I’m really looking forward to this week because both my mom and brother are coming to visit . My dad is unable to come due to a busy work schedule, which means that he must be really busy, because nothing usually stands in the way of my dad and his Vegas vacations (we promise to play a few hands of double double bonus poker for you, dad).
Whenever my mom comes to visit, it’s like I have suddenly been blessed with my own super over-achieving personal assistant. She helps me to get all of the items that have been on my "to-do" list, usually since she left the last time, completed at an incredibly rapid pace. When I was applying to graduate schools, she meticulously edited and critiqued my essays–no easy task mind you. When our front yard needed a facelift, she spent hours planting beautiful new flowers for us (um, mom, most of them died–sorry). This trip, she’s helping me to pick out a new family room carpet, because I did not inherit one iota of her interior design acumen and our current one is showing severe signs of puppy dog wear and tear. She’ll give her granddogs tons of attention and she will just be fun to have around. The least that I can do is make her some healthy muffins to have at breakfast.
I think that I did a pretty good job of incorporating flavors that my mom likes, such as coconut, macadamia nuts, and pineapple, into these low-fat muffins. They have a tropical flavor, and since she always likes to have fruit for breakfast and throughout the day (the woman has a severe clementine obsession), these muffins will make a nice complement. Try them warmed with a little bit of butter or your favorite jam. Here are some tips for these healthy Hawaiian-style muffins:
- Instead of using macadamia nuts, try using toasted slivered almonds, chopped walnuts, or chopped pecans.
- If you like additional spice in your baked goods, you can add 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, and/or 1/4 teaspoon cardamom to the batter.
- Dried cranberries, golden raisins, or chopped dried figs would also make nice additions to these muffins.
- If you prefer loaves of bread to muffins, pour the batter into a 9X5 inch loaf pan, that has been sprayed with nonstick baking spray, and bake at 375F degrees for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center emerges clean.
- These muffins can be frozen for up to 2 weeks. Set one out the night before to have a muffin for breakfast the next day.
Pineapple Coconut Macadamia Nut Muffins
1 cup flour
1 cup oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup mashed ripe banana
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons safflower or canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup drained crushed pineapple, in juice (not syrup)
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1/4 cup finely chopped toasted macadamia nuts
3 tablespoons sweetened flaked coconut
2 tablespoons finely chopped macadamia nuts
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon oats
Preheat the oven to 400F degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the bananas, buttermilk, brown sugar, oil, vanilla, and egg to the bowl. Mix together the ingredients until they are just blended. Stir in the pineapple, coconut, and macadamia nuts. Spoon the batter into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray.
To prepare the topping, combine the coconut, macadamia nuts, brown sugar, and oats in a small bowl. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the muffins. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the muffins spring back when touched lightly in the center. Cool muffins for 10 minutes in the pan and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.