Apple Spice Muffins + Happy Birthday DD!

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Yes, today marks the fourth year for this blog and ironically it also marks my birthday!  Four years ago my thoughtful husband introduced me to the blogging world as a birthday present.  I had no idea blogging would be this much fun!  Today, I’m celebrating my 29th, riiiight?! I am just 11 months older (and wiser, hehehe) than my husband so he wished me a Happy 36th this morning.  He is so funny!. So yes, I am somewhere in the middle . .  at about 33, yikes!  I still feel (and sometimes act) like I am 19, ha!  It’s only a number and I am blessed to have three beautiful children and wonderful husband!

Anyway, today I would like to share another version of a muffin favorite at my house!  Apple Spice Muffins!  This recipes is a great way to use leftover bananas and I also have a ton of frozen apples leftover from the generous apple trees that my pops hand-picked!

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In my small freezer I always have bunches of bananas ready for me to use.  I just defrost about three bananas at a time before I want to bake anything and I really think it is the trick to making fabulous muffins!

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As usual, I added some mini chocolate chips into the batter.  A little trick to get my kids to gobble them up even more!

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Apple Spice Muffins (Makes 24 cupcakes)

Ingredients

2 tbsp coconut oil

3 mashed bananas

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/4 cup honey

2 eggs

1 cup sliced apples

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup ground flaxseed

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp apple pie spice seasoning

1/3 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips

Preparation

Cream coconut, bananas, sugar and honey together.  Add egg and beat in until fluffy.  Stir in apples and vanilla.  In a separate bowl, mix together flour, flaxseed baking soda, salt and seasonings.  Add to creamed mixture.   Add chocolate chips.  Place batter in a greased cupcake pan.  Bake at 325 for 22 to 25 minutes.

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By the way, I lazily peel the apples.  Lazily meaning some skin on and some skin off that way we get some of the benefits of the skin but we do not choke on the peels either.  I dice the apples up really small when some of the skins are still intact.

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NUTRITION TIDBITS

Apples are a source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. Both fibers are beneficial to the body.  I like to think of soluble fiber  like a sponge that can help soak up the cholesterol in blood vessels.  And I refer to insoluble fiber being like a broom that helps move everything along through the intestinal tract.

Now as for the beloved banana, even though they may get a bad rap for being high in carbs; they are packed with essential nutrients such as riboflavin, folic acid, magnesium, potassium, iron and they also contain a whopping 3 grams of fiber per banana!  Lesson learned – do not be afraid to include bananas in your diet! I have also found that bananas are wonderful in any baked item. They give the baked good a moist, sweet flavor and help cut down the fat in the recipe, too!

Coconut oil is a plant-based saturated fat that can actually be very good for you! Even though coconut oil is a saturated fat, because it comes from a plant your body can metabolize it easier than a saturated fat coming from an animal, make sense?  Now in scientific terms, the saturated fat (from coconut oil) is called lauric acid which is a type of medium chain triglycerides (MCT).  Lauric acid has been shown  to increase the good HDL cholesterol in the blood.   Other studies have found coconut oil to be beneficial in weight loss, skin care, anti-aging, boost thyroid function and even stabilizing blood sugar. Always great to replace any butter/margarine in a recipe for coconut oil – just boosting nutrition!

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I also topped some muffins with a cream cheese frosting.  Oh and I almost forgot, I added some caramel dip to that frosting . . .mmmmmmm, yum!

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Have a wonderful day!  As a birthday present to me send me any request for the holiday season or New Year, oh and share DD with friends!  Cheers!

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