Happy (almost) Valentine’s Day! I honestly cannot believe how this year is getting away from me so quickly – and it’s only February! Pretty soon here AJ and I are going to have our own special love-day to celebrate, and then he will be stuck with me forever. Score!
These muffins aren’t exactly love or Valentine’s themed per se, other than the fact that your special someone will be oh-so-thankful that you made him/her some muffins to enjoy together. They are really very delicious, and rather healthy to boot. I was inspired to make these by a book I received at my bridal shower last weekend, Whole Grain Mornings by Megan Gordon. I haven’t really had much of a chance to read through the book yet, but I was on a mission to make some muffins (after AJ had been asking for them for, I don’t know, months) and this was the second book I pulled down. In it she has some delicious pear hazelnut muffins that were almost what I was looking for, but as per usual I couldn’t leave well enough alone.
In Megan’s recipe, she calls for eggs and cardamom, two things I’m not a fan of baking with. When I want eggs, I want them straight up, thanks. And cardamom is just too… I don’t know… different for me. I used to work at a coffee shop where we made a latte with cardamom on top and some people were all about it. Me? I tried it once or twice and decided that was enough for me, thanks. Maybe as I age my taste buds will mature and I’ll appreciate it more, but for now I’m going to stick with other spices. Like cinnamon! And ginger! These I love, and they definitely found themselves right at home in this recipe.
These are also a whopping 70% whole grain, which is amazing for your health. And they’re vegan muffins, which is always a bonus. And the grated pears? They add a really wonderful subtle sweetness that is just delightful. You won’t notice them texture-wise, which now that I think about it might have been nice. If you have some extra pears laying around that you wouldn’t mind using, chop one up a bit and stir it into the batter – I bet it would be great. The hazelnuts are also amazing. They are definitely my favorite nut right now – I’ve recently used them to make Hazelnut Pesto and Hazelnut and White Chocolate Cookies as well as a few other thing that haven’t made it to the blog. They’re just so tasty!
The other benefit of this recipe? It makes a baker’s dozen – 15 muffins to be exact. Or 12 muffins and 3 donuts. Or 15 donuts! This was the very first time I used my brand spanking new donut pan that I received from a good friend (and bridesmaid!) at my bridal shower. I am SO STOKED to have it, and can’t wait to make some deliciously unhealthy donuts in it. Nom Nom Nom.
I hope everyone has a great Valentine’s Day! XO
Whole Grain Pear Hazelnut Muffins (v)
A filling, slightly sweet whole grain muffin recipe made with grated pears and chopped hazelnuts.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 25 mins
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 15
- 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry four
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp allspice
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ginger
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp flax seed + 5 Tbsp water
- 6 Tbsb butter, melted, vegan or otherwise
- 2/3 cup turbanido sugar, or brown sugar
- 1 cup almond milk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 medium underripe pears
- 1 scant cup dry roasted hazelnuts, coarsely chopped
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF and grease a muffin or donut pan.
- Combine the flax seed and water in a small bowl and set aside.
- Combine the oats, flours, baking soda and baking powder, spices, and salt in a medium bowl. Mix well.
- In another medium bowl, melt the butter, than add the sugar and mix well. Add the almond milk, vanilla, and flax mixture and beat well to combine.
- Using the medium hole of a box grater, grate the pears onto a plate. Scoop up the grated flesh and give it a good squeeze to get rid of some of the liquid.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and gently mix until about 75% mixed. Add the grated pears and half the hazelnuts and fold in, being careful not to overmix.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin or donut pan until each cup is about 75% full. Top with the remaining chopped hazelnuts.
- Bake muffins for about 25-27 minutes and donuts for about 21-24 minutes, rotating halfway through. When done, remove from the pan immediately and set on a wire rack to cool. Enjoy!