Apple Stuffin’ Muffins

Mini muffins with a strawberry and mint leaf in place of real leaves

Besides driving, working and entertaining, parents are always running right alongside their toddlers: making meals, doing dishes, and trying to keep everyone from getting grumpy.  The best way I have found to offset the constant running in circles is to be prepared with nutritious snacks.   I promise you that these are so quick and easy that you will WANT to make them, instead of feeling like it’s yet another chore.
This is a really flexible recipe.  You can change ingredients here and there and still get great results.  Add a small dot of cream cheese on top for more protein, or leave out the butter or replace it with a vegetable based non-hydrogenated margarine.  These muffins are extremely forgiving, so get to it and make a batch now your kids will thank you!  What are your kid's favorite healthy afternoon snack?

 Apple Stuffin’ Muffins
Makes 24 mini muffins
Here’s a great after-school snack for a hungry kid or any other member of your family. These are perfectly sweet with a strong apple flavor when you use homemade applesauce.  The better the apple sauce the more flavor the muffins will have. No time for making applesauce, add diced fresh apple to the recipe for a stronger flavor.

3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom (optional)
3 tbs butter
1/8 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup fresh applesauce 
1 egg
1/4 tsp salt
Optional. 1/2 apple peeled and chopped very small

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray a mini muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray, set aside.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon in a small mixing bowl, set aside.
In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter on high for about 30 seconds; add sugar, applesauce, egg and salt to bowl.  Mix well.
Pour the apple mixture over the flour mixture.
Gently stir in the flour until just incorporated, do not over mix.

Fill the muffin tins about half full with batter.
Bake for 8-9 minutes for mini muffins.
Note: For 6 standard size muffins bake 15 minutes

For evenly sized muffins, a mini cookie scoop works wonders, get one at your baking supply or craft store.

Optional Add-ins:
Small shredded carrot or zucchini, currants, chopped dates, flax seeds, quick oats, peanut butter, diced banana, shredded cheddar cheese

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