Virtuous Morning Muffins & A New (to me) Fruit

My husband and I spent the holidays in British Columbia with his family.  Every day of the visit we would make our pilgrimage to the Whole Foods (a whopping ¼ mile from his parents house) for a jumbo muffin with tea.  Now, the muffins in Vancouver are quite unlike those we see at Whole Foods stateside.  These are dense, ginormous, mountains of hearty goodness that are surely 1000 calories each.  But we had to have them everyday, it was the holidays and vacation after all!My husband now states he would love to return to those mornings when I had homemade bread or muffins awaiting his peanut butter and jam.  Really, I still love to bake, but had merely fallen out of the habit.

So, with the healthy New Year’s wishes upon us, I set out to make some virtuous morning muffins with a fruit I had never tried before, persimmons.  You can replace the persimmons with another fruit or vegetable-fruit puree if you wish.  Next time I make these, I may add a touch more oil, “milk,” or puree for more moisture, as they became a bit too dense after day 2 with all of the heartiness.  I also prefer less sugar in the morning, so we stuck with just ¼ cup of sugar, but if you like yours on the sweet side, then feel free to shake in a bit more.

Persimmon Muffins

Whole Wheat Persimmon Muffins

1 ¼ Cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1 – 1 ½ Teaspoons Cinnamon
½ Teaspoon Nutmeg
Pinch Cloves
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
½ Teaspoon Baking Soda
2 Tablespoons Oil (may want to increase this by a tablespoon or two)
¾ Cup Persimmon Puree (I used Hachiyas, make sure they are extremely ripe) or other fruit puree
¼ Cup Sugar of Choice (I used evaporated cane juice)
¼ Cup Unsweetened Applesauce
¼ Cup Rice Milk, or other Milk Alternative
½ Cup Chopped Walnuts

Preheat oven to 350º and grease 8 muffin tins.

Combine the flour through baking soda in a small bowl, and set aside.  In a large bowl, blend the oil through rice milk.  Slowly incorporate the flour mixture into the wet mixture, being careful not to overmix.  Stir in the walnuts and equally divide the batter between your prepared muffin tins.

Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.