Pistachio Pear Muffins

6 jumbo or 12-14 standard muffins.

2 cups Unsifted, all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons Baking powder
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/3 cup Sugar
1/3 cup Vegetable oil
1/3 cup Milk
2 Eggs
2 tablespoons Grated orange peel
1 1/2 cups Chopped, unpared pears (firm, slightly under ripe; 2 medium or 3 small pears)
3/4 cup Coarsely chopped, natural American pistachios


Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 6 (6 ounce) custard cups; place in shallow pan for easier handling. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and sugar. In another bowl, beat together oil, milk, eggs and orange peel. Make a well in dry ingredients and pour wet mixture in it, stirring until just moistened. Fold in pears and 1/2 cup pistachios. Turn into custard cups. Sprinkle with remaining pistachios. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until pick comes out dry. Cool 10 minutes then tap from cups.
Note: For standard-size muffins, turn batter into 12 to 14 greased or paper-lined muffin-pan cups. Bake for 20 minutes or until pick comes out dry.

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fun facts

Pistachios, when eaten with high-carbohydrate foods, may result in lower than expected blood sugar levels, an important factor in reducing risk of diabetes.

According to a Penn State University study, it is suggested that pistachios reduce the body's biological response to stress.

One serving of pistachios has as much potassium (300mg, 8%) as an orange (250mg, 7%).

Pistachios are high in phytosterols which may lower cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of heart disease. In animal studies phytosterols have been shown to potentially have anti-cancer properties.

One serving of pistachios is 49 nuts, more than any other tree nut.

Forty-nine pistachios serve up to 20 percent of your Daily Value of B6, about the same as half an avocado.

You can obtain more dietary fiber from a serving of pistachios (3g) than a 1/2 cup of cooked broccoli, and the same amount of dietary fiber as an orange or an apple — approximately 10 percent of the Daily Value.

Just a single serving of pistachios provides you with the same amount of protein in a one-ounce serving of soybeans and can serve as a protein alternative to meat, poultry or beans according to the USDA Food Guide Pyramid.

Pistachios are a naturally cholesterol-free snack and contain just 1.5 grams of saturated fat.

Celebrate the greatness of nuts! October 22 is National Nut Day and February 26 is National Pistachio Day!