Friday, November 30, 2012

Pear Bran Muffins

Bran can be milled from any cereal grain like rice, wheat, oats, etc. It is rich in dietary fiber and contains essential fatty acids. In baking, most commonly used bran varieties are wheat and oats. I make banana nut oat bran muffins frequently, so I wanted to try something different. I hate wasting stuff, especially fruits. It so happens that I completely forget the fact that I have some fruits staring at me every day and then end up tossing them away when they get overripe. I admit I am getting better these days in using them up before they get to that stage. So, I had one pear which was ripe but still firm. The easiest thing to do was to bake it into muffins and enjoy a healthy anytime snack. 


1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup oat bran (or wheat bran)
1 tbsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 firm ripe pear, peeled and diced (or grated)
1/4 cup slivered almonds
5-6 raw almonds, thinly sliced
1 tbsp raw sugar, for sprinkling
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar (I used 1/2 cup which made it mildly sweet)
1 cup almond milk (or soy milk)
2 tbsp oil



Preheat the oven to 400°F. Coat 12 standard muffin pan cups with cooking spray. 

In a large bowl, combine whole wheat pastry flour, oat bran, light brown sugar, baking powder, salt and ginger powder and mix well. Add pears and slivered almonds, and toss gently to coat them.

Combine almond milk, vanilla essence and oil and stir to blend. Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and stir well.

Spoon the batter evenly among the muffin cups. Sprinkle top of the muffins with sliced almonds and raw sugar. Bake 20-22 minutes, or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack. Serve warm.

These muffins turned out moist and got a nice texture from the softened pears along with a slight crunch from the almonds. For a variation, try using 1 tsp cinnamon powder instead of ginger powder. You can also use chopped walnuts or any other nuts to suit your taste. For a more gingery taste, add candied ginger as a topping.

Makes 12 muffins.

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