Sunday, October 11, 2009

Pear Berry-Jam Muffins

I know that fall is synonymous with apples, but pears are really the fruit that has always done it for me. Since they aren't grown locally, their season is sort of muddled, but now is when they're on sale, and now is when Trader Joe's sells a 1/2 peck of them for a few dollars. That, in my pear-loving book, is a deal.

I mostly like my pears unadulterated. Yes, a baked pear is nice, and they could be a nice addition to a salad, but for the most part, I just bite right in.

For this particular 1/2 peck of pears, I made an exception, and modified the Jam-Filled Oat Bran Muffins in Joy of Vegan Baking to include some of these perfectly ripened pieces of fruit.

Pear Berry-Jam Muffins (modified from JoVB)
2 Tbsp ground flaxseed
6 Tbsp water
2 cups oat bran
1 cup spelt flour (could sub any other flour, AP or WW, etc)
1/2 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cup unsweetened soymilk
1/3 cup sunflower oil (use any light oil)
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups chopped pears
1/2 cup blackberry preserves

I've been on a Trader Joe's 'kick' recently (I love the Chili-Lime cashews), and have been buying more and more stuff from them. One of my recent purchases was of my most favorite kind of jelly/jam/preserve, blackberry.

The fact that its low(er) in sugar makes it even better. The lack of sugar is definitely noticeable, but it actually lets the taste of the blackberry peek through a little more. I felt this would pair with my pears perfectly; the deep purple next to the light green is a beautiful contrast, tastes good.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
Whip the flaxseed and water to make your "flax egg" (I like to use a mini-food processor or my Magic Bullet for this job)
In a large bowl combine all the dry ingredients (even the sugar!): flour, oat bran, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt.
In a small bowl combine the wet: milk, vanilla, oil, flax "egg" mixture.
Stir the pears into the wet mixture, then combine wet with dry, stirring until just combined.

Take out your muffin tins and either grease or apply muffin cups.
Fill cups halfway with muffin batter.
Using a 1/2 tsp, scoop out a dollop of jam (about 1 tsp).
Nestle the jam in the batter, then cover the jam with another spoonful of batter.
Bake 15-20 minutes. I took mine out around 18 minutes.

These came out completely perfectly. Little chunks of pear in a muffin that is warm with whole grain nuttiness from the oat bran, and then the jam...who doesn't like something filled with jam?
If you want to get crazy, these probably wouldn't mind being highlighted with some walnuts too, nuts in muffins just aren't my thing.

I made a half batch of these, and I came out with about 9 muffins. So plan for 16-18.
Nutrition Information: 158.7 Calories; 5.5g Total Fat; 0.5g Saturated Fat; 0.0mg Cholesterol; 24.2g Carbohydrates; 3.5g Fiber; 3.4g Protein.

If anyone is wondering about the sporadic-ness of the nutrition information, that is because while I don't count calories, I liked to calculate in the past to highlight how healthy vegan food is. I don't necessarily have the time for that now, but if I do have time, or if I'm curious myself (as I was for these), I'll post it! And if there is anything where I don't post it, and YOU are curious, let me know, I'd be more than happy to calculate for you!

One last thing...Bianca posted about this the other day, and while I assume I must be the last to know, maybe this will light up someone else's life as it did mine...

Skittles are vegan! This makes me incredibly happy, as they were always one of my favorites (back in high school, I logged onto their website everyday at work to vote to keep the green lime, and not apple). If you buy a pack now, you'll see under the ingredients that they are Gluten Free and Gelatin Free. Pretty cool. Healthy? No. Fake fruit flavored sugary goodness? Yes. Granted, they're a "once in awhile" food, but its nice to know they're there, and they're animal-free.

Enjoy the rest of your Columbus Day weekend! Hopefully you have some festivals to go to, fall is in full swing!


  1. yum! good idea to use the pears!
    pears + blackberries..what a fun combo!

  2. Regarding your comment on my blog, I like chunky granola too! It HAS to have chunks of stuff, like nuts, walnuts, almonds, sometimes chocolate I guess :)

    The muffins look incredible. And I'm mad I didn't get pears at Trader Joe's today when I went. I bought a bunch of apples though! I also purchased the same reduced sugar preserves, but in blueberry. I noticed it definitely tastes "low sugar" but it's great and I love the chunks of real blueberry!

  3. Great idea to add fruit to those muffins. I found them a bit heavy when we made them, and some diced pear is probably the perfect solution.

  4. Oooooh, these look great. I love the idea of adding pears. My boyfriend is a big ol pear fan, so I think I'll make these for him. Thanks for a great idea!

  5. I love that I can see the chunks of pear in those muffins. Looks so good!

  6. mmm those muffins look delish, I love TJ's! I just found your blog and am very happy I did! I am striving for health and yummy eats too! check out my blog

  7. oooo - i'm diggin' that flavour combination (i'm trying to imagine it in my mouth right now).

    pears are pretty underused. nice work!

  8. I tried pears in my oatmeal the other day and it was awesome!!! They almost fell apart in the heat and were close to an applesauce texture... rad! Im thinking the muffin train will have to be ridden next... that is, after my next pan-creation is put to the test!

    I just realized Reeses Pieces are VEGAN!!!! Again, not the healthiest thing in the world, but halloween is here and they are SOOO needed.

  9. Yeah, pear + blackberry = awesome!

    I love the Reese's tip too...another fav, that's some good news :)

  10. No pressure, but you know I just love the calorie info :)

  11. Ooh those muffins look so tasty! Love the idea of the flavour combo and having a jam 'surprise' in the middle.

  12. Gauri Radha गौरी राधाMay 6, 2011 at 11:16 PM

    The pear muffins look good!
    And Skittles and Reeses Pieces are vegan?!! I had no idea!!!!! Best news I've heard all week if it's true :D