Apple-Cheddar Muffins

 

As a child, I used to love a Dutch apple pie made with cheese.  It was the perfect blend of sweet and savory baked up in a slice of warm deliciousness.  These muffins offer that same nourishing combination, but are easier to make and take along.  They are perfect for picnics, a quick breakfast and school lunches.

Inspired by a Cabot Cheese Cooperative recipe, I created this version which has a lower glycemic value. I wanted a muffin which would not have the blood sugar spiking effect that cake, bagels, muffins, etc. generally do.  The use of cheese already works to that effect, and the addition of bran, ground flax seeds, nuts and seeds really make these muffins a winner for flavor, lasting energy, weight loss and nutrition.

 

  • 2 cups flour (you can use all whole wheat or substitute some with white)
  • 1/4 cup wheat bran
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seeds*
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup apple, finely chopped (with peel on)
  • 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated (for excellent flavor, I feel compelled to recommended a Vermont cheese, such as Cabot or Shelburne Farms)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • juice of 1/4 of lemon
  • 1/3 cup raisins or sultanas
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries (or other dried fruit)
  • 1/3 cup chopped nuts or seeds (such as pumpkin or sunflower)
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter a 12 cup muffin tin or fill with paper baking cups.
  2. In mixing bowl, stir together dry ingredients. Add apples and cheese and toss to combine. For a melted cheesy top, reserve 1/4 of the cheese.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs lightly. Add milk, sour cream, maple syrup and butter. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in milk mixture. Gently combine. Add lemon juice, raisins, other dried fruit, nuts and seeds (as you wish) and fold together.
  4. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top, if you’ve reserved some.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.

* Flaxseeds are an excellent addition to any diet.  It is, however, important to grind them and keep their oils fresh in order to take advantage of their health benefits.  I recommend keeping a designated coffee/spice grinder in the refrigerator and grinding and using flaxseed meal regularly.  You can read more about their health benefits here.

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