Tag Archives: Muffins

Fresh Pear and Fig Muffins – and Sugar Free Too

Pear Fig MuffinsHello, everyone! I hope that you are enjoying a beautiful day. The weather forecast predicted clouds and rain yet we have sun and a warm temperature. I am keeping myself busy with a bit of baking rather than thinking of decreasing my estimates for GDP growth due to the federal government shutdown.

Early fall is a good time to use fresh pears and the last of the season of fresh figs. If you can’t find fresh figs in the grocery store, a dried version will also be good in this recipe. If you prefer an alternate dried fruit, apricots or raisins would work well too. My inspiration was Five and Spice’s version of Pear and Fig Morning Muffins since the pictures looked delicious. I substituted the all purpose flour with a combination of whole wheat and oat, swapped the butter with canola oil, added some cinnamon, and used plain yogurt instead of buttermilk. Yes, these ingredients worked out very well together. Hopefully our federal legislators will work together soon too.

If you have not yet answered my current survey, please do since economists really thrive on analyzing survey results. Just visit my homepage and in two clicks you can provide an opinion to your favorite way of enjoying apples and pears, along with seeing the current tally of results. Thanks!

Ingredients:
4 Tbs. canola oil
1/3 cup figs, finely chopped (either fresh or dried)
1 small-medium pear, ripe but still firm, finely chopped
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup oat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 Tbs. honey
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 egg yolk, at room temperature
1 cup plus 2 Tbs. yogurt

Preparation:
Preheat your oven to 400F.

In a small-medium bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cardamom, and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a medium-large mixing bowl whisk together the honey, egg, and egg yolk for a couple of minutes, until the color lightens. Then whisk in the canola oil until well combined. Finally whisk in the yogurt.

Pour in the dry ingredients and stir together with a wooden spoon. Add the chopped fruits on top of the batter. Stir just enough to mix it in, then stop.

Use 2 spoons to drop heaping spoonfuls of batter into the lined muffin tins.

Bake for about 20 minutes, until golden on top and a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean. Makes 12 muffins.

Spiced (and Sugar Free) Banana Nut Muffins

SpicedBananaNutGood day, everyone! I hope you are having a nice week. I have been busy at work, including enjoying a fun project – estimating the economic impact due to the arrival of the royal baby. Analysts expect that this economic impact in the U.K. will be higher than those measured due to the royal wedding or the Queen’s diamond jubilee events because there are no public holidays scheduled, which closed financial markets and establishments, and reduced retail spending. It is estimated that the U.K. should see about a $400 million bump to the economy this summer. The largest boosts will be in industries related to food and drink as well as memorabilia. I know I did my part to stimulate the U.S. economy by buying refreshments for a Royal Baby (Sugar Free) Cupcake Party at my office this week!

In case you are inclined to host your own Royal Baby Tea in the near future – Newman’s Own sells a delicious Royal Tea in a variety of flavors. Scones are delicious and a good idea to include at a Tea – I have recipes online for Millet Raisin, Pear and Oat, and Banana Berry. Muffins can also be a nice addition to a party, and below is a recipe for Spiced Banana Walnut Muffins that I adapted from a July 2009 issue of Oprah Magazine. I substituted the sugar with maple syrup, added brown rice flour in order to reduce the gluten content, and removed the butter by adding canola oil. The result is a light and moist muffin with a unique combination of flavors. For additional spice, add another 1/2 teaspoon of cardamom.

Ingredients
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup canola oil
3 very ripe mashed bananas
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp. orange zest
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Preparation
Preheat oven to 350°. Line muffin tins with paper liners or grease well; set aside.

Put flours, baking soda, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt into a large bowl; set aside. Put maple syrup and oil into a second large bowl and mix until well combined. Add bananas, applesauce, zest, vanilla, and eggs to the syrup-oil mixture, and mix again until combined. Add flour mixture to banana mixture in three parts, stirring well after each addition; fold in walnuts.

Spoon batter into prepared tins; bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

(Gluten and Refined Sugar Free) Cinnamon Raisin Muffins

cinnamon raisin muffinsGood day everyone! Since I had some extra garbanzo bean flour in my cupboard, I decided to figure out how to use it. I found a delightful recipe for chocolate chip muffins that used that type of flour, and I decided to change it a bit so that I would make cinnamon raisin muffins. The result was a beautiful, golden-brown muffin that tastes great…and is free of gluten and refined sugar too!

