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Lighten Up: Healthy Apple-Streusel Muffins

 

A Low-Fat, Low-Cal Muffin

Makes: 12 muffins
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 18 minutes

Ingredients
Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon apple pie spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
2 tablespoons canola oil
3/4 cup shredded apple with skin
2 tablespoons chopped pecans
1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
1 tablespoon butter

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat twelve 2-1/2-inch muffin cups with cooking spray; set aside. In a large bowl, stir together all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, 1/3 cup brown sugar, baking powder, apple pie spice, and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture; set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, lightly beat eggs with a fork; stir in buttermilk and oil. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture; stir until moistened (batter should be lumpy). Fold in apple. Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling each about three-quarters of the way.

3. In a small bowl, combine pecans, flaxseeds, and remaining brown sugar. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Spoon pecan mixture on top of muffin batter.

4. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in muffin cups on a wire rack 5 minutes; remove from cups.

Nutrition facts per muffin: 163 calories, 4g protein, 25g carbohydrate, 6g fat (1g saturated), 2g fiber

Healthy Baking Tips

Peel Deal: "The apple's skin packs extra fiber and antioxidants," says Kim Galeaz, RD, a culinary dietitian in Indianapolis.

Sweet Secret: Pecans and flaxseeds give the yummy cinnamon-streusel topping a heart-healthy, protein-packed crunch.

Dairy Lean: Buttermilk has a thick, creamy texture that's perfect for baking, even the low-fat kind, Galeaz says.

Oil Change: We slashed fat, not flavor, by using just two tablespoons of oil. Some recipes call for four times that much!

Grab-and-Go Breakfasts

Turn a yummy muffin into a power breakfast by adding fruit, dairy, and protein (choose one from each list).

Fruit

Banana
Orange
Berries

Dairy and Protein

Low-fat yogurt
String cheese
Skim milk and almond butter (on muffin)

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, October 2010.

More Slimmed-Down Comfort Foods

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Lighten Up: A Healthy Pizza Recipe

Lighten Up: A Healthier Burger and Fries

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