May 4, 2014

Berry, almond and applesauce muffins – one snowy day in Orange

We are in the midst of Autumn and we have been enjoying bright sunny days with cool breezes in Orange. Almost freakishly overnight the temperature dropped and Kaboom! We woke up to snow!  The funny thing was our Oscar was talking about his memories of snow and his snowball scooper in Vancouver all week and how he would love it to snow on Mount Canobolas…well his wish was granted and he was excited!

So up the mountain my boys did go, well as far as they could before they were stopped by road blockages. A snowball here or there with Dad and it was enough to wear him out for the morning.

Snow on Mount Canobolas, NSW Snowballs

When they returned, I was enjoying a lazy Sunday morning, cup of coffee in hand while our little one (who was still enjoying the warmth in the womb while we were climatising to the snowy conditions in Canada) was perhaps practising his snowboarding moves inside clueless as to how cold it was outside.

Snowboarding moves

I suggested to Oscar that we bake muffins. The psychological connection I have between cold weather setting in and a baking to enjoy a warm treat straight out of the oven is overwhelmingly strong.

Oscar was all in and actually a good baking partner as there had been plenty of time to practice during the lengthy Vancouver winter.

I also was thinking about the next five days of prepared lunches and thought they would make a good substitute for the apples, nuts and other fruit snacks I pack for him. I decided to combine berries, almonds and applesauce all in the one muffin.

Berry, almond and applesauce muffins

Berry, almond and applesauce muffins

Ingredients: makes about 12

1 1/2 cups of wholemeal flour

3/4 cup almond meal (it’s easy enough to throw whole raw almonds into the food processor to make)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

a pinch of salt

1/4 cup coconut oil (on a cold day, you’ll need to melt first)

1/4 cup maple syrup (keeping with Canadian traditions)

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup almond milk

2 cups of berries frozen/ fresh (I had about 1/3 organic frozen raspberries and 2/3 frozen organic blueberries)

Flaked almonds, or coconut for a crunch on top.


1. Preheat oven to 175 C / 350 F and line a standard muffin tray with 12 paper cases or the cases that just sit on a tray like I used in image below.

2. Combine flour, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda and pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Mix well and set aside.

3. Using a larger bowl, stir together the coconut oil, maple syrup and applesauce.

4. Slowly add the dry ingredients and the almond milk to the applesauce mixture using a spatula to fold evenly without overmixing.

5. Gently stir in the berries.

6. Spoon mixture into prepared paper cases about two-thirds full. Sprinkle tops with the flaked almonds or coconut.

7. Bake for approximately 25 mins or until a skewer comes out clean in the middle.

8. Remove from oven to rest for 10 minutes.

My son happily devoured (and deserved) the first muffin taste-test the thumbs up.






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