With the holidays season in full swing, these Apple Cornmeal Flax Muffins are a healthy breakfast or dessert in between all the wine, cheese and other treats we indulge in this time of year. After a weekend of stuffing my face, I crave fruit and fiber – an apology to my body for having no will power when I see a cheese platter. I’ve fully accepted that as I get older, I can no longer eat with total reckless abondon, and need to be kind to my stomach even during the holidays.
Apple Cornmeal Flax Muffins
This past fall, my girlfriends and I spent the day apple picking at Puddicombe Estate Farms, an annual tradition. With a bushel of fruit in my fridge the possibilities were endless! Over the past month I made lots of cider, apple crisp, apple butter and for my last five precious apples I decided to bake these muffins. Easy to make and a quick, portable breakfast or snack, my boyfriend and I are big muffin fans and when we bake together, we like to throw in all kinds of different ingredients and try out new flavour combinations.
One of my staple dishes I like to make during the holidays is a cornmeal and apple stuffing, such a tasty pairing! This inspired me to include some cornmeal to add some natural sweetness and density. While I added a bit of brown sugar, they are mainly sweetened with honey and the apples. To add to the heartiness, I also threw in some ground flax seeds for extra fiber. Packed full of apples with some cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg for that holiday spice, these muffins are a healthy sweet treat.
A few weeks ago I headed out to Winona for their annual Peach Festival and spent the afternoon immersed in all things peaches! From pies to jams to a very indulgent giant peach ice cream sundae, it was a lovely way to spend an afternoon. I came home with ten pounds of peaches and my friend and I have since started to learn about canning and have been experimenting with jams (fair warning: everyone is getting peach jam for Christmas this year!). I had some leftover peaches and decided to make a peach crisp. I love cornmeal and felt as though the sweetness of the corn would be a nice compliment to my sweet, super ripe peaches.
I wanted to make this dessert on the healthy side, and was inspired to use the sample of coconut oil I had received from Cocozia as a substitute for butter. 100% organic, unrefined and cold-pressed, Cocozia’s extra-virgin coconut oil has a rich coconut scent, has a smooth, creamy texture and doesn’t melt at room temperature. I added some almonds for protein and replaced some of the brown sugar with maple syrup.
Healthy Cornmeal Peach Crisp
This peach crisp is the perfect comfort dessert for fall. The sweet, syrupy peaches & berries are nicely caramelized underneath a golden, cornmeal crust with hints of buttery coconut.
2 tablespoons Cocozia coconut water (or filtered water)
2 tablespoons crushed almonds
1 ½ tablespoons brown sugar
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of sea salt
For the filling:
4 large ripe peaches, core removed, finely sliced
½ cup blueberries (preferably fresh)
¼ cup maple syrup
1 ½ tablespoons corn starch
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Preheat oven to 375F.
In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients for the topping, except for the crushed almonds. Slowly incorporate the coconut oil. Drizzle the coconut water over top and mix well with your hands, the topping should stay together when you pinch some between your fingers. Add a bit more water if necessary.
In a 3QT glass baking dish, mix together the peaches, blueberries, lemon juice and maple syrup. Sprinkle the cornstarch, cinnamon and salt over top and carefully stir the filling.
With your hands, pick up small handfuls of the topping and place gently over of the filling, spreading each piece out evenly until the filling is covered.
Sprinkle the almonds over top.
Bake in oven for 15-17 minutes or until golden brown and bubbling along the edge.
Just a side note: I actually bought a second jar of Cocozia coconut oil and have been using it as a body moisturizer, hair mask and makeup remover – it’s amazing! I love the smell and my skin is nice and soft. I love using an all-natural, multi-purpose ingredient for my beauty needs!