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Pear, Ginger and Macadamia Nut Mini Muffins

What is it about being housebound during a hurricane that makes me want to bake?

On Day 1 of Hurricane Sandy, I wanted to bake brownies. Fortunately, I didn’t have the ingredients on hand and I couldn’t make it to the store. I really have no business eating brownies anyway. On Day 2, I wanted to bake chocolate chip cookies. I’m not sure I wanted to eat them, I just wanted to bake them. The Grillmaster, who is trying to lose weight, gave me the raised eyebrow of disapproval when I said I was going to bake cookies.

So I decided to try these delectable tiny muffins instead. Bursting with autumn flavors, crunch and a spicy kick thanks to the crystallized ginger, these muffins make the perfect afternoon snack on rainy afternoon when served with a cup of tea. The original recipe called for toasted pecans, but all I had in the pantry were walnuts and macadamia nuts. I opted for the macadamias and they were perfect. My only suggestion is to make sure you actually get some of the nuts into each muffin. Some of mine were nut-deprived and, although they tasted fine, I missed the crunch.

My heart goes out to everyone affected by Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy. It hit us hard enough here on Hatteras Island, NC and I can only imagine the devastation it caused when it made landfall.


Adapted from Art Smith via Diabetic Living (Winter 2012)

1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened apple juice
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup egg substitute or 1 egg, lightly beaten
1 large pear (about 8 ounces), peeled, cored and chopped
1/2 cup chopped unsalted macadamia nuts
1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger

Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat 36 mini muffin cups (1-3/4 inch) with cooking spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground ginger and salt. In a second bowl, combine sugar, apple juice, oil and egg substitute. Pour juice mixture into dry ingredients and mix just until smooth. Fold in pear, macadamia nuts and half (2 tablespoons) of the crystallized ginger.

Spoon into muffin cups and sprinkle with remaining crystallized ginger.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until the muffins spring back when lightly pressed. Cool in pan on wire rack for 5 minutes, then remove from pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 18 servings
Per serving (2 mini muffins): 133 calories, 6g fat (1g sat), 0mg cholesterol, 34mg sodium, 19g carb, 1g fiber, 9g sugar, 2g protein

Nutritional Analysis: Nutritional information was calculated using egg substitute. These muffins are low in Cholesterol and Sodium. (Source: nutritiondata.com)