The subject of food waste and food reuse is a hot subject today. Packed lunch food reuse is not necessarily limited to recycling dinner leftovers. I love buying things in bulk, including bags of apples. It not only saves you money, but often I just cannot resist limiting myself when presented with the wonderful seasonal offerings. Yet often, after some time they start looking a little tried and wilty. This is when, instead of watching them go to complete waste, I spin them into a much desired object - the mini muffin.
After the apples lose their Snow White perfection, my kids refuse to touch them. It's not just the appearance, they also don't like the soggy texture that some apples acquire after sitting in the house for too long.
I like to turn those sad, wilty apples into one of our favorite winter treats - mini apple-walnut muffins.
The muffins are always a hit and definitely the star of a packed lunch. I like to bake them and freeze half a batch, thereby having a quick back-up for healthy after school snack or packed lunches. You can reheat them in a microwave or an oven.
We go through these fast. Time to buy more apples soon!
Apple-Walnut Mini Muffins
1 1/3 cups of flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 or 2 teaspoons of cinnamon (I also like to add a dash of Masala spice mix)
Dash of salt
1 large egg
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 or 4 grated apples (skin and all)
1/3 oil (like canola or sunflower)
1/2 cup of toasted walnuts, finely chopped
First mix the dry ingredients. If little hands are around, they usually are very eager to help here. Then in a different bowl mix all the wet ingredients. Combine the two, making sure that the batter is moist and not too crumbly. Assemble your mini muffins (using appropriate mini molds) and when the oven has reached 350F, place them inside for around 25 minutes, until they acquire a golden puffy aura.
This Yumbox also includes flat bread with Italian salami mini-sandwiches, cornichons, cheese, grapes and some dried cranberries...
Even though the lunch was returned with all the cranberries and few cornichons, there was not even a crumb left from the apple muffins. No reuse waste to report!