Is there anything more perfect than biting into a fresh, juicy, straight-off-the-tree, red apple? I mean besides being left alone with an open 10 pound bag of baby carrots. Mi mama went through a faze (we call them fazes instead of crazes so as not to confuse them from the times when she truly is crazy over something… examples here and here and here) where she would consume up to three or four apples in a day. Not all at once, of course, since that would truly be insane, but throughout the course of a day. I don’t know about you, but that’s a lot of apples. Not to mention a lot of fiber going through that belly of hers. obviously this was before she and mi papa got together. I highly doubt she was dating during this period of her life– probably why she sought companionship in the form of apples. Perhaps we should start calling her Eve. Who knew they would ever have anything in common– besides their both liking to walk around the garden donning a leaf bikini.
She no longer eats this exorbitant amount of apples in any one day, but she does still enjoy at least one a day and considers herself somewhat of a connoisseur when it comes to these little round gems, though I think she’s giving herself more credit than she should. Red apple and green apple are not the most accurate way to classify all the different varieties, but hey, at least she knows her colors, right? According to Wikipedia, there are over 7,500 different varieties of apples in the world! And almost 45% of the total supply comes from the state of Washington alone. No wonder those people are so healthy. They practically have apples coming out of their plumbing system– now that would be awesome.
Living in Oregon, we definitely get to partake in some of the pleasures of having an apple supply so close by. During this time of year when many of the apple varieties are at their peak ripeness, the grocery stores and farmer’s markets are overflowing with all kinds of apples and the prices per pound are at their all-time low. 68 cents for a whole pound of organic Galas? Yes please! Naturally once mi mama caught wind of this, she grabbed her keys, sped off to Costco, and came through the garage door carrying (well, mi papa was carrying. she was merely directing him to the kitchen as his vision was blocked from the huge load in his arms) 15 pounds of Granny Smith, Gala and Golden Delicious apples. Looks like someone may be back to her four-a-day habit again.
Despite mi mama probably being able to consume all 15 pounds if given the opportunity, I decided to spice things up a bit and steal a few Granny Smiths for mi Papa’s breakfast on Sunday morning. And spice things up I did, in the form of delicious little muffins.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg or 1/4 cup egg substitute
1/4 cup applesauce
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk*
2 cups Granny Smith apples, diced
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
* If you don’t have buttermilk (because who really does), you can substitute 1 tbsp+enough milk to make 1 cup total
1) Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray.
2) In a medium-size bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, salt and spices. In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, egg, applesauce, oil and vanilla.
3) Working in two or three batches, add the flour mixture and buttermilk and stir until just combined. Do not overmix! Stir in diced apple.
4) Pour batter into prepared muffin pan, filling about 2/3 full.
5) Mix the granulated sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle evenly over the tops of each muffin.
6) Bake 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted. Allow to cool 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.
7) Cut in half, smear with peanut butter or jam or whatever the heck you want and enjoy!
So that’s about three apples down and about, oh I don’t know, 37 more to go. I’m sure mi mama will have no problem figuring out what to do with the rest. Looks like someone better get out the plunger.
Well amigos, I better be going now. There’s a big box of Christmas decorations sitting in the middle of the living room floor, and no one seems to want to do the honors. Looks like I’m the perfect
man dog for the job.