Pineapple Carrot Muffins
First thing I want to say is Welcome to all my new bakingwizard subscribers!
From Missoula, Montana to Kauai, Hawaii
It’s been awhile since I posted a new recipe, and here’s why. We sold our home in Missoula, Montana, last fall and moved to Kauai! Moving out of our custom-built home after 44 years was not easy. We had so much stuff to deal with, including enough cookware to furnish a small restaurant and books galore–hundreds of Dorothy’s science and nature books and about 3,ooo of my cookbooks. Fortunately, our buyers love books and they said we could leave on the shelves what we hadn’t packed to store.
Why move to Kauai? It’s our favorite island and we’ve stayed there many times over 30 plus years. We also felt we needed a lengthy break to recover from the trauma of having to leave our beautiful home. Before we left Montana we were very fortunate to find an apartment rental in a building complex, Sun Village, for seniors 55-years-old and over. We knew the place well because we have friends who live there and a few years ago we were able to rent an apartment in the complex for 2 months.
Because the apartment was unfurnished, we had to buy everything we needed to set up our new home. We had arranged for a year’s least to begin November 1, 2021. We arrived October 31 and rented temporary quarters in Kapaa, a few miles north of Lihue, our new home city. Everyday we drove our rental car into town to scout furniture, etc., and deposited our purchases in the apartment. Once we bought a bed, we moved in, on November 10. Our two-bedroom apartment is on the top floor–the fourth–with vaulted ceilings and ceiling fans and we have views of the forest in front and the ocean to the right and mountains to the left. Our second bedroom is a study for Dorothy and a storage room, with just enough space for a one-person fold out cot. Very comfy, we’ve been told.
Before we left the mainland, we arranged to have our twenty-year-old Subaru Outback station wagon shipped to us from Long Beach, CA. And on November 18, we picked it up at Nawiliwili harbor. The shipping cost was actually cheaper than the 3-week car rental!
We love it here so much that we’ll be staying another two years, at least. If you haven’t already subscribed to my newsletter, please do. It’s called “So You Want to Live in Hawaii.” Visit gregpatent.substack.com to sign up. It’s free. You’ll learn what life is like here, the farmers markets, weather, and our live=in geckos, who control the insects. We have two small balconies and get to watch geckos eating pineapple and mango we put out for them. We also witness fights and jockeying for territory. Very exciting!
It’s taken awhile to set up doctors and dental appointments. And I’ve spent a few months developing a new sourdough starter. I had to leave my trusty 20-year-old mother starter in Missoula.
Story behind Pineapple Muffins
So here we are on July 4, 2022, and I am finally ready to make my first new blog post from Kauai. The recipe, “Pineapple Muffins,” comes from my first cookbook, “Big Sky Cooking,” published in 1980, and written to accompany the first series of 26 half-hour TV cooking shows that debuted on KECI-TV in October, 1979. That’s 43 years ago, bit it feels like yesterday–all the craziness of taping in our home kitchen, working with one camera, and making sure our dog was kept out of the way. You know why.
I modified the recipe to include Hawaiian ingredients–fresh ginger and vanilla–which have other sources that you can buy everywhere. The recipe comes together quite quickly. I originally named the recipe, “Pineapple Cupcakes,” but muffins seems more appropriate. These are not traditional muffins. They don’t swell to impressive heights, but they are moist and tender and more like little cakes. Very tasty. And they keep well, wrapped airtight, for about 4 days.
You will fill the muffin cups almost to the top, but the batter will not run over. TIP: If you live above sea level, say 3000 feet or so, reduce the baking soda to 1/4 teaspoon.
Happy baking and happy eating! It feels good to be writing a post again.
Pineapple Carrot Muffins
- 1 8 ounce can crushed pineapple in juice
- 1 cup grated carrots, loosely packed 100 grams
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour, spooned into cups and leveled with a straight edge
- 1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, spooned into cup and leveled with a straight edge
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powdeer
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2/3 cup coconut oil
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 2 large eggs
- Adjust an oven rack to the center position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Have ready a standard muffin pan (with 12 cups), preferably nonstick.
- Set a strainer over a bowl and add the pineapple. Drain thoroughly, pressing most of the juice out of the fruit. You'll get about 6 tablespoons of juice, which you can drink.
- Prepare the carrots and nuts and set them aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together well both flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut oil and brown sugar until smooth and creamy. Whisk in the vanilla and ginger.
- One at a time, whisk in the eggs. Stir in the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula just until blended. Gently stir in the drained pineapple, carrots, and nuts. The batter will be fairly thin.
- Coat muffin cups with spritzes of non-stick spray and spoon in the muffin batter. The cups will be almost full to the brim. Don't worry, the batter will not overflow if you've used a standard-sized muffin tin.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until muffins are well-browned and tops spring back when lightly pressed with a fingertip. A toothpick should come out clean and dry.
- Cool the muffins in their pan on a wire rack about ten minutes, then remove them with a butter knife and fork and cool further on the wire rack. Serve the muffins warm or cold, with butter or not.