I had had this recipe for years but never tried it. Probably because when I’m baking healthily, I always tend to make cherry protein muffins. And when I’m baking, err, normally (lol) then I either make banana-strawberry muffins or banana bread. I’m a creature of habit, what can I say. So I went through this list of recipes for inspiration and inspiration struck indeed. Although the mixture of ingredients in these muffins are very unusual, I gave it a go anyway. I have to say I’ve never baked with pear because it’s not exactly a bakeable food, it doesn’t melt, it doesn’t mush, it’s just pear. 😊
The outcome was definitely edible (I know, you’re thinking: “Well, better not waste my time then.” – it’s not that, they’re very nice!) but I would like to propose some changes for an improved outcome.
Firstly, the recipe didn’t have any mention of baking soda/powder used (and that’s a must if you want lovely fluffy baked goodies) but I thought I’d ignore my urge to add some as it was in a “diet manual” if you will, so I stuck to it to see what would happen. So I’m definitely going to advise you to use the standard amount of 1/4 tsp baking soda OR up to 1,5 tsp of baking powder because I would have wanted my muffins to be a bit fluffier.
Secondly, they used 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1 cup all purpose flour (also, this is an American recipe, so we’re talking US cups not UK cups). I substituted whole wheat for spelt (which I used to love using for healthy bakes), but in hindsight don’t recommend it since it made the muffins more dense than fluffy (and, again, the lack of baking powder didn’t help here either.) So if you don’t have whole wheat flour, just use 2 cups of regular flour – problem solved. (Don’t worry, I won’t call the gluten police.) 😄
Thirdly, the granola part can be a slippery slope as it is very energy dense already on its own, so adding that to anything can add a lot of calories easily. I would encourage you to log every ingredient used as different products have different nutritional values and can blow your calorie budget. The best option here would be to substitute granola for Scottish rolled oats – no sugar, nuts or raisins but you get a bit of extra protein! I would also like to add that you can use less pear OR chop it more finely than I did. Otherwise you’ll have big mouthfuls of pear – lovely flavours but more like a mini pie than muffin. 😄
So, my revised recipe would look like this:
3/4 cup canned pear nectar
2 egg whites
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp grated lemon peel
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar OR Stevia
1/2 cup granola OR Scottish oats
1,5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg (can omit)
1/2 tsp salt
1.25 cups cored, chopped pear
1. Preheat oven to 180° C. Prepare the muffin tray by greasing and flouring 10 cups or lining with paper liners.
2. Whisk together first five ingredients in a large bowl.
3. In separate medium bowl, mix both flours and sugar/Stevia. Add in granola, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. Fold in chopped pears.
4. Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients until blended (batter will be thick). Divide between muffin cups.
5. Bake until golden brown and tester inserted into centre comes out clean (about 20 minutes).
Transfer muffins to rack and cool.
Do let me know if you make them and tell me what you think! I do like the flavours a lot as they’re so unusual and I have to say, the muffins were very filling. But I want you to remember that even when we use healthier ingredients, calories are still calories and no, we can’t eat all the muffins in one go. (I know, it’s tempting.) One muffin has 227kcal, 43g carbs and 5g fat – it can complement your protein+veg lunch or dinner or you can have it as a post-workout treat as that’s when your muscles crave carbs. I actually had two warm muffins (I’m only human! 😊) for dinner and drank a glass of milk and it was so lovely.