This has to be one of my favourite Kids’ Kitchen recipes!
These apple vanilla muffins use grated apple and real vanilla beans for a flavourful and hearty muffin that you can feel good about eating and sharing with your family.
Part of implementing the Montessori Method at home, for me, is involving the children in as much sensory-stimulating, practical-life seeking, and fine motor skill building activities as possible — so having them help in the kitchen is the perfect solution.
I’ve said it before, muffins are one of the best baked goods to make with children, as they can be made as healthy or as indulgent as you’d like, they don’t involve any special equipment, and even turn out better with undermixing.
These muffins are great for both experienced kids’ kitchen helpers or for beginners — I had my girls grate the apples, slice and extract the vanilla from the vanilla pod, crack the eggs, measure their ingredients, stir the batter, prepare the muffin tin liners, and scoop out the batter.
I basically just read out the recipe and put the tray in the oven!
- 1 cup all purpose flour (can use spelt)
- 1 cup whole wheat flour (can use whole spelt)
- 1/2 cup cane or coconut sugar (can use white sugar)
- 1/4 brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 grated apple (the sweeter the better)
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup coconut oil or melted butter
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 1 whole vanilla pod
- Have the children use a grater with a good grip to grate the apple.
- Mix the apple, eggs, and oil together.
- Have the children split the vanilla bean and then scrape out the seeds.
- Mix the vanilla "caviar" into the buttermilk and then add to the wet mixture.
- Mix all dry ingredients -- have the children practice scooping, leveling the ingredients off, and stirring. Show them how to make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet mixture. Have the children stir just enough to incorporate and so there are no "dry spots."
- Bake at 375F for 18-22 minutes until firm and golden brown (and inserted toothpick comes out clean).
You can use vanilla extract instead of vanilla beans in this recipe, but I love those little black flecks and the intense vanilla aroma it lends the final apple vanilla muffins. I also have started using cultured buttermilk powder, rather than buying real buttermilk every time I want to make a recipe that calls for it. I’d like to eventually look into making my own, but for now, this works!
Because it is such a unique and interesting ingredients for the children, they seem to know how special they are and they show great care and respect when they are scraping the beans and mixing the “vanilla bean caviar” into the mixture.
Allowing the children to do their own scooping and measuring is a great practical life skill, as well as an early math skill.
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