Spiced Apple and Cranberry Muffins | TENDING the TABLE

Hey friends! Hope you’re having a good week. I spent the morning the New York Times Magazine issue about big food and it really got me thinking about the food movement and my role in it. The feature includes some really eye opening images that emphasize the massive scale of food production in our country, a fascinating article about candy companies struggling to create natural food colorings, an article about the oversight of meat processing facilities or lack thereof and an article by Michael Pollan about the obstacles to new food policies. Pollan argues that unless we have a widespread shift in our food culture that shifts consumer demand and puts pressure on companies and politicians, nothing will change. I’m always trying to figure out the best way to inspire people and I’m not sure I’ve figured it out yet, but I hope that if I continue to do what I do and continue to share my thoughts on current issues some of you will be moved. For me, the take home message after reading this feature was that our daily choices really do matter. We cast a vote every time we buy something at the grocery store and shopping mindfully, with ethics, human rights and the environment in mind is more important than ever. If we all choose healthier, more sustainable food by supporting our local small-scale farmers, organic, and non-gmo we can shift demand and start a movement. Let’s start a movement!

I made a big batch of applesauce the other day. It’s one of my favorite fall activities and one of the few things I still put up for the winter months (I’ve stopped making jam because of all the sugar. If anyone has a good jam recipe that doesn’t use refined sugar please let me know.) These muffins aren’t too sweet and I love the way the tart, juicy cranberries pop as you bite into them. I added cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg to the muffins to pump up the fall coziness factor. Enjoy.

Spiced Apple and Cranberry Muffins

Makes 16-18 muffins


1/2 cup olive oil

1 cup applesauce

1 1/4 cups coconut sugar

2 eggs

zest from 1/2 orange

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 cup oat flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cup cranberries (fresh or frozen)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with muffin papers. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the olive oil, applesauce, coconut sugar, eggs, orange zest and vanilla. Mix on medium speed until smooth. In a small bowl whisk together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and whisk just until combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold the cranberries into the batter.

Fill each well of the muffin tin with about 1/4 cup of batter. Sprinkle the tops of the muffins with coconut sugar and bake for 25-30 minutes.