Applesauce makes the best, most scrumptious muffins that don't dry out in a couple of days like other muffins do. This recipe offers a great opportunity to incorporate some other healthy ingredients while leaving the kids thinking that they're simply being spoiled with a sweet treat.
Technique tip: The great thing about these is that you can make them ahead of time, freeze them and they reheat very well for on the go snack, lunch box or in place of a protein bar or shake. I pull them from the freezer and just wrap them individually with a slightly wet paper towel and zap them in microwave for 30 seconds.
Swap option: There is definitely room for personalization, so feel free to make it your own with the addition of other dried fruit and nuts.
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups toasted unsalted hulled sunflower seeds, divided
- 1½ cups dried tart cherries
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup shredded carrots (about 4 medium)
- 1 cup shredded zucchini (about 2 small to medium)
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease two twelve-cup muffin tins or line them with paper liners.2.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, 1/2 cup of the sunflower seeds and the cherries.3.
In a small bowl, whisk together the vegetable oil, applesauce and eggs. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Add the carrots and zucchini and stir until the batter is well mixed.4.
Scoop the batter into the prepared pans, filling the muffin cups three-quarters full.5.
Top each muffin with 2 tablespoons of the sunflower seeds. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the tops spring back to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out with just a couple of moist crumbs attached.6.
Serve warm or let cool, then transfer to small zip-top bags and store in the fridge to pack in lunches for the rest of the week.