Low-Fat Apple Streusel Muffins

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Hubby thinks it’s not officially fall until the calendar says it is. I know it’s officially fall when Starbucks says it is. And although yesterday’s 96° weather didn’t quite help my case, we’ve already begun ringing in the season.

Our favorite time of year is upon us, and that means one thing. Apples and pumpkin-spiced yumminess, walking around in super cute boots while wrapped in delicious fleece hoodies, amidst the cool breeze we’ve missed all summer. It just smells like fall. Doesn’t it?

Perhaps it’s because all of us Autumn enthusiasts (Seriously, we’re practically a club…), await this magical time when it’s not too hot nor too cold (I’m talking about you, Winter) and those feel-good flavors like butternut squash and sweet potatoes revisit our palates. Or maybe because it’s the beginning of a new, almost like a fresh start. There’s an excitement that slowly starts to build for festivities such as Halloween, my birthday (obviously you’re all counting down for that), and the beginning of the cozy holiday season, kicking off with Thanksgiving. Does it get much better than that?

But I digress, just a tad, although today is about fall flavors. Specifically, these apple streusel muffins that are low-fat to boot. Because we’re only just welcoming fall, (or according to Hubby it hasn’t really even started blah blah blah) so we have to get some better-for-us recipes in here. Made with whole wheat flour, applesauce instead of oil and smooth yogurt, you’ll still be able to fit into those jeans you’ve abandoned all summer.

I made these when our friends Meri and Rico came for Sunday brunch this past weekend. These baked goods are moist and spongy, studded with soft pieces of fruit running throughout. The fairly guilt-free topping is decadent and sweet. Pure perfection. And since I opted for a fresh peach crumble instead of apples to ring in Rosh Hoshana last week, I will be bringing these for break-fast after Yom Kippur Saturday evening. They’re so good you’ll think you have to repent.

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Ingredients:

Recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction

For Muffins

3 cups white whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour)

1 and 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1 cup almond milk (or soy or regular!)

1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp nonfat apple yogurt* (vanilla or plain works too)

1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce (or vegetable oil for added fat/calorie content)

1/4 cup sugar

2 large eggs

3 and 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/8 tsp baking soda

2 heaping cups chopped apples

For Oat Streusel Topping

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

2 Tbsp all-purpose flour

2 Tbsp old-fashioned rolled oats

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 Tbsp unsalted butter

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 425°. Pour flour into a large bowl.

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Add cinnamon.

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And nutmeg.

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Stir and set aside.

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In another bowl, pour in milk,

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White sugar,

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Brown sugar,

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Applesauce,

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Yogurt,

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And eggs.

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Whisk together and add salt,

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Baking soda,

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And baking powder.

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Mix well.

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Gently fold wet mixture into the flour until just combined.

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Be sure not to over mix.

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Gently fold in apples.

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Line a muffin tin with cupcake wrappers or spray with nonstick cooking spray. (I like the gift-like feel of peeling the paper off each treat!)

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Fill them each to the very top. Yes, I know you know, I used an ice cream scoop

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Prepare your streusel topping by adding brown sugar to a new bowl. (I suppose it doesn’t have to be red…)

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Sprinkle in cinnamon,

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Flour,

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Oats,

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And butter.

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Evenly distribute topping on each muffin.

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Bake for 5 minutes at the preheated 425°, then immediately reduce temperature to 375° and bake for 15-18 minutes.

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When a toothpick in the center comes out clean, transfer to a cooling rack before serving.

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Eat and enjoy over brunch with great friends!

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…….
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