Monday, April 21, 2008

Pear-Cardamom-Cashew Spelt Muffins (phew)

I'll admit, I have a weird thing with pears. I used to have a strong dislike for them. Something about the texture more than anything. I'm not big on grainy. When I moved upstate, the co-op had local pears in the fall and the Red Bartletts were just so beautiful I had to buy one. It was hard as a rock though so I put it into a paper bag and forgot about it for about a week when I went "OH CRAP! What happened to that pear?!" Turned out it was fine, really ripe, so I stuck it in the fridge and ate it later that day. It was so incredibly delicious. I wanted six more pears right that minute and I was kicking myself for only buying one. Damn my practicality!! I spent the rest of the fall patiently waiting for my pears to ripen so I could devour them. I still enjoy them, but I'm still weird about them. They have to be perfectly ripe, and ice cold, and peeled and sliced. I got a little exuberant with pears recently and ended up with a few ripe at the same time that I knew I wouldn't get to so I made Pear-Cardamom-Cashew Spelt Muffins. Naturally I couldn't find a recipe for such a thing, so I completely changed another one (Spiced Apple-Walnut Muffins from Vegan Planet) to suit my needs.

If course this could now lead into a diatribe about my affinity for spelt flour, and the arguments as to whether or not you need to reduce this or increase that when using spelt flour, but I think it's best to just accept that it's a yummy whole grain, more nutritious than wheat, and I like it in muffins.

Pardon the Easter papers. I had those, Lightenin' McQueen or Snowmen.

Pear Cardamom Cashew Spelt Muffins

1 heaping cup pear, peeled and diced
3/4 cup rice milk
1 tbsp ground flax seeds stirred into 3 tbsp water
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 tbsp canola oil
2 cups spelt flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
heaping 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon *
heaping 1/2 tsp ground cardamom *
1/2 cup cashew pieces (not salted)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and put cupcake papers into muffin tin.

2. Stir together the rice milk, flax goo, brown sugar, and canola oil. Fold in the pears.

3. Sift together the dry ingredients, then mix them into the wet ingredients until just mixed.

4. Fold in the cashews.

5. Divide the batter evenly into 12 muffins. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

*You could probably go heavier on these.

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