Sweet And Crumby

Baking, a Love Story

Striving for Mediocrity and My Low-Cal/Low-Fat Heavenly Apple Blueberry Muffins


I will start with these lightly spiced cardamom and cinnamon, apple-blueberry muffins because most of you come here for the recipes and this one is a doozy—And it’s my own creation! Our biggest losers group started our diets again this weekend and weighed in.  I brought muffins to share, and yes, I am a little evil.

I am totally OK with my darker side. But the muffins were only 144 calories and 4.6 grams of fat AND they contained apples, blueberries, yogurt, wheat flour and almond flour! So it wasn’t that evil. If I were really evil, I would have dropped off care sabotage packages  this morning on their front porches with slices of my husband’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Birthday cake inside.

What was unexpected was that they were some of the softest, yummiest muffins I ever made. Since I hadn’t tasted them (must weigh-in before eating you see…the fraction of a pound matters in this little contest), I pathetically made excuses about their mediocrity before serving them. Big mistake. There was no mediocrity to be found in these fluffy gems. They actually had the most heavenly, tender crumb and the spices and fruits made them ooze with natural fruity goodness. See the oozing below?

Then why did I second guess myself, and why did I feel the need to excuse them, without even trying them? (second guessing is fairly common place for me).  It’s probably because I usually shoot for perfection in just about everything, especially baked goods, and perfection is fairly hard to come by I’m afraid.  So, that being said, I am rarely totally happy with my outcome.

I pondered this little bit of introspection and suddenly came up with my New Year’s resolution. I hadn’t made one yet, and it was already January 10th!   “Bad, bad, bad!”, I had been thinking. Need a resolution—yesterday. How else does one strive to improve, better themselves and become all that they can be?! But then it hit me, my resolution would be to “Be Mediocre”.  Yep, I came up with that little kernel of brilliance this morning. I know, you are wondering why YOU never came up with such a life altering New Year’s resolution. Maybe because you have loftier goals my friend.

So, on my way to work (an hour late), I developed my new philosophy on life…go for mediocre and maybe for once I will be happy with my efforts. If my house is pretty clean then I have met my goal. I am now officially 1 for 1. I ate the smallest slice I could cut of earth shattering Chocolate Peanut Butter cake for BREAKFAST this morning but Lean Cuisine for lunch.   I believe my “healthy” eating for the day has averaged out to mediocre (no comments from the peanut gallery please Lisa and Joanne; I know all the crazy crap that is in a Lean Cuisine). Now I am 2 for 2.  See how this works?

So today I have been an OK mom (made healthy lunches to take to school BUT frozen pancakes for breakfast), an OK employee (arrived late but worked hard while I was there) and an OK dieter (refer to paragraph above if you have problems with short term memory). That means I am totally, 100% meeting my expectations. Perhaps I am the one person on earth who will finish the year keeping her New Year’s resolution. I will let you know how it goes next December. Okey dokey?

By the way, my hubby is a graphic artist. I have commissioned him to come up with a t-shirt with the slogan, “B. Mediocre”. He came up with the “B.” part. Thanks honey.

Also on the, “Geni is crazier than I thought,” front my dad has his own brilliant idea for a website…F-You.com (to keep my PG rating, please think fooey).  It’s where people can go to send anonymous emails to people (ahem perhaps flirtatious bosses, unfair teachers, bullies at school, you got it…keep goin’ now) so that they can finally tell the lovely soul just what they think without any consequences.  I, taking his idea fairly seriously, tried to explain to him that F-You.com as the “from” in any email doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in the hot place to get by the ol’ spam filter. We actually debated this. Several times. Now you know where most of the crazy comes from. In case you were curious.

Apple-Blueberry Muffins (low-fat, low-calorie and very LOW on mediocrity)

Makes about 15 average-sized muffins
1 c. all purpose four
1/2 c. whole-wheat flour
1/2 c. almond flour (almond meal)
1/2 t. salt
1 T. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. cardamom (if you don’t have some, get some—it’s so worth having)
1/4 t. nutmeg
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1 egg
1/3 c. packed light brown sugar
1/2 c. unsweetened apple sauce
1/3 c. all natural real maple syrup
1/3 c. nonfat plain Greek Yogurt
1/4 c. Canola oil
1/3 c. apple cider
1 apple, peeled and sliced (I used a Fuji)
1 c. of fresh blueberries
For topping: 1/4 c. sliced toasted almonds

To make the muffins: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line your muffin pan with muffin cups.  In a large mixing bowl, lightly spoon your flour into a measuring cup, don’t pack. This is probably the number one reason for dry muffins…too much flour. I usually stir up my flour before spooning to get it light and fluffy and then gently spoon it into my measuring cup,leveling it with my handy index finger (or use a knife). Whisk together flours through baking soda. Important to whisk so that it gets well mixed and fluffed up a bit.

In a separate bowl, beat together brown sugar and egg. Add the rest of the liquid ingredients; apple sauce through apple cider. Beat together with a whisk.

Before adding the liquid to the dry ingredients: In the bowl of the dry ingredients, stir in the blueberries and chopped apples. This will amply coat the fruit in flour and help them to stay in the middle of the muffin when baking, instead of sinking to the bottom.  Now, add 1/2 of the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir gently with a rubber spatula (no whisking  now my friends…batter will be tough as nails if you whisk now). Add the rest of the liquid ingredients and stir together until just combine. Scrape the bottom and the sides of the bowl to make sure now left behind flour is there.

I use a medium-sized ice cream scoop to fill each muffin cup 2/3 full. Top with a large pinch of sliced almonds. Bake for 15-20 minutes depending on your oven. With convection…probably 15.  Check for golden-ness and press your finger atop. I should be slightly firm or go for the old stand-by toothpick test.


