These muffins make food fun! Everybody enjoys eating food that looks good, and since we also eat with our eyes, these are particularly enticing to little ones. These top the charts as one of my toddler’s favorite foods because a) he loves apples, b) he’s obsessed with stars, and c) he could eat his weight in muffins. This is my toddler trifecta.
Since this recipe was developed with little stomachs in mind, they are sweetened only with fruit from bananas and apples. Balancing blood sugar of kids (and adults!) is an important factor in keeping emotions and energy stable. Healthy fat from coconut oil and flaxseed allows slower digestion, and the heaping helping of cinnamon is beneficial to blood sugar balance. This egg-free, dairy-free recipe is a cinch to clean up since all of it can be dumped into one bowl and pulsed in a food processor. And that pulse button is the perfect way to get kids excited to help in the kitchen.
Now, before you take another look at the star shapes and mutter things ain’t nobody got time for, you could easily do without the star if you’re in a pinch, or replace it with another small cookie cutter you have if your kiddo’s Play Doh collection. If it’s within the realm of possibilities for you, a fun shape might be just what it takes to introduce kids to whole, clean foods that don’t come out of a bag.
Have fun with different shapes! We happened to have a batch of these topped with hearts baking while we worked on Valentines. A Christmas tree, pumpkin, numbers, or letters would entice little hands to reach for one. They made the house smell so good! Be sure to get your kids to help in the kitchen to expose them to the appreciation of cooking and kitchen stewardship.
Apple Cinnamon Star Muffins
- 2 1/4 cups quick 1-minute oats
- 3 Tbsp ground flaxseed
- 2 Tbsp arrowroot starch
- 1 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- Dash nutmeg
- 2 small apples; 1 1/2 coarsely chopped, and 1/2 reserved as discs for cut-outs*
- 3 1/2 ripe bananas
- 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
*I used honeycrisp, but any sweet apple will work. If you plan to use a cutter shape for the top, be sure to plan ahead by saving half of an apple to be sliced in transverse discs about 1/4″ thick. Any scrap that remains from the cutouts should be added back to the bowl of wet ingredients.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 12-cup muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray. Add all dry ingredients into a large food processor and pulse a few times until well blended. Add the wet ingredients directly into the food processor on top of the dry ingredients and blend until completely incorporated.
Drop spoonfuls of the batter into the prepared muffin cups and top with your star-shaped apple pieces, or other selected shape. Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes or until the center of muffins read 200 degrees when an instant read thermometer is inserted.
Transfer the muffins to a cooling rack to cool completely. These will keep for up to one week in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container. I enjoy these with a hefty dollop of ghee and glass of almond milk!
Photos and Content Copyright © Jaclyn Beaty Nutrition, 2019