I’m not entirely sure why, but lately change has seemed to be on the agenda. There’s a new mirror in my living room, new breakfasts at my table and last night I cut four inches off my hair on a whim. Like a breath of fresh air, this change feels good. Speaking of breakfast, I’ve been having so much fun rediscovering how exciting, varied and delicious the first meal of the day can be.
This week my breakfast of choice has moved on from last week’s banana bread to this week’s pear muffins. In part because they are healthy and contain whole grains, fruit and protein. Who am I kidding? I think what really drew me in was the feeling I get when eating them — like I’m eating dessert for breakfast. They seriously look like cupcakes, don’t they?
Incorporating pears into a bread typically reserved for bananas or zucchini was a natural choice, since pears are my absolute favorite fruit. That, and the fact that I had two pears sitting on my counter top when the urge to bake hit last night. Necessity truly is the mother of all invention, folks. And because my passion for nut butters is still burning strong, I incorporated a little almond butter into the batter. Pears, almond butter, cinnamon and allspice? I’m pretty sure no further explanation is necessary.
Pear Muffins with Spiced Greek Yogurt ‘Frosting’
Hold off on ‘frosting’ these muffins with the Greek yogurt topper until just before eating, since the Greek yogurt needs to be refrigerated. If you’re looking for a little extra something, topping these muffins with an extra dollop of almond butter is always a good idea.
*5 Tbsp. butter, softened
*1/3 cup almond butter or natural peanut butter
*1/3 cup Greek yogurt (I used 2% Fage)
*2 large eggs
*3/4 cup brown sugar
*1 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
*1/4 cup ground flax seed
*3/4 tsp. baking soda
*1/2 tsp. salt
*1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
*1/4 tsp. allspice
*2 medium crisp pears, grated (on a box grater)
Greek Yogurt ‘Frosting’
*3/4 cup Greek yogurt (2% Fage)
*2 tsp. Stevia, Splenda or granulated sugar
*1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
*Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 18 muffin cups with paper liners. Lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
*With an electric mixer, beat butter, almond butter and Greek yogurt with an electric mixer until creamy. Add in eggs, one at a time, and beat until just combined, followed by the brown sugar.
*In a medium bowl, combine the flour, flax seed, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and allspice. Add the flour mixture to the butter-sugar mixture and beat until just combined.
*Stir in the grated pears by hand until evenly combined. Spoon batter into the prepared muffin cups. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
*Remove from oven and cool completely. Meanwhile, stir together the Greek yogurt, Stevia and ground cinnamon. Spoon the mixture atop cooled muffins.