter soon so can make things like these muffins. :)

Cakespy said...

Just add lots of butter or would be just as good as a full fat chocolate chip muffin. ;-) Ok, I am being devilish. These look really good!

Tracy said...

Thanks, all, for the comments.

I was thinking about what could make these a little better. Cakespy, the idea of adding butter couldn't hurt :-), but I think I'd like a little more texture in the muffin. Maybe a few nuts, some diced apple, and some cinnamon chips. Of course that would add to the calorie content.

The top is kind of crispy, but it's not really a "crumb" topping.

EAT! said...

I have recently discovered the Cooking Light website. I was an Epicurious devotee. Our family is also trying to eat a little healthier in the new year - I'm going to give these muffins a try.

Ann said...

These look wonderful. I'm always happy to find muffins that aren't completely evil. :-)