Nashoba Valley Winery and Apple Cinnamon Muffins
This past weekend Funk and I got to finally celebrate Jess‘ birthday, which was rain-delayed after hurricane Irene’s arrival a few weeks ago. Fun fact about our friendship with Jess: she used to work with Funk at UMass when they were undergrads, but then lost touch. Jess and I met a few years later through some dietitian connections and realized her old coworker was my then-boyfriend! I love small-world stories, and I love Jess! So I was excited to head to Nashoba Valley Winery for brunch, wine tasting, and apple picking to celebrate her birthday. It’s one of my favorite places to visit each fall. A group of us enjoyed a delicious brunch buffet in Nashoba’s restaurant with loads of fresh fruit, banana French toast, freshly baked bread, and more.
After we went up for seconds (and thirds) we headed to the wine tasting area to sip some of their wines and beers, and put together a six-pack to take home.
And as if that wasn’t fun enough, we headed outside for apple picking. This time of year the McIntosh apples were ripe and ready to go, and they’re one of my very favorite varieties of apples.
Every time I come home from apple picking each year, I wonder what recipe I should make to use up a bunch of the apples. And it seems like every year I wind up making this same vegan apple cinnamon cake. It’s just so good! It really only uses 3 apples, so it barely puts a dent in our big bag of them, but its worth it. We’ve been tossing apples in our smoothies and maybe I’ll make an apple crisp soon too. I made some tweaks to the recipe this year and decided to turn the cake into muffins so they’re easier to grab-and-go for snacks and breakfast.
1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup soy milk
1 cup silken tofu
2 Tbsp vanilla
4 Tbsp cinnamon
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp baking powder
3 medium apples, diced
2 Tbsp chia seeds mixed with 6 Tbsp warm water to act as an egg substitute
Combine cinnamon, flour, and baking powder in a large bowl and set aside.
Combine oil, sugar, milk, tofu, vanilla, and chia seed “egg” in a bowl and blend with a hand mixer until the tofu is smooth with no large lumps. Add wet mixture into dry mixture and mix until all is combined well. Then add the apples.
Scoop mix into muffin cups and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. You should probably watch your muffins carefully, since my oven has a mind of its own so times/temperatures may vary. This mix made 22 muffins. They taste especially good with a little jam smeared on top, or dunked in a mug of hot tea.