Pear and pecan muffins to fight the holiday bloat

by Elizabeth Rose

This simple recipe makes an easy breakfast at only 149 calories per muffin. As we round the last stretch of the holiday marathon, some of us may begin to feel the toll that holiday eating has taken on our bodies. You may be tired of looking at your kitchen after all the cooking you've done for family and friends, but set aside just a few minutes to whip up a dozen of these muffins. They're easy to reheat and make a great grab-and-go breakfast.

The original recipe calls for walnuts instead of pecans, but this writer was fortunate enough to have a neighbor share some, plus some Harry and David pears shipped from an aunt. Make sure your pears are firm, otherwise the muffins will be mushy.

1/2 C chopped pecans
1 C all-purpose flour
1/3 C whole wheat flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
2/3 C packed brown sugar
2 T canola oil
2 t vanilla extract
1 (8 oz.) carton plain fat-free yogurt
1 large egg
1 1/2 C finely diced peeled pear
Cooking spray
3 T sugar

1. Preheat oven to 400°.
2. Place nuts in a food processor; process until finely ground.
3. Combine flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl; stir well with a whisk. Stir in pecans. Make a well in center of mixture.
4. Combine brown sugar, canola oil, vanilla extract, yogurt and egg in a small bowl; add to the flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Fold in diced pear.
5. Spoon batter into 15 muffin cups coated with cooking spray; sprinkle batter with sugar. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove from pans immediately. Place on a wire rack. Serve either warm or at room temperature.