Sunday, February 5, 2012

Light Pear Muffins

Most of the recipes I post on this blog are pretty healthy, but these delicious muffins are really healthy.  The only sources of fat and cholesterol are three egg whites and a half cup of skim milk (and a smidge from the ground flaxseed)... no oil, no butter, no yolks.  There's also no added sugar.  Rather, they're sweetened with pear/applesauce and honey.  And since the whipped egg whites are folded in during the last step, the texture is a bit lighter than usual.  These moist muffins make great breakfast or snack food, especially with a little low fat cream cheese spread on top.

Southern Spoon Blog: Light Pear Muffins
light pear muffins: moist, healthy, and pefectly spiced

This recipe is adapted from Tea & Cookies, originally from Sophie Dahl.  I made a few changes, including using half a cup of pear puree (one little baby food jar) and half a cup of smooth applesauce (I'll just use all applesauce next time), and drastically cutting the honey from the original 3/4 cup to just a 1/4 cup.  They are still plenty sweet for my taste.  I had enough batter for a dozen plus six mini muffins (baked the mini muffins for just about 11 minutes).  Make some soon, and keep a few in the freezer for a quick-fix snack (defrosting in the microwave at about 80% power for 1.5 minute intervals till warmed through).

Light Pear Muffins
makes a baker's dozen (or a dozen plus a few mini muffins)

3/4 cups plain flour
3/4 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
pinch of ground sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
dash of allspice
1/2 cup skim milk (or almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, etc for dairy-free)
1 cup pear puree or applesauce (or combination of both)
1/2 cup honey
3 egg whites
1 pear, peeled and cut into chunks (I saved 12 thin half-slices for the tops)
1/2 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 375F/190C, and line a 12-cup muffin tin with muffin liners or parchment paper (or a light spray of oil and dusting of flour).  You may have a bit of extra batter... line a few mini muffin cups or one cup in another muffin tray if necessary.

Thoroughly whisk the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and make a well in the centre.  In a separate bowl (or a pyrex measuring cup), mix the milk, pear/applesauce, and honey.

Whisk the 3 egg whites in a medium sized bowl until they are slightly foamy.

Pour the milk/applesauce mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk just a few times until barely incorporated.  Add the chopped pear and raisins, stirring just a few times.  Fold in the egg whites only a few times, until just incorporated.

Spoon batter evenly into the muffin tin, topping each muffin with a thin sliver of pear, if desired.

Bake at 375F/190C for 23-25 minutes, until tops are just starting to turn golden brown and the top of a muffins springs back when touched.  Enjoy as they are, or split and spread with low fat cream cheese.

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