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Apple Maple Muffins

Apple Maple Muffins by SeasonWithSpice.com

What happens to all those apples on the ground at Apple Orchards? 

We were at an orchard recently in central Minnesota – on an unusually windy day – and there were thousands of apples on the ground.  Piles of freshly fallen apples under each tree.  Honeycrisps, Cortlands, Haralsons, Firesides, Honeygolds, and Paula Reds.  More and more falling with each tree-shaking gust of wind. 

I picked up a perfect, yellow, Honeygold apple from the ground. “What are they going to do with all these?” 

Mark took it from my hand, rubbed it clean on one side, and then took a big bite.  He mumbled, chewing on the apple, “I guess sell the good ones, and use the rest for making cider.” 

That made sense to me, so I was shocked when we entered the shop and spoke to the owner, who explained that the moment an apple hits the ground it’s either animal feed, compost, or garbage.

Red apples on tree at Minnesota Apple Orchard
What do orchards do with all the fallen apples?

Under Minnesota rules – and likely many other states – when an apple touches the ground, it’s off limits to human consumption.  So on a windy day when thousands of perfect apples end up on the grass, most go to waste.  As crazy as it sounds, orchard owners are not allowed to pick one up and judge for themselves. 

On Season with Spice, we try our best to avoid food wastage, always keeping that in mind when creating our recipes, and sharing tips with you. 

We can’t recommend that you take the risk of picking up an apple that just fell from a tree, but we can tell you that we did.  Actually, an entire bag of delicious, fresh-from-the-grass apples, which were baked that same day in our kitchen into Apple Maple Muffins.

Apple Cinnamon Muffins recipe by SeasonWithSpice.com

As the name implies, I used maple syrup instead of white or brown sugar in my Apple Maple Muffins recipe.  The maple syrup gives these breakfast muffins an earthy, mild sweet taste. 

For additional layers of flavor, I spiced up the muffins with a little cardamom & clove, and a little bit more of Ceylon Cinnamon, which is perfect for baked goods when you don’t want that cinnamon flavor overpowering your recipe. 

Whip up a dozen Apple Maple Muffins tonight to enjoy the next few mornings.  They are wonderful warmed up and served with a dab or two of butter.

Apple Maple Muffins by SeasonWithSpice.com
Apple Cinnamon Muffins recipe by SeasonWithSpice.com

Apple Maple Muffins by Season with Spice 
Makes a dozen muffins

2 large tart apples – peeled, cored and coarsely chopped 
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp of Season with Spice's ground Ceylon Cinnamon
1/8 tsp of Season with Spice's ground cardamom
1/8 tsp of ground clove
1/2 cup neutral-flavored oil (I used Cold-Pressed Sunflower Oil)
2/3 cup maple syrup 
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/3 cup yogurt (I used Greek yogurt)

1 tbsp raw sugar or brown sugar
1 tsp Ceylon Cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with muffin cups.
2. In a large bowl, combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, Ceylon cinnamon and allspice.
3. In another bowl, combine oil, maple syrup, egg, yogurt, and vanilla extract. Mix well. Then add in the flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Finally, fold in the apple chunks.
4. Spoon the batter evenly into the muffin cups and fill it to the top of each cup as there is little rise to the muffins.  In a small bowl, combine sugar and cinnamon, then sprinkle over the batter.
5. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool the muffins for 5 minutes in the pan. Then serve warm with butter.

apple muffins using whole wheat flour and maple syrup