At the very top of that list are Apples! Six years ago my parents planted apple trees in their backyard and this year was their first big crop of fruit. My three girls were so excited to go help Grandpa pick his apples and Grandma turn them into applesauce to enjoy all winter long. I sneaked (because “snuck” is apparently not a word) a few apples into my bag to turn into Sweet Potato Apple Muffins and then sat back to watch my kids enjoy a good time with their grandparents.
The thing is, I have really great parents, which means my kids have really great grandparents. I know I have grown up to be a much bigger headache than they ever imagined as they were straightening my teeth, hauling me to and from piano lessons, and forking out all that money for a small private college on the East coast. I was raised well and I sailed into adulthood with high hopes and big dreams.
Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever find the wind again. Sometimes I wonder if I’ve turned out to be a big disappointment.
This, right now, is the future of my dreams and though it may look very different than I once imagined, it’s happening right now and all at once.
I’m mothering four beautiful children. I’m figuring out how to put money in the bank and food on the table. I’m shouldering responsibility, tackling challenges, moving full steam ahead. And when my parents remind me that we just do what we have to do, I know they’re right. This is it. Right now.
There’s not enough hours in the day, or time spent sleeping, or money in the bank, or helping hands at home. Instead, there are homegrown apples to be picked, babies to be held, stories to be read, grandparents to be hugged, and muffins to be made.
This is life, and I’m in the thick of it.
These Sweet Potato Apple Muffins are one of life’s good things. The baked sweet potato puree keeps them tender and moist. Tart apples add a big burst of flavor. They are lightly sweetened with honey or maple syrup, in addition to the mild sweetness the potato adds. The streusel topping makes these muffins feel (and look) extra special, but they taste just as good without it. Enjoy!
- 2 cups freshly ground spelt or whole wheat flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- a pinch of ground nutmeg
- a pinch of ground cloves
- 1 cup baked sweet potato puree
- ¼ cup plain yogurt
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- ⅓ cup honey or maple syrup
- 1 cup diced apple, tart varieties work best
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- ½ cup chopped pecan pieces
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- Grease each cup of a standard 12 cup muffin tin and set aside. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
- In a separate bowl, combine yogurt, egg, honey, oil, and sweet potato. Beat until smooth.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet mixture. Stir wet and dry mixtures together, being careful to not over stir. Gently fold in the chopped apples
- In a small bowl, stir together the streusel ingredients.
- Fill the prepared muffin tin cups ⅔ full. Sprinkle each muffin with a heaping teaspoon of streusel topping. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until muffins are golden and spring back when touched. Cool on wire rack and serve warm.