cardamom is a spice i wish i'd been introduced to earlier in life. it's not a common flavor in the midwest or southern cuisine, and i never really encountered it until adulthood–but its slightly citrusy, but still warming notes are perfect in both savory dishes and desserts, and make a great addition to traditional fall treats. fragrant and subtly sweet, the combination of cardamom and apple is perfect for a hearty batch of fall breakfast pastries or breads, like these muffins–which also happen to be super easy to make.
if you find yourself in the mood for a fall baking project, now that it's finally starting to cool down, but don't want to commit to a whole afternoon in the kitchen, these muffins are just what you need. and if you take an hour to whip them up over the weekend, you'll have a healthy, grab-and-go breakfast for the rest of the week!
1⅓ cups whole-wheat flour
¾ cup oats, processed in a food processor until they become a fine flour
⅓ cup whole oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 large eggs
½ cup dark brown sugar
8 fluid ounces (1 cup) almond milk
2 tablespoons honey
1 (heaping) tablespoon apple butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 tablespoons coconut oil
1 granny smith apple, peeled, cored, and diced small (about 1½-2 cups apple total)
how to do it:
- preheat your oven to 375°f. line a muffin tin with paper liners or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- in a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: whole wheat flour, oat flour, whole oats, baking powder, salt, cardamom, and nutmeg.
- in a second, larger bowl, whisk together the eggs and brown sugar, until the sugar is mostly dissolved. add the remaining wet ingredients (almond milk, honey, apple butter, vanilla, and coconut oil) and whisk into the egg-sugar mixture until thoroughly combined.
- add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk again until just incorporated. it's important not to overmix at this stage, or the muffins will come out tough.
- gently fold in the fresh apple pieces. spoon batter into muffin tin, filling each muffin cup about three-quarters of the way full (the muffins will rise).
- bake 20-22 minutes, or until muffins begin to pull away from the edges of the pan and a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean.
- cool 5-10 minutes before serving, or 30 minutes to an hour before placing in a food-safe storage container. or, if you don't think you'll get through all the muffins before they spoil (baked goods made with whole grains tend to spoil a bit faster), once cool wrap individual muffins tightly with plastic wrap, put wrapped muffins into a plastic freezer bag, and freeze for up to 6 months.