Vanilla Pear Muffins

These muffins came about due to the abundance of pears coming in from my parents’ trees.  They are easy, chock full of spices and fruit, and I used a couple of alternative baking swaps like coconut oil and coconut sugar.

I simply swapped the 1/2 of cooking oil for 1/2 cup of coconut oil.  Coconut oil is great – it can be a solid or a liquid and easily replaces other nut and vegetable oils.  Even with all the recent health claims about coconut oil curing diseases, warding off bacteria, and being more heart healthy than other oils, remember it is still an oil, and limiting oil intake is still a smart idea.

I also swapped out the 1/2 cup white refined sugar for 1/2 cup coconut sugar.  Again, this coconut sugar is still a sugar, and while it does retain more of the nutrients from coconut such as zinc, iron, potassium, and calcium, you’d still receive more benefits from eating just the pears shown below.  Also, if you use Truvia Stevia, check out this article.

Bottom line: baking sweets with alternatives is still baking sweets.

I used 5 very ripe pears – the bruising is not a problem at all.  Just cut away the parts not needed, peel, dice, and use.

The batter of this muffin mix is very thick.  The addition of the pears will create some extra juices.  Whenever I add fruit to my baking, I always add a little more time on to the baking time to avoid those pockets of uncooked dough.

In other news, we moved Greta’s vintage school table from the upstairs playroom down to the dining room.  This created a perfect arts space for her, and she is perfectly happy to sit down and work on a painting or drawing on her own terms.  Often now, while I am making dinner, she will tell me, “Getta draw!”

Low-Sugar Vanilla Pear Muffins – makes 14 standard size muffins.  Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Muffins.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease or line 14 standard size muffin cups; fill unused cups 1/3 of the way with water to prevent warping.

2. In a bowl, stir together 2 cups flour, 1/2 cup coconut sugar, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon salt.

3. In another bowl, whisk together 2 eggs, 1/2 cup (warmed, if you house is cold) coconut oil, 3/4 cup buttermilk (made of almond milk), and 2 teaspoons vanilla.  Make a well in the dry ingredients, add liquid ingredients in a few swift strokes.  Do not over mix, batter should be lumpy.

4. Peel, core, and chop 4 – 5 ripe pears.  Fold into batter gently.

5.  Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups until level with rim.  Mix topping: 2 tablespoons coconut sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, stir well.   Sprinkle topping over batter.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden, dry, and springy to the touch.  Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove.

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