Posted on by Paula Gallagher
Apples are in season now and varieties available across the country are vast and delicious. Not only can you crunch on apples as a convenient and portable snack, but they are also incredibly versatile and can be found in a large number of breakfast, lunch and dinner recipes.
Apples taste delicious and, as it turns out, they really are beneficial to your health. Apples have been linked to a reduced risk of developing cancer. This is likely due to the high antioxidant effects that apples provide. Antioxidants are substances that can fight free radicals – the molecules responsible for harming cells in the body. Apples are also high in polysaccharides, a carbohydrate, and the plant pigment quercetin, which may also help fight cancer.
A single medium apple can provide 4.5 grams of fiber. To compare, women are recommended to consume 25 grams of fiber daily, and men 38 grams. Fiber can help keep the bowel healthy and regular, and reaching for an apple is a simple way to increase fiber intake and help your gut to keep things moving along nicely. It’s important to remember that most of the fiber from apples is in the peel.
In the following recipe, you can use any apples you like. I like tart apples like Spartan and Granny Smith, and if you don’t have walnuts, you can use pecans or almonds. And if you are tossing these into a lunch bag, you can exclude the nuts altogether, if you have a nut-free school.
Apple Lentil Muffins
- 1 cup red or yellow lentils
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
- 1/3 cup walnut pieces
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves (optional)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup turbinado sugar
- 1/4 cup avocado oil
- 1 1/2 cups apple, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 350 F.
In a medium saucepan, combine the lentils and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until the lentils break down and most of the water is absorbed (about 10 minutes). Mash the lentils until smooth and set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, combine flour, flaxseed, walnuts, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt.
Add the egg, sugar, oil and chopped apple to the lentil puree and mix well. Combine wet and dry ingredients and mix just until all the flour is incorporated.
Divide the mixture among 12 greased muffin cups and bake for 18 minutes, or until golden and a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean.
Makes 12 muffins.
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