Muffins…how can you not love them? Not only are they versatile, individually portioned, anytime snacks, but they are also so simple to make.
Muffins are a “quick bread” and the title is far from deceiving. Most muffins take less than 10 minutes to mix and about 20 minutes to bake. What could be easier?
The only problem with muffins is that commercially, they have become a sugary, fatty, sticky mess. They have been tagged in health circles as “unhealthy” because of their high calorie and fat content. Especially those purchased in coffee shops, which are not only laden with sugar, but are about 3 times the size of a regular muffin. However, making your own muffins is easy and can be very healthy, depending on what you put in them.
I love these Whole Wheat Apple-Raisin muffins because they are not overly sweet and chocked full of sugar like store bought muffins. The sweetener in these muffins is not sugar, but molasses. For those of you who have never used molasses, here is a little info. Molasses is the by-product of sugar production. Basically, when the sugar cane is crushed, the juice of the sugar cane is boiled to get crystallized sugar. The sugar crystal is removed, the rest is the first molasses (light molasses).
In this recipe, I used blackstrap molasses, which is the by-product of the third boiling, which is the least sweet, but also has the heaviest taste. It is also said to have the highest nutritional content, containing potassium, iron, and calcium. If you prefer to use another molasses (light- 1st boiling or dark- 2nd boiling), you can substitute without a problem. Just note that the end result will be lighter in color.
So, enough about molasses. Let’ get back to the baking!
Makes 12 muffins
2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
1/4 cup unsalted margarine, melted & cooled
1 large egg, beaten
2 medium apples, grated
1/2 cup raisins
Vegetable Oil for greasing
Preheat oven to 400F/ 200C
Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl, mixing well.
Combine wet ingredients. Add grated apple and raisins and stir.
Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients, stirring gently until the batter is just mixed.
Spoon batter into a greased muffin tin or a tin lined with muffin liners. The batter should fill each cup about 3/4 full.
Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean.
Transfer muffins immediately to a cooling rack. Serve warm or cool completely and place in air tight container.