A Taste of Fall
Today feels like our first day of fall in Nashville. This is a stunning time of year here. Leaves turn many shades of red, gold and orange. My husband and I discovered in our first fall together that we both loved it so we stenciled fall leaves on our living room wall. (The stencil for the rust leaf on the middle right was actually made from a real oak leaf that fell into the car trunk.)
Fall makes me think of things like a warm, cinnamony muffin with a hint of apple and a hot cup of tea. These muffins fill that need perfectly. Light but hearty with the carrots and the walnuts, they seem to say fall. Applesauce* from new crop apples rounds them out.
Carrot Walnut Muffins
2 cups almond flour (I used Honeyville)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
1/2 cup applesauce*
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
Heat oven to 300 degrees and line muffin pan with paper liners. (I use these because almond flour doesn’t stick to them and does stick to regular ones.)
Combine almond flour, baking soda, sea salt and cinnamon in bowl and mix until combined. (If there are still lumps in the flour, break them up with a fork.) Add eggs, honey, applesauce and vanilla then mix for a couple of minutes until creamy. Add carrots and combine, then stir in walnuts. Fill the muffin cups and bake for 30-40 minutes or until a tootpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Makes 12 muffins.
*I usually make my own applesauce, not jars of it lined up on a shelf but just as I need it. I like the taste and texture better. I guess I’m an applesauce snob. It’s very easy to make. While you’re grating carrots and chopping walnuts, you’re also making applesauce.
Chop one peeled and cored medium apple, put it in a small pan with water halfway up the apples then bring to a boil, drop to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes. Stir occassionally, watching to make sure it doesn’t run out of water before the apples are cooked. When it looks like applesauce – or chunky applesauce (see below) – cook off any excess water or you’ll have too much liquid in the recipe.
Some varieties of apples melt down completely into sauce, some hold their shape more. If you’ve chosen one that stays chunky, puree it in the food processor for this recipe. Also, keep in mind that a sweet apple makes sweet applesauce, a tart apple makes tart applesauce. I don’t like to add sweetener so I stay away from the tart apples when making applesauce. One medium apple makes about 1/2 cup.