New Year's Resolution Muffins

Truth be told I never make New Year's resolutions.  Probably because I have the attention span of a gnat, so I don't stay focused on one thing long enough to complete it.  I have long since accepted that I would just disappoint myself by failing at my resolutions so I generally don't make them.

But, this JANUARY (notice how I didn't say this year...that's a long LONG term commitment...) I am working on eating things without refined sugars and white flour.  Now, this very thought strikes fear into my heart because I adore baking.  Baking is a hobby of mine that I happen to LOVE.  So you can see why this no sugar thing might freak a girl out, right?  But I feel like it's the right thing to do - not so I can lose weight (though I'm not going to cry if that happens) and NOT because it's my New Year's resolution...just because I want to be healthier.

Ok, now that all my disclaimers are out of the way...

Let's head on to the recipe.  After I'd done a lot of research and with the help of my dear friend and fellow "blogger in crime", Jamie - I decided that the "clean eating" approach would work best for our lifestyle, and it seemed to make the most sense to me.  Of course as you might expect, the first thing I wanted to know was if there were baking recipes out there that incorporated the clean eating principles.  I was excited to see that there were!

Enter Multiply Delicious.  Now, this particular recipe is a Paleo recipe, which is fairly similar to clean eating.  Are you confused yet?  Sorry - ignore the weird names, and look at the yummy pictures!

Ok, I know I told you once a long time ago that I was done with pumpkin recipes but since I am a pumpkin puree hoarder and all, I had a few more cans to use up.

So I made this recipe, using agave syrup instead of maple syrup and applesauce instead of the banana.  The results?  Well, let's just say it was a muffin that was going to take a LOT of getting used to.  We eat fairly healthy around here for the most part - I'm used to things like tofu and whole wheat and wheat bran.  So I wasn't expecting a Starbucks-like muffin - but it was definitely not what I was looking for.  I felt depressed for a hot second and then decided to take matters into my own hands and adapt my own recipe.

The results were a lot more up my alley and a muffin that I could definitely enjoy and serve to other people.

Clean Eating Pumpkin Apple Muffins
Printable Recipe

1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
¾ tsp cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
4-5  tablespoons maple syrup (I used a maple/agave blend)
¾ cup canned pumpkin
¾ c. no sugar added applesauce
¼ c. plain greek yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 apple, peeled, cored and diced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line muffin pan with paper liners or use coconut oil to grease pan. 

In a small bowl, combine all wet ingredients except for egg whites.  In large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon and salt.  In a standing mixer, with a whisk attachment, beat egg whites until foamy. 

Combine dry ingredients with wet ingredients.  Fold in egg whites gently.  Add diced apple and stir to combine.  Scoop batter into prepared muffin pan cups filling ¾ full.  Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with pecans.

Bake muffins for 18-20 minutes or until golden.

Recipe adapted from Multiply Delicious

With one batch, I added the chopped pecans to the top and the other batch I left plain.  I also found that using coconut oil to grease the muffin pans worked better than the cupcake wrappers.  Usually baked goods that aren't made with a lot of fats and oils don't come out of paper wrappers easily - so not using the wrappers at all was a better option in my opinion!  The addition of diced apple added the sweetness I wanted and makes the muffin seem far less dense.

Now - eat up, and feel good about what you're putting into your body!

If you want more information about Clean Eating, I have found The Gracious Pantry to be a really helpful blog!