Cinnamon Apple Bran Muffins (and Instant Pot Apple Butter)

90 cal, 18C/1F/3P/7S.

Here’s your new favorite breakfast/snack muffin! Made with healthy whole grains and oats, sweetened with apples and a little touch of brown sugar, plenty moistened with greek yogurt despite being basically fat-free, these muffins are breakfast magic.

Tis apple season so we went on our annual apple picking at the lovely Shelburne Farm in Stow, MA. It was a gorgeous day and we came back with a healthy sugar high (their cider donuts are YUM) and of course, Way Too Many APPLES. No complaints.

I believe some of you had the exact same situation so I’ve been getting quite a few messages asking about apple recipes. And here you are looking at my first two products! I went simple. I turned 2 apples into 9 yummy breakfast muffins. And another 2 lbs of them (I believe this was about 8) into unsweetened apple butter. There, down 10 apples already! I had never made apple butter before and I really wanted to use my instant pot for this and it worked beautifully. Just look at that thickness, and the warm flavor, oh my.

So now I have all the apple weaponry in my fridge (and freezer) to have the most apple-icious breakfasts and snacks in the universe. I will definitely keep you posted with those!

First, the apple butter:

  • 2 lbs apples cored and quartered with skins on (about 8 large)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1-2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg, ground cloves and ginger if you like (I’m not a huge fan of ginger in general)

Makes 2 1/2 cups of apple butter but YMMV. Mine came out to only 12 cals per tbsp. (Isn’t that the best healthy breakfast spread ever?) Throw the apples and water into the bowl of the instant pot and pressure cook 20 minutes. Quick release, add the spices and blend using an immersion blender. Start the saute mode, turn the heat level to low, and let this simmer, stirring occasionally, until the desired thickness is achieved (mine took about 25 minutes). Let apple butter cool and transfer to jars. I used 3 jars and froze one of them.

Then the muffins:

  • 2 large apples peeled cored and grated* (about 1 cup) (240 g)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt (I use 2%) (56 g)
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar (I use coconut sugar) (36 g)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (60 g)
  • 1/2 cup oat bran cereal** (60 g)
  • 1 tsp (or more) ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Makes 9 muffins. Preheat oven to 350F and grease a nonstick muffin pan. Beat your egg and blend with yogurt, sugar, vanilla and grated apple (no need to squeeze the juice out). Whisk together the flour, oats, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Combine the two without overmixing. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full and bake for 25 minutes until a knife inserted comes out clean. Let muffins cool on a wire rack and enjoy! I always keep my muffins in the fridge or frozen.

(*) If you’re too lazy to grate a bunch of apples (I get it) you can sub unsweetened applesauce but the muffins may taste less appley. Maybe if you’re doing this throw in a chopped apple as well.

(**) You can sub 3/4 cup (60 g) of regular oatmeal for oat bran cereal.

Author: Elif

Hi I'm Elif! I'm a mama, computer science PhD and Google engineer by day, food blogger by night. I love beautiful desserts that not only taste amazing, but also leave you feeling amazing. I use my math skills and interest in nutrition to carefully optimize my recipes to use simple, good-for-you ingredients and minimal amount of added sugar. I believe that healthy desserts can be simple. Recipes should not send you searching for rare ingredients, untested sweeteners or measuring ridiculous 1/2 tsp of butter. Here we use few ingredients, basic measuring cups, spoons, and simple fruit, veg, little sugar and syrup as sweeteners. Most recipes here use so little added sugar that they're good enough for toddlers. I also believe that you should be able to fit healthy sweets into your daily routine. No matter how much almond flour and coconut oil is in a healthy dessert recipe, there's no way I'm going to ingest a meal's worth of energy and a day's worth of total sugar from dessert alone. And that is the reason all my desserts have less than 200 cal per serving and are low-sugar. So now will you join us?

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