Friday, January 2, 2015

Pear and pecan spice muffins

You'll love the cardamom in these pear and pecan spice muffins, studded with bits of candied ginger. Enjoy the muffins for breakfast or an afternoon snack.

skinny pear and pecan spice muffins, studded with candied ginger bits

HOLLA: It's Detox January again! 

Regular readers know that Mr. Ninj and I engage in what we call Detox January every year. It's not as bad as it sounds; it's just a way to get back on track with the Way of Better Eating after the excesses of the holidays (yeah, I have no one to blame but myself for those Moonpie cookies). And I encourage you to play along at home.

Detox January is not some overly ambitious resolution that you know you won't be able to keep (new gym membership, anyone?); it's more like a short-term, mini resolution that you know you can achieve.

The rules are simple. For the entire month of January,

  • Abstain from all alcohol (but if a recipe calls for a little bit, that's OK) -- we'll be drinking things like virgin marys rather than gimlets for cocktail hour to avoid all the extra calories
  • Eat a bit healthier every day (I don't expect you to get all cray cray here -- just try to eat more veggies than cookies and keep your recipes more Cooking Light than Julia Child) 
  • Exercise more than you did in December.
That's it. Simple, right?

And to show you that Detox January isn't some kind of scary juice cleanse or anything, I annually serve up a yummy baked good as the first recipe of the year. This year, it's lightened pear and pecan spice muffins, scented with cardamom and studded with bits of candied ginger.

Yes, a "detox" that involves muffins ... 'cause that's how The Ninj rolls.

skinny pear and pecan spice muffins, studded with candied ginger bits

These little beauties make an ideal grab-and-go breakfast, but they're also tasty and filling as an afternoon snack (pair them with a mug of chai tea FTW).

With muffins on the menu, I'm sure you'll have no trouble joining us on the Detox January journey this year. To make it even easier, I've created a whole category devoted to Detox January-worthy recipes, as well as a special Pinterest board full of ideas from other healthy food bloggers.

Here's to getting back to the Way of Better Eating in 2015 -- because wouldn't you rather eat a muffin top than sport one around your middle? Leave a comment: The Ninj wants to know.

skinny pear and pecan spice muffins, studded with candied ginger bits

Pear and Pecan Spice Muffins

(inspired by a recipe from Cooking Light)

1/2 cup shelled pecans, ground into meal in a food processor
1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons flax seed meal
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla
2/3 cup plain greek yogurt (I use Cabot Greek-Style Yogurt)
1 egg
1 1/2 cups finely diced pear (about 2 pears)
1/4 cup finely diced candied ginger
coarse sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, whisk together the first 7 ingredients (pecan meal through cardamom) and set aside. In another bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, coconut oil, vanilla, yogurt and egg until blended. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir until well combined. Gently fold in the pear and ginger.

Spoon the batter into a prepared 12-hole muffin tin and sprinkle the top of each muffin with a little coarse sugar, if using. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack.
-- print recipe --


  1. I love the addition of cardamom and all the ingredients in this muffin recipe. It's going on my to-do list immediately!

  2. I won't be detoxing, but I think I will still enjoy these muffins!