Friday, March 2, 2012

Pear Walnut Muffin

Everyday I wake in the morning with a will power to stay on a healthy diet. So Sundar keeps couple of fruits, some raw vegetables, and nuts for the snacks. So, I keep saying to myself to have them during those craving time. But somehow, the chips or the breads, cream cheese overtake and rule over the fruits in my body. Does this happen to everyone, I ask myself. well, may be! Then mind goes in eating those lousy chips saying, its OK for a day.Although, my pantry is filled with quite a many healthy things, they have some chips and cheesy stuffs clinging around the corners. It is hard to eat healthy food during your cravings. So it is better to keep the healthy foods on the dining table with a glass of water, so we try to reach out and have these.
My muffins are a result to my cravings. I wanted to replace them a highly healthy snack.

"Satisfaction from mindless craving lasts only the first 5-10 minutes (that is until you start feeling full) but the satisfaction and contentment from eating the nutritious foods is for LIFE!"
The egg was replaced only to pave way for flaxseeds to boost omega-3 fatty acids in these muffins. Some Oat bran went it to increase metabolism and lower bad cholesterol. Wheat provides fiber additionally along with Oat bran.  The Phytonutrients, Vitamin E and Omega 3 fatty acids in walnuts makes them a beneficial addition. Vitamin C, Potassium and additional Fiber come from Pears.  For all the wholesome nutrition that this provides and the way its heartiness makes it so filling.

Pear Walnut Muffin
(Print this Recipe)

You need

1 cups All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup Oat Bran (see Tips)
1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour (see Tips)
2/3 cup Dark Brown Sugar (see Tips)
1 Tbsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp ground Cinnamon
1-1/4 cups finely chopped ripe but firm Pears (about 2 to 3 medium pears)
1/3 cup coarsely chopped Walnuts
3/4 cup Oat milk, vanilla flavored (see Tips)
2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 tbsp Flax seed
Decorating Sugar/regular white for sprinkling (optional)

1. Oat bran: You can also use Wheat bran for this. Or try Wheat Germ. If you do not have them, then replace it with all purpose flour.
2. Whole Wheat Flour: if you do NOT prefer the taste of earthy wheat in your baked goods, then use Whole Wheat Pastry flour or Chapathi Flour instead of whole wheat. The taste of wheat then will be milder than whole wheat (but less nutrition) or use all purpose flour instead (no nutrition).

3. Oat Milk: Use regular milk (low fat/fat free) instead if you do NOT prefer Oat milk. Or soak oats in water overnight and grind. Strain in a fine mesh to get the milk.

Preheat oven to 400F. Line and coat 12 standard muffin pan cups with cooking spray. Spraying the liners makes peeling them off  easier from the muffins. I have the smallest muffin pans, which gave me 24 mini muffins. This is another way to eat less

Toast the walnuts until aromatic. Takes around 6-8 minutes. You can either use an Oven at 350F for 5 -6 min or until lightly browned and fragrant. Or use Stove top to dry roast the same.

Take the flax-seed along with 4 tbsp. water and grind it until smooth. Set aside.

Combine both flours, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in medium bowl, and whisk to blend.

Add pears and walnuts,

and toss gently to coat.

In another bowl combine oat milk, oil and the flax-seed mixture; stir to blend.

Make well in flour mixture, and add milk mixture, stirring just until moist (dough will be sticky). Don't over-mix. This is the most important step for a muffin. Over mixing the batter will make the muffins hard.

Divide batter evenly among prepared cups.

Sprinkle tops with sugar. I used yellow decorating sugar for no particular reason except that I had them on hand and wanted to finish them off.

Bake 20 minutes, or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center.

Remove from pan, and cool on wire rack. The have a slightly crusty surface with lots of crunch from the walnuts in each bite. The pears are utterly soft and melting tender keeping the insides moist. The addition of bran makes these muffins chewy and hearty. You wouldn't even know that these had Oat milk in them. These have a slight earthiness to them thanks to whole wheat. Serve them warm/hot cos that's when they taste the best. These are great for breakfast too.


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