Friday, December 1, 2017

Cardamon Pear Muffins with Cranberry Sauce

December! The Christmas tree is up. The twinkle lights are shining magic from room to room. The sun goes down at like 4:30pm...but right now, we don't care because the Christmas lights and magic is in full force. And it hasn't snowed here yet, so we are still anticipating that magic, but to help us get in the Christmas spirit the kids and I were making our baking treats list. Which for sure included cut-out sugar cookies and fudge and sprinkles and candy canes... ok I think the kids were more excited about all the other Christmas treats and I was thinking about the baking :) No surprise here!
These muffins are the perfect combo of moist, spice and texture. They are good for the soul. Yes, maybe I talk too much about how food can nourish you, or even how food can do more than just feed the stomach. But these little muffins remind me of just that. They bring joy and cheer. They bring hope and peace. They are just little muffins, yes, but they touch all of the senses when you mindfully surround yourself into the baking process. Each ingredient is added in love and opens your senses to the warmth, spice and delicious flavors of the season.
And... these little beauties can use up some of that leftover Thanksgiving cranberry sauce (if you still got it), and start the magical month out with a little special muffin baked with amazing cardamon and pear. The scents will fill the kitchen and will have you all warm and fuzzy from joy!
Homemade Cranberry Sauce
{gluten, dairy, egg, soy, seed, nut and refined-sugar-free}

16 ounces of fresh raw cranberries (I use organic if I can find them in Michigan)
1/2 cup of water
1 organic navel orange for 2 TB of fresh zest
plus 1/2 cup of fresh squeezed juice

Put all of the above in a small/medium saucepan, let the water and juices come up to a boil and POP the cranberries from their skins. This will take anywhere from 5-10 minutes. Then let them cook down just a bit and swirl in some honey and a pinch of salt

pinch of sea salt
1/3- 1/2 cup of honey or maple syrup

After cooking for 15-20 minutes, the liquids will cook down and the sauce will be ready to dish into a glass jar or bowl. Cover well and let it cool down and "set" in the fridge. After a few hours you will see that it naturally almost gels a bit and is the perfect sauce to top on just about everything ;) 

Cardamom Pear Muffin Recipe with Cranberry Sauce
{gluten, dairy, egg, seed, nut and refined-sugar-free}

1 1/4 cup of ground GF oat flour
1/3 cup of white rice flour
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup of potato starch
1/4 cup of coconut flour
1/2 cup of coconut palm sugar
1 ts. of baking soda
1 ts. of sea salt
2 ts. of baking powder (I use Hain brand for corn-free)
1 TB of ground cardamom
pinch of ground cinnamon

3/4 cup of date puree- This involves pouring 3/4 cup boiling water over 3/4 cup of pitted dates and letting it sit for 5-10 minutes and then blending in a high powered blender to whip up a creamy date-pudding like substance

1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup of coconut milk beverage (or other non-dairy milk)
with 1 TB of apple cider vinegar
1 TB fresh lemon or orange juice
1/4 cup of maple syrup

2 small fresh pears finely diced and stewed in a saucepan until soft and reduced with a drizzle of water and maple syrup (about 1/4 cup of each) Makes about 1 cup of  stewed pears for muffins

Add in 1/2 cup or so of leftover cranberry sauce and use a tablespoon to spread some on top before baking.

Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Then add in the wet and whisk together well. Pour into 12 muffin tins, fill about 3/4 the way for a full muffin. Then spread some of the cranberry sauce (about 1 TB) on top and swirl around before baking. 
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-28 minutes until stiff. Wiggle and check the middles to make sure there is no jiggle. Then let cool 5-10 minutes before serving. Store in a cool dry place to last longer.

Happy baking and happy December, friends xoxo

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