After picking up some tart apples at the farmer’s market, I made apple muffins from my favorite food blog, smitten kitchen. The proprietor, Deb Perelman, isn’t exactly a low fat cook, but her recipes are always, well, perfect, as far as I’m concerned. And she does come up with some really healthy options every now and then as well. She adapted this whole wheat apple muffin recipe from another tried-and-true source, King Arthur Flour. The main difference in the two recipes is that Deb bakes her muffins at a higher temperature than King Arthur and uses a bit less brown sugar.
I understand that a lot of my readers are Weight Watcher members, thus I have to say this before we go further: there is a stick of butter in this recipe. OMG, you exclaim. How can a healthy muffin recipe contain…butter?
This is where I go all Cher on you and yell, “Snap out of it!” This recipe makes 18 muffins, which means that there is less than 1 Tablespoon of butter in each muffin. And as Ron Popeil the Ronco man says, “But wait! There’s more!”
I ran the recipe through Weight Watchers Recipe Builder, first using 1/2 cup of butter. Each muffin was 4 WW Points. I then reduced the butter to 1/4 cup and substituted in 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce. Each muffin was…still 4 WW Points. The only way to get the Points down to 3 was to eliminate the butter altogether, and here’s the rub: you’re only saving one measly point and missing out on the moistness, the richness, the deliciosity of a buttery, whole grain muffin.
I say go for it. In a healthy diet you really can have your butter and eat it too.
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar, divided
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup buttermilk or yogurt
2 large apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Grease and flour 18 muffin cups.
Mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and set aside. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and add the granulated sugar and 1/4 cup of the dark brown sugar. Beat until fluffy. Add the egg and mix well, stopping once to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix in the buttermilk gently. (If you over-mix, the buttermilk will cause the mixture to curdle.) Stir in the dry ingredients and fold in the apple chunks.
Divide the batter evenly among 18 muffin tins and sprinkle the top each muffin with the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the heat down to 400 degrees F and bake for another 5 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
Cool the muffins for 5 minutes in the tins, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes 18 muffins
One muffin = 4 WW Points