Whew! I’m finally back in Chicago after a crazy couple of days in Minneapolis with Lee and Katie. I think I’ve mentioned a few times that I’m working on an exciting new project for the Sweat Series! Don’t worry, we’ll be letting you in on all of the details soon but basically it is going to be the BEST HEALTH PROGRAM EVER.
That being said, I want to thank you all for being patient with me. I know I’ve been posting less frequently, but promise I still have plenty of delicious goodies coming to you… like these healthy apple muffins!
My apple cravings started back up in August when my mom was visiting; we loved noshing on SweeTango® apples after our long 12 mile bike rides along the lakeshore. I had been obsessed with raspberries all summer, but the flavors were beginning to fade; a crispy, juicy apple sounded both refreshing and delicious.
For the past few years, my favorite apple has been the SweeTango®. They’re sweet, incredibly crunchy, wonderful for baking and one of my favorite afternoon snacks.
And here’s a fun fact: The SweeTango® is such a crunchy apple, that when the world record for the “loudest crunch of an apple” was set in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2016, the SweeTango was the apple of choice, coming in at 79.1 decibels. For reference, a whisper is typically 30 decibels, normal conversation is 60 decibels, and sounds in the 70 – 80 decibel range include alarm clocks, vacuum cleaners, and kitchen blenders. Pretty cool, huh?
Usually I warm up a little honey almond butter to pair with my apple slices. And if you want to try something new, sprinkle of sea salt on top of your apple slices to contrast the sweet flavors. SO SO SO SO GOOD.
Another snack I know we all LOVE? Muffins! I decided to bake a batch of healthy apple muffins made with whole wheat pastry flour, maple syrup, applesauce chai spices (cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and ginger!) and fresh apple chunks! The chai spices will make your house smell insanely good, you know one of those smells you want to bottle up and keep forever and ever.
To top it all off, a light cream cheese vanilla bean glaze. Both the adults and kiddos will love them.
My personal favorite way to enjoy these muffins is warm with a little almond or peanut butter. Enjoy as a snack or a quick breakfast on the go. They’re freezer friendly, too!
Okay I’ve gotta go catch up on Westworld now. Are you watching?! SO GOOD. xo!
More healthy muffin recipes to try:
Skinny Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Dreamy Orange Chocolate Chip Muffins
Healthy Lemon Poppyseed Muffins with Lemon Blueberry Glaze
Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
Healthy Gingerbread Muffins + video!
If you make this recipe, let me know by tagging #ambitiouskitchen on Instagram or leaving a comment below!
Chai-Spiced Healthy Apple Oatmeal Muffins
- 1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats, plus more for sprinkling on top
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon cloves
- 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 3 tablespoons melted and cooled coconut oil (or olive oil or melted butter)
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- ¼ cup almond milk (or milk of choice)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 medium SweeTango Apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped (about 1 cup chopped apple)
- For the glaze:
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons low fat cream cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1-2 teaspoons unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)
- 1 vanilla bean, split in half and seeds removed
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 12 cup muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray or line with muffin liners. If you line with muffin liners, make sure to spray the inside of the liners with nonstick cooking spray as these are lowfat muffins and will stick if the liners are not greased.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking soda, salt and spices. Set aside.
In a separate large bowl, add applesauce, oil, maple syrup, egg, almond milk and vanilla; mix until well combined.
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in the apple pieces.
Divide batter evenly, filling each muffin cup about 3/4 of the way full. Sprinkle a few oats on top of each muffin to add a little beauty. Bake for 23-28 minutes or until tester comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes, then remove muffins and transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
Once muffins are cooled, make the glaze by mixing together the powdered sugar, cream cheese, vanilla, almond milk and vanilla bean. If necessary, add in a little bit more milk, you want it to be glaze-like consistency. Drizzle evenly over warm muffins! Makes 12 muffins total.
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Sarah Fennel
This post is in partnership with SweeTango® apples, an apple I seriously adore! Thanks for supporting AK and the brands that help make this site possible! Be sure to check out SweeTango over on Facebook!
Chai spice + apple is an incredible fall-inspired combo that I cannot get enough of right now! These muffins looking so moist and heavenly, especially with the vanilla glaze on top!
Omg these muffins. YUM. Cannot wait for the new sweat series in January! You and Lee are both so beautiful and I loved watching both your Snapchat and Instagram stories! 😀 I’m glad you’re back in Chi-town too, GO CUBS.
I am such a fan of muffins…and chai….and apples……and oatmeal…..OH, and they’re healthy too???? Dreams = coming true!!!
They’re vegan without the glaze! My friend is going to be so excited to eat these. I had to stop myself at the store this week from getting a whole cart of apples.
No, they’re not. There is egg in the batter. But you can use a chia seed substitute.
Yes, if you choose to do flax egg as suggested.