Ingredients
1 cup garbanzo bean flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp cinnamon
½ cup coconut palm sugar
⅓ cup milk (almond milk for a dairy free option)
2 eggs
2 tbsp grapeseed (or canola) oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
⅔ cup raisins
3 tbsp gluten-free granola, optional

Preparation
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a 12 cup muffin pan with muffin liners. Set aside.

Combine dry ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. Whisk wet ingredients together in a large bowl. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix until incorporated. Fold in raisins.

Divide muffin batter into prepared muffin cups and sprinkle the tops of the muffins with granola, if desired. Bake in preheated oven for 20-22 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

PS: For my friends who receive my blog posts via email, I apologize for the previous email. My keyboard commands recently changed and I posted a blog rather than making a word have a bold font. Whoops!

I am sharing my recipe at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, Cybele Pascal Allergy-Friendly Cook, and Food Trip Friday.

Minding the Vitamix – Part 3: Strawberry Almond Muffins

strawberry almond muffinsThe alternate title for this blog post is: Whose blender is this again?

While MIL and FIL enjoyed their vacation, I wanted to make the most of the time I had with their new Vitamix blender. Now that I had sampled turnip soup and hummus, I decided that it would be fun to try making something that required blended fruit. I found a recipe for Strawberry Yogurt Muffins that sounded quite delicious. I made a few changes, altering the flours used and switching the white sugar with maple syrup and the brown sugar with coconut sugar. Canola oil replaced the butter. If you do not want to make a strawberry puree in the blender, just chop up the strawberries very finely.

Sometime while I was developing this recipe, a change in my thinking occurred. I mentioned to SensitiveHusband that I would puree the strawberries in “my Vitamix.” Whoops – I actually referred to the Vitamix blender as mine! It’s easy to get attached to such a useful machine. Who would have thought such a thing could happen?

Ingredients:
¾ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup oat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup maple syrup
½ cup fat-free plain yogurt
¼ cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup strawberry puree (by blending about 1¼ cups fresh strawberries)
½ cup coarsely chopped fresh strawberries
1-2 tablespoons coconut sugar
¼ cup toasted almonds, finely chopped

Preparation:
In a small bowl combine flours, baking soda and nutmeg. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, maple syrup, yogurt, oil and vanilla. Stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in strawberry puree.

Fill muffin cups lined with paper liners two-thirds full. Top with coconut sugar, chopped strawberries and almonds.

Bake at 375° for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan.

I am sharing my recipe with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free.

Pumpkin Muffins

snowHi everyone! I hope that you are having a good weekend. Mine has been snowy. SensitiveHusband and I got out the tape measure yesterday and noted that there was three feet of frozen precipitation on the ground…and on the sidewalks…and in the roads…and on our cars. This picture shows our two cars under mounds of snow. Yes, they really are under there!

So SensitiveHusband and I made a deal – he would shovel and I would bake. I know I got the better end of the deal, for sure! I decided to try my hand at a muffin. I don’t make them very often, and I thought that would be a nice snack whenever SensitiveHusband felt like taking a break from his snowy project. I found a nice recipe from Dr. Oz for Pumpkin Muffins that already called for a natural sweetener (I used maple syrup) and did not use any butter or dairy. The recipe was made moist by the pumpkin and applesauce. I reduced the amount of maple syrup used and substituted some of the whole wheat flour with oat flour (for lighter texture and lower gluten).

pumpkin muffinsAs soon as the muffins came out of the oven, SensitiveHusband was back in the house to warm up with a cup of tea and fresh muffin. We both agreed that they were delicious and that the other neighbors shoveling would probably enjoy them too. After my snack I suited up in a parka and boots, with a plate of warm muffins in hand so my neighbors could have a pick-me-up while moving all of that snow. These muffins use only two bowls to prepare, and are neighborhood approved.

The recipe below will yield approximately 15 muffins. If you want to use the whole can of pumpkin, double the recipe and give the extras to your neighbors.

Ingredients
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup oat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1/2 (15-oz) can pumpkin puree
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

Directions
Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Whisk together the flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk the maple syrup, oil, eggs, pumpkin puree, and applesauce. Add in the dry ingredients and fold with a spatula until the dry ingredients have been absorbed. Place in muffin tins and bake 20 to 25 minutes.

