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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

VANILLA PEAR MUFFINS




VANILLA PEAR MUFFINS

A delicious muffin with a tender, cake-like texture and pockets of delicious pear "jam". When I was young mother, I used to enjoy a day spent in the Eaton's Center - a shopping mall - in Calgary, Alberta.  One of the first things I'd do, one child holding my hand and another in a pram (stroller) is head to "Mmmmm Muffins" to buy a couple of muffins and a coffee. I shared my muffins with the boys. Muffins are comfort food for sure.  Anyway, that's how I loved to start my day with the children in the shopping mall.  By the time Daniel went to school (he went to school for the first few years before we switched to home schooling (through Alberta Distance Learning Center) since we always lived a good distance from the nearest schools), before grocery shopping, Jonathan and I would stop at "Cinnabon" to share a huge cinnamon bun.  He loves them to this day, but since he mostly low-carbs, it is a rare treat.  Yep, I was not always health conscious or even aware that what I was consuming was not healthy.  It was only later when I had trouble losing weight and was later diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis (I am now in remission) that I began low-carbing.  That's when I switched my focus from regular, sugar-free baking with white flour to low-carb baking.  It was quite the learning curve and in 1999 my cookbook was one of the very first out there.  I was blazing a trail with not much to learn from.  My low-carb cooking and baking has evolved and gone from gluten-filled goodies to gluten-free goodies.  I don't think everyone needs to stay away from gluten so strictly, however, I recognized a trend towards gluten-free eating and decided to follow that trend to continue to help others stay on their low-carb diet.  

21/4  cups Gluten-Free Bake Mix, (560 mL)
2 tsp baking powder (10 mL)
1/2  tsp baking soda (2 mL)
1/2  tsp salt (2 mL)
3 eggs
Liquid sweetener to equal 2/3  cup (150 mL)
  sugar
1/3  cup light-tasting olive oil (75 mL)
1/4  cup granulated erythritol (60 mL)
21/4  tsp unflavored gelatin (11 mL)
2 tsp real vanilla extract (10 mL)
1/2  cup low-carb milk (125 mL)
11/4  cups diced pears (300 mL)

Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). In medium bowl, combine Gluten-Free Bake Mix, baking powder, baking soda and salt. 

In food processor, process eggs.  Add liquid sweetener, low-carb milk, olive oil, erythritol, gelatin and vanilla; process.  Add half dry ingredients and half milk; process.  Repeat, scraping sides once or twice.  Fold pears into muffin batter. Fill 12 greased, regular-sized muffin cups in a muffin tin 3/4 –full.  Place in oven and immediately reduce oven temperature to 400°F (200°C).  Bake 25 minutes, or until pointy knife or cake tester inserted in a muffin comes out clean.


Variation:  Spiced Pear Muffins:  Reduce vanilla extract to 1/2  tsp (2 mL) and add 2 tsp (10 mL) cinnamon, 1/2  tsp (2 mL) ginger and 1/4  tsp (1 mL) nutmeg to the dry ingredients. (7.2 g carbs)

Yield:  12 muffins
1 muffin
182.1 calories
5.3 g protein
14.1 g fat
6.9 g net carbs

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