By: Lauren M. Koch, RDN
‘Tis the season for everything apples! Don’t worry pumpkin lovers, your time is coming. But during these fleeting fall months, roughly September through November, the mighty apple really shines.
Bursting with flavor, there are almost endless varieties to try. And when you take your kids apple-picking, as we did today, you may find yourself with an unintentional surplus. So off to the kitchen I go, to put these babies to good use.
Before we start, a little sidenote. A few years ago, I was the unhappy recipient of some real bummer news. In an effort to get migraine headaches under control, I sought the consult of an integrative medicine doc. The result? An elimination diet of common inflammatory foods, that may be resulting in leaky gut. A kind-of gross term for an underappreciated, but up-in-coming gut disorder.
With leaky gut, nasty stuff like toxins, undigested food particles, and microorganisms can sneak past the protective gut barrier that usually keeps them from absorbing. While the research is still catching up, the suggestion is that this results in a constant state of inflammation, which can cause a wide range of symptoms. Things like fatigue, bloating, headaches, cravings, join pain, and skin conditions.
And so, I spent some time eliminating the most common culprits: gluten, dairy, and sugar. After slowly reintroducing them, I was able to determine that I was mostly sensitive to gluten. And so, with a heavy heart, I said a few words of goodbye to bagels, pizza, and pastries (and everything else gluten-containing).
It has been a serious learning curve since then. Even as a dietitian, trained in knowing all the little nooks & crannies that it can hide, nixing gluten was a challenge. And while there are some great gluten-free products out there, they ain’t cheap. So I’ve spent a bit of time learning how to make things myself.
I plan to put together some basic gluten-free cooking/baking tips here at some point in the future. But in the meantime, I’ll share those recipes that I was already able to modify.
Making these seasonal muffins
With this surplus of burstingly fresh apples, I decided to tackle a gluten-free recipe for muffins. Adding to it some obvious flavor-partners (cinnamon, nuts), and some not-so obvious (coconut). My favorite measure-for-measure gluten-free flour (King Arthur brand) is not quite as packed with the fibrous whole grains as I’d like. So as a base, I combined it with some gluten-free quick-cooking oats to boost the fiber factor.
In addition to eggs, I also used a little peanut powder for structure (and flavor!). The brand I’ve found that blends the best is Better Body Food’s PBfit (caution: addiction likely). And, I was even lucky enough to still have a few farm-fresh eggs on hand from my friend Carrie’s backyard brood.
In place of table sugar, I stuck with only pure maple syrup (YUM), apple sauce, and grated apple for sweetness. As a result, these babies are not terribly sweet. If you’re a fan of hyper-sweet baked good, they probably aren’t for you.
Lastly, I used coconut oil, shredded coconut, and walnuts for an extra nutrient boost of brain-building fats for the kiddos.
Gluten-free Cinnamon Apple Muffins
Recipe by: Lauren M. Koch, RDN (https://familyfoodnag.com)
Prep time: 15 minutes Baking time: 20 minute
Makes 18 full-sized muffins
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees, and prep a muffin tin
- In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, shredded coconut, and powdered peanut.
- In a second bowl, lightly whisk eggs, syrup, coconut oil, apple sauce, and vanilla.
- Add wet ingredients to dry and combine, adding grated apple and walnuts before completely combined. Do no over mix!
- Generously fill muffin tins (about 75% full). Bake at 425 degrees for 5 minutes. Rotate tray, decrease temp to 350 degrees, and continue baking another 12-18 minutes until just finished.
- Allow to cool & enjoy!
If there are any specific recipes that you’d like modified to fit into a gluten-free lifestyle, please let me know! In the meantime, try these out. They got a big thumbs up from all here 🙂