30 thoughts on “Striving for Mediocrity and My Low-Cal/Low-Fat Heavenly Apple Blueberry Muffins

  1. Love your thoughts and love these muffins! Your dad is hilarious, but he has a point, doesn’t he:) I think you are more than mediocre.. you’re right, we should not be so hard on ourselves!!

  2. LMAO. I love your writing, your husband’s shirt idea and your dad’s idea. Seriously. Oh yeah, and those muffins sound great too. Have a fabulously mediocre kind of day! I think I’m going to aim for more mediocrity in my own life as well.

  3. These muffins do sound tasty! I’m always on the lookout for another good muffin recipe – I’d much rather have them than cake! And the low-fat, low-calorie part fits right in with my healthier eating – at least for this month!

  4. Well I’m with ya on that crazy train Geni! You couldn’t have been describing me more perfectly. My drive for perfection gets me in trouble all the time. Maybe striving for mediocrity isn’t such a bad idea. 😉 I’m looking forward to trying these muffins – healthy and tasty? That could be a big winner around here.

  5. Love this post! Even though I don’t love blueberries (I know, I know . . . ). Everything else here: top notch (oops, am I sabotaging your quest for mediocrity???). I’ve long been on the same path, though I can’t really claim to have moved to it from one of perfectionism or Type-A-itis. I call it the Joy of Average, and dang it, if none of us is willing to shoulder the responsibility of being barely- or sub-par, then what’s to become of the world’s balance?

    Next time I am muffin-making, by the way, this will be my go-to recipe, with that one aforementioned change. Raspberries or blackberries, maybe. Or rhubarb. Or all of them. 🙂

  6. Hah, you already know I’m quite the Type A personality, too – and am always getting on myself for not quite being as perfect as I’d like – so I think being mediocre would be a perfect resolution for me, too! (I do have to say, though, pretty much all of your recipes rate right up there to perfection in my book!)

  7. ohmyohmy! these are little gem aren’t they?!?! nom nom…mediocrity, now why didn’t i think of that? =)

  8. Geni has a dark side? Say it isn’t so! As one who will gladly join your Quest to Uphold Mediocrity, I must say there is nothing at all mediocre about these muffins. What a great recipe!

  9. Haha I’m not one for resolutions, but I love yours!! And the muffins look awesome! Always love some muffins packed full of nutrition 🙂

  10. I LOVE to enjoy muffins for breakfast, so this low cal Apple Blueberry Muffin recipe is exactly what I need in the morning. Something light and delicious

  11. If you said thats one of softest, yummiest muffins you ever made I will certainly give it a shot!

  12. B Mediocre. That is definitely a goal we all can keep all year. Everyday I do stuff that is not completely to my satisfaction, add my really particular to the T hubby to the equation. I have so many blog posts that I didn’t put up since I was not happy with the pictures, I still am not.
    Oh! I might just make your resolution mine.

  13. A post on the end of the year on how you fared with mediocrity would be interesting 🙂
    And these muffins sound too good!

  14. Now this is my kind of muffin – low on all the right things and high in flavour.
    🙂 Mandy

  15. Nothing wrong with this muffin. At least there are no regretful feelings after eating one!

  16. I must must must remember to buy the little paper muffin tin liners! I keep forgetting, i am writing that on my list right now then i will be back for these, we still have blueberries in the freezer from the summer pick.. c

  17. These look delicious! Great photos too 🙂

  18. Oh goodness. Well if you start that website, please let us know. These muffins don’t look evil to me!

  19. Maple syrup, apples, blueberries, and Greek yogurt – I could eat tons of these! I am totally on board with averaging out the foods that are consumed in one day. And if you eat one of these muffins, you’re sure to be on the “healthy” side of average!

  20. Now I see, it’s in your genes!! Your dad is a hoot Geni!! And these muffins are awesome!! Yes, they are and they look so great with the mixed toppings on them! I’ll be making up a batch of these this weekend for sure. My daughter is stopping back home again for the weekend so she will be very surprised….healthy and good muffins!!

  21. These sound like the perfect treaty to enjoy while I’m cutting back on my gluttonous. 😉

  22. Oh Geni, you are too funny! Ooh, I like your dark side, bringing treats to the wiegh in! You are good! lol
    Your husband and dad are hilarious too! If it makes you feel better I had a mediocre day with my eating, I ate healthy but ate too much of my cracker cookie I’ll be posting later today! I guess you can say I’m having a mediocre day!

    Your muffins sound wonderful, nothing mediocre about them. I’ll be baking this weekend and I’ll add this to my list. My boys love homemade muffins!
    Thanks for the mention! 🙂

  23. I love the look and the sound of your wonderful muffins. What a great recipe. They must be so full of flavour.

  24. You are so funny! The muffins look really good. I am a huge fan of blueberry muffins.

  25. These look awesome Geni, I need some new muffin recipes using “healthier” ingredients, so thanks for sharing 🙂

  26. I know what you mean about second guessing and perfection..It is something I too suffer from and wish to stop doing..granted it is good in some aspects of life but it is a pain in all the rest
    Those muffins on the other hand are pure good 🙂

  27. These sound delicious and right up my alley. Healthy CAN be good for you! I really need to share my favorite whole-wheat apple muffin recipe sometime soon. I bet you would love them too!

  28. Yay! See, muffins are healthy! It’s only the store bought ones that end up toppling the 400 odd calories make, home made ones are never that bad (I actually don’t even know how starbucks manage to fit 400 calories in one muffin). And I’m with you. I think I need to learn to be a bit more mediocre in life. But if it makes you feel better I don’t think you’re a mediocre blogger, all you posts are top notch!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s