Banana Pomegranate Muffins

I wanted to make banana muffins but I don’t like the traditional banana & nut combination. So, I had a pomegranate on hand and thought, I wonder what this combination would be like? I’ve never baked pomegranate before (I usually eat it raw) so I wasn’t sure how it would bake. But, I was happy to find out they bake just fine & actually have a nice “nut crunch” along with the juicy fruit. I tried a batch of these with whole wheat flour & they weren’t very good – too dense. So I changed the recipe to regular unbleached flour and they were much better. These are still very moist and rich but not too dense.

I know a lot of people don’t know what the heck to do with pomegranates. Like I said, I like them raw and they’re great over salad, yogurt, and ice cream. Some believe that this is the original “forbidden fruit” from the Garden of Eden.  Pomegranates have a thin rind that opens to a membrane filled with juicy fruit pods, called “arils.” Inside the aril is an edible seed that is high in fiber. The fruit itself is full of antioxidants & a fair amount of potassium. If you’re just getting acquainted to this winter fruit, I’ve included directions on how to eat one below. They are super juicy & the juice stains – so be careful & use the water bowl method below to make it mess free 🙂

Start by making an “X” in the bottom of the pomegranate, you’ll probably want to follow it at least 1/2 way down the fruit. Be careful to just score the fruit – the rind is very thin so if you cut right through you’ll pierce the fruit & have juice everywhere.

Next, fill a bowl with water & place the pomegranate in the bowl. Gently pull apart the pomegranate, opening to see the fruit inside.

Working with small pieces, gently thumb off the fruit. Discard the membrane/rind.

When finished, pour the bowl over a strainer and enjoy. The fruit can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days.

MUFFINS

  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted & cooled slightly
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (I used reduced fat)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (I used regular)
  • 1 pomegranate, seeded
  • 2 large bananas, very ripe, mashed

Begin by preheating oven to 350. Adjust rack to middle position. Grease a standard 12-cup muffin tin and set aside. I like PAM for Baking (the blue container w/Flour) for greasing my baked goods.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, & salt in medium bowl until combined.

Whisk the egg in another medium bowl until well-combined & light colored.

Add the sugar to the egg and whisk vigorously until thick and combined, about 30 seconds. Add the butter in 2 or 3 additions, whisking to combine after each addition.

Add the sour cream, whisk just to combine. Add the yogurt, whisk just to combine.

Add the mashed banana, stir just to combine.

Add the pomegranate to the dry ingredients and gently toss to combine.

Add the wet mixture and fold with a rubber spatula just until the batter comes together, about 30 seconds. Small spots of flour may remain and the batter will be thick, be careful not to overmix.

Grease a large spoon or ice-cream scoop and distribute the batter into the muffin cups. Bake until light golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Rotate the pan from front to back halfway through. Cool muffins on baking rack 5 minutes and enjoy.

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