Pomegranate Apple Muffins

Pomegranate Apple MuffinsAlas, a healthier treat!  See, and you thought it was all butter and marshmallow creme over here.  Nope.  Still, I must confess:  these were sort of a happy accident.  See, I bought a pomegranate on a whim the other day, having heard about how great they are for you and, more importantly, really liking their color.  I really wanted to like them too–I could just picture how awesome they’d look in a big white bowl on my kitchen counter or filling a big, fat clear vase on the dining room table.

So of course I didn’t like it…there aren’t many fruits I don’t like, but this is certainly one of them.  First of all, they’re kind of a pain in the ass.  You have to slice them open and then separate all the edible seeds out (er…arils…as those with noses much further in the air than mine call them) by putting all the guts in a bowl of water and then letting them sink.  Then you can strain out the water and those arils are good to go…except they’re not very good.  Not plain, at least.  They pretty much taste like cranberries to me, but there’s also this weird kind of spiky/prickly part in each aril that is wholly unpleasant in the mouth.  You want to spit it out, but that’s just not sexy at all…so you’re kind of just screwed.

Having officially decided that pomegranates aren’t really my cup of tea–although I hear the juice is wonderful…(pun not initially intended, but decidedly too awesome to take out), I set about to figure out WTF to do with it.  I can’t stand to throw away food, so here’s what I came up with…and apparently, they’re pretty tasty!

Ingredients:
1 c Whole Wheat Flour
1 c Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 Tbs Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Salt
1 c, less 2 Tbs Brown Sugar
1/2 c Applesauce
2 Tbs Canola Oil
1 c Pureed Pomegranate Arils (arils of one pomegranate)
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 /2 c Almonds, slivered

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 and line two 12-cup muffin tins with some super-cute paper liners…or grease and flour them if you’re one of those people…and by “those people”, I of course mean LAME.  Whisk together the flours, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl.  In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar, applesauce, oil, pomegranate, eggs, and vanilla extract.  Add the combined flour mixture to the sugar mixture, stirring just until combined.  Stir in almonds, being careful not to over-mix.

Fill prepared muffin cups about 2/3 full, then bake for about 12-15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted near the center of the muffins comes out relatively clean.

Yield: About 24 muffins

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