Pineapple Almond Muffins

Inspired by Joy of Baking.

1 c. All-purpose flour
1 c. Whole wheat flour
1/4 c. Ground flax seeds (optional)
1/4 tsp Salt
3/4 tsp Baking soda
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 c. Vegetable oil
1/2 c. White sugar
1 large egg
1/2 c. Milk (3.5%)
1 can (14 fl. oz) Crushed pineapple
Zest from one large navel orange
1/2 c. Almonds

Pineapple Glaze
1/4 c. White sugar
1/4 c. Pineapple juice

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Toast the almonds until lightly browned, about 8 min.  Cool and chop into small pieces.  Set aside.

Line muffin pan with paper liners or grease with nonstick spray.

Whisk together the flour, ground flax seed, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda.

Strain the pineapple and collect the juice.

Transfer about 2/3 cup of the pineapple juice to a measuring cup and top up to 3/4 cup with milk.  Stir to mix.  The milk may start to curdle a little but it's ok.

In another bowl, beat the oil and sugar together. Add the egg and beat until incorporated. Beat in the pineapple juice mixture and the orange zest.

Pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and stir with a spoon until just incorporated.  Do not overmix.

Fold in the toasted almonds and drained pineapple.

Spoon the batter into the muffin pan and fill it to about 2/3 full. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes; the toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean.

While the muffins are baking, combine the rest of your pineapple juice (should be about 1/4 cup) and the white sugar.  Warm the glaze in the microwave for 10 seconds and stir to dissolve the sugar a little bit.

Remove the muffins from the oven and transfer them to a wire rack.  Brush the muffins with the glaze while the muffins are still hot.

Makes about 18 muffins.

My comments:

We love our homecare provider.  She is absolutely wonderful with the kids and she is always coming up with events to make their time spent with her extra fun and extra special.  Today was PJ day, and with us being so disorganized all the time, we missed it.  Our little guy didn't get to show off his cool PJs.  We feel really bad.

Tomorrow is Hawaiian Day and I am determined not to let my son down again.  I know we are not expected to run out the store everytime for these special occasions.  We are supposed to ransack our house to find something appropriate for our child to bring, but Hawaiian theme is So Hard!  We don't have anything Hawaiian; I even googled it to find more information but we simply don't have Hawaiian toys or clothes at home.  We don't even have Hawaiian travel books.

So I decided I'll bake the kids something.  Hawaiian is almost synonymous with pineapples, right?  And who doesn't like pineapples?  It's so easy to bake delicious anything with pineapples because pineapple is such a flavourful fruit.

Then, I thought I could make this uber-Hawaiian by throwing in some coconut flakes. muffin idea is beginning to take shape and I searched online for the perfect recipe.  I discovered the Orange Pineapple Muffin recipe on Joy of Baking, one of my favourite food blogs.  The recipe is simple and OH! Stephanie used pecan in her recipe - they have pecans in Hawaiian, right?  Pineapple! Coconut! Pecan!  Voila! Hawaiian muffins.  Perfecto!!!

Except...I don't have any coconut flakes.  I used it all up last time for my granola bars and I forgot to replenish.  And I don't have pecans.  Heck! I don't even have sour cream or yogurt!  Holy jeepers! I don't have orange juice either!!


Well, I had to make these muffins one way or another.  So I improvised.  A lot.

I was worried these wouldn't turn out because I deviated so much from the original recipe, plus I tried to make it healthy.  I am good at tweaking recipes as long as I don't try to make it healthy.  My healthier versions don't always taste good and I really really need to make these work.

To my surprise, these muffins turned out absolutely, fantastically delicious.  I gave my mom one and she liked it so much she snuck another one when she thought I wasn't looking.  Hahah...the muffins were moist and not overly sweet.  Perfect way to kick start your day!!

I think the kids are going to love these muffins.  Normally, I wouldn't put the glaze on for the kids but hey, what the heck! tomorrow is a special day - it's Hawaiian Day!!