Today I’ve got one of my favourite muffin recipes that I’ve created or tested so far. My pear sauce chocolate chip muffins are so yummy and you can actually taste the pears. I absolutely love pears and feel they aren’t used enough in baking as they are fibrous and can be hard to work with. BUT in my humble opinion, these pear muffins are delicious and the texture is pretty similar to a regular muffin.
For another variation of a chocolate chip muffin, try my pumpkin oatmeal chocolate chip muffins. Or if you’re in need of tons of chocolate, try my double chocolate zucchini muffins or my gluten free chocolate almond banana muffins.
I came up with this recipe randomly one day after buying a bag of pears that immediately started to turn mushy. However they tasted delicious so I knew I needed to bake with them somehow. I decided to cook some of them down and see how a muffin would turn out with pear sauce instead of applesauce. The result, I thought, was delicious. You could actually taste the pear and the muffin was so moist. I will say, they do get a bit of the gritty texture from the pears as they’re so fibrous, so if you don’t like pears or they’re texture at all, you may not be a fan of these pear muffins. However, I don’t think it’s too noticeable as my kids really enjoyed them and asked for seconds.
Benefits of Whole Wheat Flour vs. White Flour
When baking healthier snacks, treats or breakfasts, I’m a big fan of using whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour, also known as white flour. There are many benefits to this including a higher concentration of minerals like copper, magnesium and iron. This is important for me personally as like many women, I’ve had issues with low iron in my life.
There is also a larger source of B vitamins in whole wheat flour which provides energy. Whole wheat flour has a higher protein content as well as more fibre, both of which can keep you feeling full longer. Another great thing about whole wheat flour is it can add a little extra flavour bringing a hint of nuttiness to certain bakes.
The only cons of using whole wheat flour that I know of is sometimes it can make a recipe more dense, which is why I typically add more moisture to my recipes. In doing this, I generally don’t notice that I’m eating a whole wheat flour muffin instead of a white flour muffin.
The other downside is I know everybody doesn’t keep whole wheat flour on hand. Well, I never used to either and now I can’t imagine not having it in the house. I buy a large 10kg bag for the exact same price as an all purpose bag of flour and have never had it go bad on me. I highly recommend keeping some on hand so you can make guilt free muffins, quick breads or whatever you want! In saying this, if the recipe doesn’t call for it, I don’t recommend swapping whole wheat flour for white flour, they’re generally not a 1 to 1 substitute.
If you’d like more information on the nutritional benefits, head to https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/whole-grains/. There are lots of great sources of nutritional information on the Harvard website that is backed up by multiple sources.
How to Store Muffins
When storing these pear muffins, the first step is to ensure they are fully cooled. Storing warm muffins leads to excess moisture which will ruin the texture of your muffins and cause them to get gummy and soggy, especially on the tops.
As muffins are generally and hopefully very moist, the easiest way to keep them from getting soggy is to store them with paper towels.
Place a paper towel on the bottom of an airtight container or bag. I like to use an extra large reusable bag. Then place the muffins on top in a single layer and lay an additional paper towel on top of them. Store them at room temperature for up to 3 days.
How to Freeze Muffins
The best thing about all my healthy muffins, including these pear sauce chocolate chip muffins, is they freeze well. They’re an easy thing to whip up and meal prep for the week or month! When freezing muffins, you’ll again want to ensure they’re completely cooled.
Once cooled, place a paper towel on the bottom of an airtight container or bag. I like to use a freezer safe extra large reusable bag. Place the muffins on top in a single layer and then place another paper towel on top. The paper towel helps to keep the excess moisture away from the muffins and helps ensure they don’t get freezer burnt. Store like this for up to 3 months.
When you’re ready to eat one or all of them, let thaw at room temperature for a couple hours or heat in the microwave in 20 second increments. Be cautious if using the microwave when feeding children or toddlers, it can leave hot spots.
How to Properly Measure Flour
So when it comes to measuring flour, the most accurate and easiest way is to use a kitchen scale. I always use a scale and could never go back to measuring in cups. It’s such a hassle and way more dishes!
If you don’t own a scale, there are a couple steps to properly measure flour as it becomes compacted just sitting in the bag or container. I highly recommend you follow these as just scooping flour out of the bag can potentially lead to at least an additional 1/4 cup of flour. This equals dry and dense baked goods which is not what anybody is going for.
1. Fluff the flour by giving it a mix with a whisk or fork.
2. Spoon the flour into your measuring cup.
3. Level the excess flour off using a butter knife. (With the back of the knife level to the top of the measuring cup, run it over top, pushing the excess flour back into it’s container.)
4. Repeat until you’ve measured the amount the recipe calls for.
- Make sure the pears you’re cooking down are nice and soft so they break down properly. No need to peel the skin off though!
- I have tried using canned pears in these pear muffins and unfortunately they didn’t cook down into a sauce, I’m assuming because they weren’t overripe. So I do recommend using fresh pears that are overripe so they break down easily and incorporate nicely into the batter.
- Make sure not to overmix the batter or you will end up with a very tough, dense muffin. Gently fold the batter until just combined.
- I create my recipes based off weights so I recommend measuring by weights if you own a scale. It’s actually so much easier and makes for much less cleanup. I wish I had baked by weight from the beginning, I could never go back now.
Other Healthy Muffin Recipes
Today, my music is inspired by St. Patrick’s Day and missing home. I’ve been listening too, and singing along terribly, to The Chandler Shop by The Kilkennys a lot lately. My daughter, who just turned one, seems to enjoy when I sing along to Celtic the music the most, likely cause I get more into it but how can you not! Hope you guys enjoy the song and happy baking!! **Disclaimer: Liv’s Little Muffins owns no rights to this song.
Chocolate Chip Pear Sauce Muffins
- 3 (about 250g) overripe pears, chopped
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 3/4 cups (210g) whole wheat flour
- 1/4 cup (30g) quick oats
- 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 large egg
- 1/3 cup (65g) brown sugar, packed
- 3/4 cup (165g) plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup (45g) canola oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup (55g) semi sweet chocolate chips
- Place chopped pears in small saucepan with cinnamon, lemon juice and water.
- Gently simmer for about 15 minutes until thickened. Using a wooden spoon, mash any bigger chunks against the side of the pot.
- You should end up with about 1 1/4 cups of sauce. Set aside to cool.
- Preheat oven to 350℉. Line or spray 12 muffin tins.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, oats, baking powder and baking soda until fully mixed.
- In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk the egg and brown sugar until fully combined. Then add in the cooled pear sauce, yogurt, canola oil and vanilla. Whisk until combined.
- Dump the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and fold until almost combined. Add in the chocolate chips and fold gently until just combined. Don't overmix!
- Place the muffins in the oven and bake 22-24 minutes or until the centre is set and a toothpick comes out clean.
- Let the muffins cool for 5 minutes in the tray and then fully cool on a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.