Sunday, September 28, 2008

Ginger-Pear Bran Muffins

I've made 2 batches of these and I can't go on until I share them. The recipe comes originally from Foodie Farm Girl and the recipe is here: 100% Whole Grain Ginger Pear Muffins

There are few recipes where I don't have to change anything...this is one of them. Be generous with your pears is my advice! Serve warm with lots of melted butter, for vitamin and nutrient absorption of course!
I freeze about half the batch and pull a muffin out when I want one and warm it under the oven broiler. Fresh muffins in minutes!

Here is the link to the recipe from foodie farm girl: http://foodiefarmgirl.blogspot.com/2008/01/100-whole-grain-ginger-pear-bran.html

Ginger Pear Bran Muffin Recipe
Makes about 12 large muffins

Did you and your loved ones resolve to eat healthier and add more whole grains and fiber to your diet this year? Then this recipe is just what you need. Nobody will ever guess that these moist and flavorful muffins are so good for them. They contain no processed sugar (although there is some in the candied ginger) and are made with 100% whole grains, including hefty portions of both soluble (wheat bran) and insoluble (oat bran) fiber. Whip up a batch before you go to bed because they taste even better the next day.

Last year I discovered small bags of something called uncrystallized candied ginger in the dried fruit aisle at Trader Joe's. It was love at first bite. The little chunks have a smoother texture than crystallized candied ginger, and they taste like ginger rather than sugar. This is actually the first time I've used any in a recipe; they're so good that usually I just munch on them straight from the bag. (They taste great with roasted and salted almonds, too--something I learned from my mother.) I'm sure crystallized candied ginger would work fine in this recipe, but if you love the flavor of ginger this stuff is definitely worth seeking out.

As always, I urge you to use local and organic ingredients whenever possible. Organic wheat bran, oat bran, and whole wheat flour are a bargain in the bulk bins at natural food stores.

2 cups (3oz/86g) wheat bran
1 cup (5oz/141g) oat bran
1 cup (6oz/170g) whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons (12g) baking soda
1 teaspoon (6g) baking powder (make sure it's fresh!)
1/2 teaspoon (4g) salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup (5-1/2oz/156g) yogurt (nothing beats homemade)
1/3 cup (2-1/4oz/65g) melted butter or coconut oil
2/3 cup (7-1/2 oz/216g) honey
1 teaspoon (6g) vanilla extract (optional)
2 cups peeled & mashed very ripe pears (about 3 pears or 17 oz) or 2 15-oz cans of pears, drained and mashed + 1/3 cup of the pear syrup
1/2 cup finely chopped candied ginger, preferably uncrystallized

Place oven rack in middle of oven and heat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a standard size muffin pan or line cups with paper liners (which makes cleaning up a breeze).

Combine wheat bran, oat bran, whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and set aside. Combine eggs, yogurt, butter/oil, honey, and vanilla in a small bowl and mix well. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula just until combined.

Gently stir in the pears and candied ginger.

Generously fill muffin cups with batter. (I use a large stainless steel scoop, sometimes called a disher. These are also great for portioning out cookie dough and making perfectly shaped cookies.) Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 to 28 minutes. Cool muffins in pan for 10 to 15 minutes, then carefully remove from pan and serve warm, or let cool on a wire rack.

Store muffins in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze. Defrost muffins at room temperature, or in the microwave if you're really in a hurry.

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