I feel like muffins are often either a) like sugary cupcakes that are missing frosting (thank you, Costco!), or b) grainy, bran-filled cardboard missiles that need to be soaked in apple juice just to be digestible.
Yet muffins are the perfect on-the-go food.
My favorite muffins of all time are my mom’s ridiculously delicious orange muffins that use a whole orange (plus peel!) in the recipe. Why aren’t there more recipes like this, with real fruit as the base, not the sideshow?
I wanted to do something about it.
So here’s a recipe for whole pear and dried cherry muffins. There are three key elements:
- You use a blender to purée the pears as part of the wet ingredients.
- You soak the cherries in hot water to plump them up so they are nice and juicy in the muffins.
- Instead of sugar, the muffins are sweetened with the cherry water from the plumped-up cherries.
If you need more fat or sugar in the muffins, just slather them with butter and honey when you eat them. But I find them quite moist and delightful on their own.
Vegan note: To make this recipe vegan, substitute each egg with 3 tablespoons hot water mixed with 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed meal. Let the water & flax mixture sit for five minutes before incorporating into the recipe.
Whole Pear, Dried Cherry Blender Muffins
Makes 24 muffins
- 2 medium-sized whole pears, or apples, cored and cut into eighths
- 1 cup water
- 1 generous cup dried cherries
- 1 cup coconut oil, melted (you can substitute with butter, I imagine)
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
- 3.5 cups whole wheat flour (or 2.5 cups flour, 1 cup almond flour)
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
Now Do This
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat one cup water in the microwave or stovetop until steaming. Add in dried cherries.
Let cherries soak in hot water for about 5 minutes, or until water turns reddish when stirred, and cherries are visibly plumper.
Combine the wet ingredients (including whole pear or apple, and water from cherries) in a blender.
Blend on high until there are no chunks.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. When well mixed, pour in the wet ingredients and stir until combined. You may need a bit more flour. Add in cherries, and stir. Batter will have the consistency of thick pancake batter.
Scoop into muffin tins. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes, rotating and changing the position of the muffin pans halfway through cooking. Stick a toothpick in to check for doneness (when the toothpick comes out clean, they are ready).
Let me know how these go for you! I probably should have tested this recipe about 600 more times before sharing it, but I got excited…