When the days get cooler I find myself craving foods that have warming flavors, such as cinnamon and ginger.
Unfortunately, because of several food chemical intolerances, I have to follow a restrictive diet and all the warming spices are off the menu for me.
Pears, however, are packed with flavor, especially when baked, and offer a delicious low salicylate and low oxalate alternative to those spices. So I used them to flavor these comforting and warming muffins.
This recipe is suitable as is for the following diets:
- gluten free
- corn free
- low oxalate
- low salicylate
- dairy free
- oil free
It can be easily adjusted for these diets as well:
- low histamine
And if you are phasing small quantities of higher FODMAP foods back into your diet like I am, this may also be a good recipe for you to try.
A Low Salicylate Fruit
After I discovered my salicylate sensitivity, I had to remove most of the fruits I was eating from my already very limited diet.
So when I learned that pears (particularly Bartlett pears) are low salicylate if peeled, I thought I should give them a try – even though these foods are considered high FODMAP, and not recommended for those with IBS or SIBO.
Since my SIBO has improved since my initial diagnosis, I thought I would try eating a very small quantity of this fruit – I started with just one eighth of a pear.
Thankfully, I seem to tolerate a fourth of a pear or so at a time without any unpleasant side effects.
I have been making this pear muffin recipe for a couple of months now and I find it not only quite tolerable, but also quite delicious! It also has a chewy, toothsome texture which I absolutely adore.
I calculated the quantity of pear in this recipe so that I can eat three muffins for breakfast if I want, yet still only give myself the equivalent of one fourth of a pear.
One of the ingredients that contributes to the nice texture of these muffins is the use of whole, rolled oats instead of flour. As a long sufferer of terribly textured gluten free baked goods, I enjoy the texture of these muffins just as much as the taste.
In addition to enjoying these for breakfast, I also eat them for snacks or desserts sometimes – which is extremely nice, considering my snack and dessert options are the most limited of my food choices.
These don’t contain any weird gluten free binders – eggs and potato starch are what bind the muffins together.
And if you associate the word “starch” with all things evil and unhealthy, it might be time to rethink things. Potato starch contains resistant starch, which can feed your beneficial gut bacteria.
Before Getting Started
Before I start throwing ingredients into my mixing bowl, I like to get out each ingredient and place it on my counter.
This way, I’m sure I have everything I need before I even get started.
Once I have all my ingredients gathered up, only then do I start on the recipe. And as I add each ingredient, I put it away – that way I don’t find myself asking, “Um, did I put the baking soda in yet? Or not?”
Ready for the recipe? Here you go:
Comforting Pear Muffin Recipe (Gluten Free, Low Oxalate, Low Salicylate)
- 12-cup muffin pan
- muffin liners
- large sieve
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats, dry
- 2 1/2+ cups boiling water
- 1 cup potato starch
- 1/2 cup cane sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 eggs
- 1 Bartlett pear
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place muffin liners into a twelve cup muffin tin.
- Place the rolled oats in a medium sized bowl. Pour the boiling water over them and let sit.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the sugar, potato starch, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- Add the three eggs, mix the batter well.
- Cut the pear into fourths, core and peel it, then chop. Add to the batter.
- Use the sieve to drain the oats, then rinse them with more boiling water. Stir the oats into the batter.
- Spoon the batter into muffin tin liners, and bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until lightly golden.
- Remove from oven, and enjoy warm.
To make these as nourishing and healthy as possible, I recommend using all organic ingredients and free range eggs.
Tips and Substitutions
Here are a few tips and substitution possibilities for various diet concerns:
It can be tricky finding baking powder that doesn’t contain corn starch. I use Hain brand baking powder, which contains potato starch instead of corn starch.
To make these as low oxalate as possible, I use One Degree brand sprouted rolled oats, which has tested lower than many other organic brands for oxalates, at about 15 mg of oxalate for one half of a cup, dry. I then soak and rinse the oats to further lower oxalates – a technique for lowering oxalate which hasn’t been tested, but which may further remove soluble oxalates from these grains.
The total estimated oxalate content is about five and a half mg of oxalate per muffin.
Pears and FODMAPs
If you don’t have to worry about FODMAPs because of SIBO or IBS, I recommend increasing the number of pears in the recipe from one to two for even more flavor.
On the other hand, if you aren’t sure yet whether your gut can tolerate the fermentable carbs in this fruit, start with just one muffin to see how it goes before eating more in one sitting. One muffin will give you just one twelfth of a pear!
Make sure to choose a ripe pear – it should give slightly if you squeeze it but avoid any that look like they have started to go bad.
If your histamine load is currently too high or you have consistent problems with histamine liberators such as egg whites, you can substitute the three whole eggs called for in this recipe with five egg yolks, and omit the whites. The muffins will have a slightly different texture without egg whites, but will still hold together perfectly well.
Using an overly ripe pear will increase the histamine content of this recipe, so avoid any fruits that have started to get mushy spots.
Want to make it vegan? Sub the eggs with your preferred egg substitute, such as flax eggs or aquafaba.
Trying to reduce your sugar intake? Leave the sugar out, though it will alter the texture of the muffins as well as removing most of the sweetness (add that extra pear for more sweetness if tolerated).
I think these are still quite good without the sugar, but I think more people will like them with the sugar. You could also try reducing the amount of sugar down to 1/4 of a cup.
Another option is to try substituting the sugar with maple syrup, though I haven’t tried that substitution myself. If you give it a try, let me know how it works in the comments section.
I live at a high elevation (5,495′) and use a vintage oven. Your bake time may vary slightly from mine.
I like to bake my batch of muffins so that they come out lightly golden – that way I can warm up extras in the oven later without them becoming overly browned.
If you try this recipe out, please let me know what you think! I hope it brings you as much food comfort as it does me.