THAT VANILLA BEAN.
Chai anything and everything! Been loving apple muffins lately too 🙂 So excited for the Sweat Series!
Girl these look amazing! And the photos!! Incredible!
I am loooooving the little dots of vanilla bean in that glaze. I want it ALL!
This recipe sounds seriously delicious! We love that you added Chai-spices to bring out the flavors of the apples. Scrumptious AND healthy! What could be better?
My kids and I made a batch of these yesterday as an afters chool snack, and less than 24 hours later and there are only 3 left! We all loved them so, so much!
Awwww this makes me so happy, Alaina! <3 Kid-approved!
These look like a delicious Fall snack, or dessert, or breakfast! I love all of your recipes and how different they all are, yet healthy. Thanks for the inspiration! 🙂
Made these this morning!!!! So So good!!! I made mini muffins to pack in my kids’ lunches. I already need to make another batch!
I’d love to take these to a friend who just had a baby. For storing them in the freezer, do you just stick them in a ziploc bag after they cool down and throw them in there? Or do you freeze individually? And then what do you do to reheat? Thanks!
Any suggestions on how to make these GF?
These were pretty good for a healthy muffin. Only issue is that the cook time seems way off. Was more like 18 minutes for mine, maybe my muffin pan is a different size?
These sound amazing, but can I substitute the coconut oil for anything eg. more applesauce?
if i can’t find that particular apple, which other apples would be just as wonderful for this recipe?
Honey crisp would be great!
Yes, if you choose to do flax egg as suggested.
I made these yesterday. While I love them the general response is they are somewhat soggy …. I find them that way too but that’s my taste. I followed the recipe exactly, baked for 35 mins for some reason and also made 17 by filling 3/4 full. What would you recommend to lessen the moisture but not make them too dry? My honey crisp was very juicy and wonder if apple sauce could be cut back on?
I also made the banana bread yesterday – whoa! Amazing.
I’m a little obsessed with your site and blog and recipes right now — I made the lentil meatloaf too last week – sooooo good.
You could definitely reduce the applesauce by 1/4 cup if your muffins were too moist, or just leave out the almond milk Also your apples may have been bigger if you are getting 17 muffins!
So glad you’re finding recipes you love! <3
soooooo good – perfect healthy breakfast treat.
Absolutely! Glad you loved them.
One of my favorite muffin recipes when I’m looking for a special treat.
Oh wow, Monique! These muffins are amazing. I love the amount of spice with the sweet apples <3
Absolutely! Glad you enjoyed 🙂
I just made these again, but replaced the apple with 1 cup of fresh blueberries and omitted the spices (besides fresh ginger and adding lemon zest). They turned out great!
Also, I tried adding 1tsp of baking powder alongside the baking soda because my first batch turned out a bit flat/dense. This made the muffins rise a lot more! Maybe you could try it too, Monique!
I’m glad that worked out well! Hmm I haven’t had an issue with these being flat or dense, but happy to hear that the baking powder worked out for you.
can I make this without using eggs?
I haven’t tried it before, I would be nervous about the texture and how well they would hold together, but let me know if you give it a try!
These are great! I used 3 tbsp maple syrup, olive oil instead of coconut, gala apple, and added in shredded carrot (pressed water out) and pumpkin seeds.
Perfect! Sounds delicious 🙂 I’m glad that worked out well!
Great flavor! I especially liked the cardamom in there. The muffins were really quite dense, though, so I didn’t feel like I could share some with a friend as I had hoped.
Your muffins never fail me! These are delicious. I used a flax egg but otherwise made the recipe as written – SO good! Thank you!
So happy to hear that! I’m glad the flax egg worked out well 🙂
I made these for our staff meeting, and they went over really well. They are so moist and flavorful and taste decadent while still being relatively healthy! I will definitely make these again!
I would really love to make these but I am GF! Do you think GF all purpose or oat flour would work?
Hmm I haven’t tested it so not totally sure! I have a sort of similar recipe for apple oatmeal cups which are GF — you might like them!
Delish!! I’m a big chai drinker and the flavors of chai really come through with this recipe. Just used a little powder sugar and milk for sweet glaze. Yummy! There are also a hit with my hubbie and children! Definitely will make again
So glad you all loved these, Katie! I love those chai flavors, too 🥰
Has anyone tried this without the glaze? Does it make them too dry? What about making the glaze out of just cream cheese, milk, vanilla and maple syrup? And I don’t have a muffin pan but I think I’ll just bake it like a banana bread and cut it up into pieces after…
This is one of my all time favorite muffin recipes. The spice combination is delicious! My family does not like cloves so I’ve also replaced the cloves with 1/4 tsp of nutmeg and we loved it. This is also great as a pre workout snack with some peanut butter on top. Thank you for another great recipe!
So happy to hear that! Love the idea of topping with peanut butter, too.