Did you know it will officially be autumn in the Northern Hemisphere on Wednesday the 23rd?! Where did summer go?! It feels like it flew by faster than last year. Actually, since becoming a mom every year seems to go by faster and faster. I can’t believe we’re halfway through September. Anyway, I digress. What I really wanted to say was, “Yay! Apple season!”
The fruit trees here in the PNW are heavy with pears and apples of all kinds. Many of the trees have dropped so much fruit we can just go and pick up good ones from the ground for eating out of hand or putting into some delectable desserts. The blackberry bushes are almost done producing fruit, but some of them are still producing juicy berries. All this fruit that grows wild and is free to pick is one thing I will miss terribly about living in this part of the country. To me it’s so satisfying to pick our own food and commune with Mother Nature while we do it. It’s also a great way to teach my daughter about gratitude to our planet for giving us food and to the workers who pick and process the food we buy at the store. Some of it is still a little lost on her at 4, but I know she will have memories of picking and eating fruit straight from the bush or tree, plus I have some pretty awesome pictures.
Now, what you really came here for – the recipe. These muffins are spiced for fall deliciousness and easy to make. They aren’t super sweet, and for even less sugar, don’t add the brown sugar topping. They are dairy free and could easily be made GF by substituting your favorite GF flour. And if you can’t go outside and pick apples or blackberries where you live, no big deal. You can always get them at the store since they are in season right now. I always try to eat food that is in season when possible. Mother Nature gives us the food we need when we need it, that’s why certain foods grow during certain times of the year and others don’t. So, with that being said, make sure to give this recipe a try before all the blackberries disappear!
Ingredients * Yield: 12 Muffins
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup packed light (or dark) brown sugar (plus 1/4 cup unpacked for sprinkling on top)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- 1/4 tsp cloves
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 3/4 cup coconut milk (or other favorite milk)
- 1 tsp real vanilla extract
- 1 cup blackberries, wild if possible, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup chopped apple, wild if possible (I left the peel on)
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts (for the topping)
- Preheat oven to 400° (or 375 if your oven runs hot)
- Measure all dry ingredients into a large bowl and whisk to combine.
- Add in Olive Oil through vanilla extract and stir until incorporated.
- Gently fold in apples, then blackberries.
- Spoon into prepared muffin tin using a 1/4 cup measuring cup.
- If using, add the 1/4 cup unpacked brown sugar and walnuts to a small bowl, mixing with a fork.
- Add a bit of the sugar and walnut mixture to the top of each muffin.
- Bake for 18 minutes, rotating halfway through.
- Check for doneness by inserting a toothpick or butter knife in the center of the largest muffin after 18 minutes of cooking.
- Share & Enjoy!
- If using Whole Wheat Flour you will need to add more liquid. You can add a splash or water or a bit more coconut milk to get the consistency that looks right. Even some white whole wheat flours will soak up a lot of extra fluid and you might need to add a bit more. If you do have to add the extra milk or water, do so before adding the fruit.
- If you have extra sugar and nut mixture left, put it in an airtight container and save it for another batch!
- Make sure blackberries are drained well so they don’t add too much extra moisture to the batter.
- If you wanted something more dessert-like and less breakfast-like, adding 2-4 tbsp of maple syrup is a nice addition. Just make sure to do this with the other wet ingredients and don’t wait until the very last minute. This will also make your batter more moist, so be cautious of adding extra milk or water as I mentioned above.
I hope you enjoy this recipe! Let me know how it turns out for you 🙂