Recipe Appreciation & MaryAnn’s Gluten- and Sugar-Free Muffins

Later this week I will celebrate one year with this blog! I have learned so much about food during the past twelve months including many new, delicious recipes from a number of family members, friends, colleagues and blog writers. So many of you have taken the time to adapt your favorite foods to be free of yeast and refined sugar, and have shared your results with me. I appreciate your help tremendously! A sample of the wonderful contributors to this blog so far include:

–MIL and FIL have shared Garlic Shrimp with Pasta, Apple Pie, Pumpkin Pie, Peach Ice Cream and Apple and Raisin Stuffing
–A tasty Spinach Gratin from Rachel
–Refreshing Salad Dressing from Natalie
–Healthy Baked Squash, Popovers and Mashed Cauliflower Potatoes from Bree
Homemade Yogurt from Leslie and Rick that’s a great idea
–Bill’s creative Triple Nut Mix
–Wonderful Oatmeal Pancakes from Beth
–SensitiveHusband made delicious Peanut Butter Cups and Agave Chocolate Milk
–MaryAnn created some excellent Oat Bran Muffins

Thank you for all of your efforts and ideas…I appreciate you tapping into your “sensitive” side to create delicious yeast-free, refined sugar-free food!

Let’s celebrate a year of collaborating with a recipe: MaryAnn has created another great muffin and this time it is gluten- and sugar-free. You can get creative with the fruit additions to this tasty treat.

Ingredients:
–1 1/4 cup Pamela’s Muffin Mix (this is a gluten-free flour blend)
–1/4 cup water
–1/3 cup honey
–1 large egg
–1 teaspoon vanilla
–1/2 cup fruit (such as bananas or blueberries) OR 1/2 cup dried fruit (such as raisins) with 1/4 additional cup of water

Preparation:

–Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
–Grease muffin pan.
–Mix all of the ingredients together.
–Pour batter into muffin pan and bake for 18-20 minutes.
–Yields 6 muffins.

I am sharing this recipe with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free and Food Trip Friday.

MaryAnn’s Blueberry Oat Bran Muffins

This blog post is contributed by MaryAnn of Oatmeal Bread fame. MaryAnn baked the muffins using the original recipe with cane sugar and then tried a version with agave nectar and some other revisions.

After baking the already healthy (and delicious) blueberry oat bran muffins courtesy of the blog Chocolate & Zucchini a couple of times with regular granulated sugar I decided to try them out with agave. I had never baked with agave before, so I had no idea how they would come out – I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised!  The first thing that I noticed was the difference in the batter – it thinned it out a little bit, which I actually found to be a good thing because the batter is quite thick and heavy (probably partially to do with the fact that I am using Greek yogurt, which is far thicker than regular yogurt). The original version of the muffin is not overly sweet, so I decided to do a 1 for 1 swap of the sugar and agave, and it turned out perfectly – my husband said he didn’t notice a difference in the taste what so ever. I thought that the taste was slightly less sweet, but in a very subtle way, and that the texture was a bit lighter, but overall they tasted very similar and baked up beautifully. This will be a recipe that I will be using often and can feel good about eating. Next time I might have to bake a double batch because they don’t last very long in our house!

Blueberry Oat Bran Muffins
– 1 cup oat bran
– 1 cup flour (I used whole wheat)
– 1 teaspoon baking powder
– 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
– a good pinch salt
– 1/2 cup agave nectar
– 1 cup blueberries
– 1 cup plain yogurt (I used plain/fat free Greek yogurt)
– 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
– 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
– 2 eggs, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 360°F (I lowered the temp by 25 degrees because I had read that agave browns faster than regular sugar, so the bake time was a little longer – I think in my oven it ended up being about 19 minutes) and grease a 12-muffin tray really well.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the bran, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt until no lumps remain. Add the blueberries and toss gently to combine.

In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, oil, vanilla, eggs and agave. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients, and fold it in gently with a spatula until no trace of flour remains. The mixture will be lumpy, but resist overmixing.

Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tray, filling each muffin mold by about three quarters. Bake for 12 to 16 minutes (possibly longer if using lower temperature) until set and golden. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. Makes 12 muffins.

This recipe is also being shared with Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, Food Trip Friday http://www.foodtripfriday.net/ and This Chick Cooks and The Lady Behind the Curtain.