I mentioned recently that one of my strategies for using up a bunch of apples is to make muffins. Well, I have a confession to make: it's not actually a very good strategy, namely because making muffins doesn't really get you through that many apples. After all, there's only so much apple that you can pack into muffins without your muffins falling apart.
Yet this notion persists in my head (and I'm sure that it's completely in my head) that making muffins is a good way to use up apples. Not only good, but "better" for you than making something like a pie, which would of course use up even more apples than these muffins do. And it's silly, isn't it? A fruit pie, at least the way I make my fruit pies, isn't terribly unhealthy as far as desserts go. Oh, there's the crust, but it's not so bad; and the rest of the pie is simply fruit--maybe with some seasonings, but quite little added sugar or fat.
Muffins, on the other hand... Well, let's face it: they're essentially little bits of cake. We can tweak the ingredients all we want in various efforts to turn them into something healthy, but at heart they're bits of cake. Perhaps that's why I love them so.
That said, while these muffins are still, you know, muffins, they do have a couple of saving graces. First, they contain whole wheat flour. Now, whole wheat flour alone does not a health food make, but it does bump up the nutrition value at least a little bit. At least you're getting some vitamins and fiber along with your fat and sugar. The apples help with that, too.
Second, thanks to their being deliciously dark and moist, they keep better than any other muffins I've made. Most muffins lose a lot of their luster by the second day, but these keep for three or four (or five) days, meaning that you can space out your indulgence over several days. That is, you can try to space it out.
Let me just say right now that I take no responsibility for what happens to your willpower after you taste these muffins. I typically think of whole wheat baked goods as heavy, perhaps tough, and not always very pleasant to eat. These muffins have blown away that particular notion. Honestly, I tend to forget that they have any whole wheat flour in them at all, and I bet you will, too. Of course, that assumes that you make them, but really, why wouldn't you?
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Monday, October 12, 2009