I love pomegranates but am not a big fan of trying to bust them open and harvest the arils (those are the juicy, little gems inside). So I spend the extra money to buy cups of Pom Poms, especially when I've got a coupon.
They're great mixed into plain yogurt with just a drizzle of honey or maple syrup but I wanted to know whether I could bake with them. I had no idea what to expect. Would they burst open? Bleed all over the batter? Get hard and inedible?
Happily, none of the above!
I adapted one of my muffin recipes and added a cup of pomegranate arils to the batter and the result was great. The arils stay intact, don't sink to the bottom of the muffin and provide an interesting texture to the muffin with a mild tartness.
And they're really pretty.
In addition to the flour and the yogurt coupons, Stonyfield sent me a Silpat silicone baking mat (as you can see above, I'm all about baking in and on silicone) and a set of Levoons. The Levoons are very cool, in that they're self-leveling measuring spoons. Each spoon has a tiny scraper attached to it that levels off the spoon so that you don't need to grab a butter knife or even use two hands.
This recipe makes a dozen fairly large muffins with a cakelike texture. The muffin cups are filled nearly to the top with batter and they rise even higher than that. The batter looked a little thick so I added a little orange juice to thin it out. I couldn't really taste the juice, but orange and cranberry is a great combo and next time I may throw in some orange zest as well.
I used Stonyfield plain nonfat Greek yogurt for a boost of protein; you can always substitute regular yogurt or even whole milk varieties of either yogurt for some added richness. Each muffin is 145 calories, half a gram of fat and 5 grams of protein.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 cup pomegranate arils
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and soda and salt.
In a medium bowl, combine yogurt, egg, vanilla, orange juice and applesauce.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones and mix just until it's combined -- don't overmix the batter or you'll end up with hockey pucks. Gently fold in the pomegranate arils.
Spoon the batter into the muffin tin; cups will be very full.
Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Makes 12 muffins.