Whole Wheat Pear Muffins
I’ve never been the best baker. I like to think that it’s because of my lack of skill when it comes to all things science. I got a D in chemistry in high school. Sometimes I wonder, if they’d told me how much I would care about science when I grew up, or if someone had shown me science in action, in the form of different baked goods, if it would have clicked. Maybe not, but I wonder.
So I’m slowly learning about baking. I’m a kinesthetic learner – I learn by doing, so it’s taking some trial and error to figure things out. What comes the most naturally to me when cooking is figuring things out as I go; recipes used for inspiration more than direction. That doesn’t really work with baking. But, I guess I’m learning, because these muffins did.
It helps that I know what the batter should look and feel like. The more I bake the more I know about doughs and batters and the like.
The stars of this recipe are Asian pears and figs, but any seasonal fruit will do: apples, berries, cherries, persimmons… Use what you love and what you have on hand.
There are also carrots, but you could use parsnips or summer squash in their place.
I used whole wheat flour and butter. But, of course, adapt it to suit your family’s needs. You could try a gluten-free flour blend if you’d like, or to make it vegan, use cold coconut oil and substitute flax seeds and water for the egg.
I love Burroughs Family Farms’ eggs, so that’s what I used today. The yolks are always the most brilliant golden yellow. I just can’t get enough!
I’m pretty picky about what I eat when it comes to sugar. I’m ok with the occasional treat, but in general, I avoid refined white sugar like the plague. Instead I like to use honey and maple syrup. Combine that with the oats, whole wheat flour, vegetable, and fruit that these muffins contain, and I feel great about them for breakfast, lunch, or a satisfying snack.
I was totally going to add chocolate chips. I even had them out on the counter. Then I forgot. Add ’em if you’d like. You could also add nuts. I’m not crazy about them in baked goods. But, to bump up the protein, or just because you like them, you could add some almonds or walnuts either to the batter, or gently press them into the top before baking.
I enjoyed these with some homemade butter. They’d been cooling for a little while when I finally got a taste, but were still warm enough to melt the butter just slightly. But even without butter (which is how I ate my second one), they’re absolutely delicious.
- 1 C whole wheat flour
- 1/4 t salt
- 1/2 t baking powder
- 1/2 t baking soda
- 1/4 t cinnamon
- 1/4 t ginger
- 1/2 C cold butter (or coconut oil), cut into small chunks
- 1 C oats
- 3/4 C any of the following: Asian pears, pears, apples, parsnips, carrots, squash, persimmons, (grated)
- 1/2 C any of the following: figs, berries, cherries (pits removed), chopped
- 1/4 C honey (or maple syrup)
- 1/4 C maple syrup
- 1 egg (or use ground up flaxseeds and water)
- 1 t apple cider vinegar
- 1 t vanilla extract
- (optional: almonds or walnuts, chopped, for topping)
- Position the rack in the center of the oven and pre-heat to 350F.
- Whisk flour through ginger. Mix in butter with a pastry blender or hands until coarse meal or small (pea sized) chunks remain. Stir in oats through fruit. Set in the freezer while you assemble the wet ingredients.
- In a separate bowl whisk honey through vanilla. Add to dry ingredients and stir to combine.
- Scoop about 3T of batter into each compartment of a greased muffin pan (should yield 1 dozen). Top with nuts if desired, pressing them gently into the batter. Bake for about 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and the center of the muffin springs back when touched.
- Remove from the oven and cool for about 5 minutes in the pan. Transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely.