I am always looking for a healthy addition to my typical yogurt and banana breakfast. Sometimes, that takes the form of homemade granola, like my favorite coconut ginger granola, and other times a super muffin… you know, a muffin with all kinds of healthy, energizing ingredients. It’s a thing. With all the leftover apples in my house from apple picking, I decided to go the super muffin route.
I’ve gotten really into tea in the last few years, even to the point of having an electronic tea kettle in my classroom for my morning and afternoon cuppa. A warm cup of tea is like a treat. It keeps me relaxed in the classroom, and oddly focused on what I need to do. Its like a daily pause-and-reflect exercise – what is most important for the kids today? What do they need, and what am I just trying to squeeze in for the point of squeezing in? In teaching, this kind of reflection, of calling on theory and professional learning and how to incorporate this into my instruction, has really taken me to the next level of teaching. I’m so excited about where I am professionally! Now, I usually buy tea bags for these self-reflective epiphanies during transition times, but I just began experimenting with loose teas as well. It was only a matter of time before I decided to bake with it.
I used loose hibiscus awhile ago to make this amazing brunch cake, but this time I decided chamomile would better suit the flavors I had in mind for this super muffin. It worked beautifully! Plus, loose chamomile is cheap – I found mine in the Hispanic dried food section. If you can’t find it, you can always buy tea bags and use the contents for our baking purposes.
Chamomile is known for it’s therapeutic properties (check out this article!), especially as an anti-inflammatory or a sleep aid. It almost has a apple-y aroma by itself. It’s beautiful baked inside a muffin, just a light scent of the flour amidst the apple, maple and spices. In Spanish, chamomile is called manzanilla, which is super close to manzana (apple)… so you know this was meant to be!
Apple Chamomile MuffinsPrint Recipe
- 1¾ cups whole wheat flour
- 3/4 cup old fashioned oats
- 1/4 cup flax seeds
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 grated apple, granny smith
- 1 apple diced into ¼” cubes, granny smith
- ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 2 eggs, preferably at room temperature
- ½ cup plain Greek yogurt (I used full-fat but any variety should do)
- 1 stick butter, softened
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon sugar (also called raw sugar), for sprinkling on top
- 2 tbsp dried chamomile flowers
Place the chamomile flowers into a small food processor. I used my small coffee bean grinder. Process for 3-5 minutes to release the oils from the dried flowers. Remove half of the chamomile and set aside. Add 1 tbsp of sugar to the processor with the remaining chamomile leaves and process for an additional 10 seconds.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 14 cups in a muffin tin. In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats flax, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda and salt. Grate and chop the apple, and then add to this bowl and stir to combine.
In another bowl, cream the butter and 1 tbsp of the ground chamomile leaves. Add the oil and maple syrup in and combine with a whisk. Add the eggs and whisk well to combine. Then add the yogurt and vanilla and mix well.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry. Mix just until combined, being careful not to over mix. The batter will be thick. Divide the batter evenly between the 14 muffin cups, filing them to the top, as muffins will only rise a little during baking. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with the chamomile sugar mixture. Bake muffins for 13 - 15 minutes, or until the muffins are golden on top and a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.
Allow muffins to cool. Muffins keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 4 days, or in the refrigerator for up to 6 days. Freeze up to 3 months.
Old fashioned oats are my oat of choice, as they are a little bigger and thicker than instant oats. Both should work well, however. Steel cut oats won't soften enough to be enjoyable, so I'd skip these!