Plant the seeds and they will grow… I am reminded of this saying as I was traveling through various apple and pumpkin orchards in the beautiful rolling hill countryside of Comstock Park, Michigan. One dewy and slightly cool yet humid morning our host Rose took Alex and I on a 7 mile road trip outside of downtown Grand Rapids to an orchard that she favored as a young girl where we were able to pick 1 peck of apples for only $7, from a variety of trees from Fuji (my all time favorite) to the deliciously mid western honey crisp. Alex followed along my trail with a professional camera capturing photos for my upcoming dessert book and nibbling apples along the trail. It was a dream come true, a real childhood fantasy of mine to have finally gone apple picking!
Speaking of dreams coming true and apples… a very big dream came true for Alex and I that I am thrilled to finally share with all of you dear readers, can you guess what it is?! Aside from me having a book publishing deal and Alex’s art being placed in a museum, which were huge dream come trues for us this year we feel as this one really takes the cake!
We’re overly joyed to announce that we have our very own “apple” growing inside of my “queasy bake oven” at this very moment. Yes, I refer to our unborn baby as an apple because as of this week as I am 16 weeks and our baby is about the size of an apple!
Funny thing is that my mother would always tell me “if you swallow the seeds of fruit you will grow that fruit in your belly”. Never really having taking her silly wifes tale to heart I can actually see some truth in it now. Ironically as of lately I have certainly eaten my fair share of apples and not just because I am in Michigan during apple season but because the only consistent craving I have had for the past three months from my little apple just happens to be apples. Perhaps we really are what we eat? Which would greatly explain why when I see really cute kids I always say “I want to eat them”, they just look so sweet and puffy like perfectly baked cute little muffins. Fear not dear reader, I always make sure to have a full stomach when hanging around ultra adorable kiddos.
Here’s hoping for a perfectly baked apple muffin due to arrive March 29. I look forward to taking you all along on the exciting and transformational journey with us here on this blog as I share recipes inspired by maternity, cravings, and as always love!
I’m well aware that it would only be appropriate to leave you all with an apple recipe however, we devoured so many of them this past week that I didn’t snap a photo. Instead I will share with you my baking masterpiece that I left behind as a gift to our gracious hosts a clementine and cranberry loaf with maple glazed pumpkin seeds and sliced almonds. Enjoy!
Remember to plant the seeds that you would like to see grow in your life and be sure to water them with trust, patience and love.
Xtina & her little apple muffin to be
- Dry ingredients:
- 1 cup gluten free all purpose baking mix
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 tsp vanilla bean
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 1tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp fine sea salt
- Zest of 2 clementines
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- Wet ingredients:
- 1 cup cultured almond milk yogurt
- 1 tsp sunflower oil
- Juice of 2 clementines
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp vanilla bean
- ½ cup pumpkin seeds
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- 1//8 cup maple syrup
- 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
- In a medium to large mixing bowl mix together the dry ingredients by hand or electric mixer until well combined.
- In a small bowl whisk together the wet ingredients
- Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients and mix until well incorporated
- Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and pour contents in the pan, evening out the top with an offset spatula.
- Bake for 40- 50 minutes or until cooked through (test using a toothpick.)
- While loaf is baking make the crunchy topping. Combine all topping ingredients in a bowl and stir gently until well coated. Line a flat pan with parchment paper or rub with coconut oil to prevent sticking. Pour the topping in the pan spreading to create a flat layer. Bake for 8 mins or until golden (flip halfway through). Remove topping and let cool completely.
- Allow loaf to cool for 8-10 minutes and add the topping.
- Optional: Serve with earth balance that has been whipped with maple syrup. enjoy!!