Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Caramel Apple Date Muffins

Another Tuesday, another day of muffins. This flavor combo is simply the best this time of year. I love having my palate follow the seasons. Apples are just the best in the fall and blueberries are just the best in July, am I right?!? I have a feeling this muffin wouldn't taste as heavenly in the heat of June or July, but today, this chilly and brisk October morning of fall colors and lights- it just seems perfect somehow.
Now, I don't usually pick 100 pounds of apples like I do blueberries, and most of my picked apples turn into sauce for baking over the winter months. But this year I did bring the kids apple picking to see what they thought. It was an adventure- like all things that we  try and do new, and ended us talking about eating the foods we can pick and how they are so tasty right from the tree.  It also involved running from bees, getting lost in an overgrown organic orchard, and tears to go home, butttttt it was still the experience HA!
The caramel flavor in these muffins actually comes from dates! Dates have a creamy, rich caramel like flavor and pair almost perfect with apples and pears this time of year. So these muffins have no dairy caramel flavor- and full great nutrients too :) And of course you want to hear that as you devour a perfectly delicious muffin in seconds :)

Some of my other date-filled recipes here : DATES :)

Another great way to use dates with apples this time of year is making a caramel like dip for fresh apple slices here is a good recipe from My New Roots. ENJOY!

Caramel Apple Date Muffin Recipe
{free of dairy, gluten, eggs, nuts, seeds, soy and refined sugar}

1 cup of gluten-free oat flour (made from 1 cup GF rolled oats, blended in high power blender)
1/4 cup of gluten-free rolled oats
1/3 cup of potato starch
1/3 cup of tapioca flour
1/3 cup of coconut flour
1/2 cup of brown rice flour
2 ts. of baking powder (I use the Hain brand to avoid corn)
1 ts. of baking soda
1 ts. of sea salt
1 ts. of pumpkin or apple pie spice blend
1 ts. of ground cinnamon

1/2 cup of warmed coconut oil
1/2 cup of homemade unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup of coconut milk beverage
1 TB of apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup of apple cider or juice
1/4 cup of maple syrup

3/4 cup of date puree- This involves pouring 3/4 cup boiling water over 3/4 cup of pitted dates and letting it sit for 5-10 minutes and then blending in a high powered blender to whip up a creamy date-pudding like substance- this would also make a nice dip for fresh apple slices :)

1/2 cup of stewed maple syrup sweetened apples- This involves pealing and chopping 1 cup of fresh apples with a drizzle of water and a drizzle of maple syrup and letting the apples get soft and make almost an apple pie filling mixture. Use 1/2 cup of the stewed apples in the muffin recipe. I made a big batch of these apples to pour over pancakes and oatmeal earlier in the week, so they can in handy in this recipe too.

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Then add in the wet and whisk together well. Pour into 12 muffin tins and bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-28 minutes until browned tops and stiff. Let cool 15-20 minutes before serving. 
The coconut flour and date combo in this recipe magically makes the texture of these muffins much like a gluten-filled muffin. Dense, but soft, and a crispy top too!  I hope you find ways to enjoy the fall air and flavors to help you feel balanced and no-so-deprived from the goodies of autumn foods and spices. Much love and enjoy xoxo

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