Pineapple Upside-Down Muffins


Glistening like sticky buns, these unusual muffins are packed with wholesome ingredients—vegetables, fruit and whole grains— so you can feel good about serving them to your family. If you prefer to make simple carrot muffins for breakfasts-on-the-go or to pack in lunchboxes, omit the topping; sprinkle 2 tablespoons nuts over the muffins before baking, if desired.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Start to finish: 1 hour

Ingredients:

Topping

2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
1 10-ounce can pineapple slices

Muffins

3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons pineapple juice or orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple (not drained)
1 cup grated carrot (1 large)
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup raisins, preferably baking raisins (see Note)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat 12 muffin cups with cooking spray.

2. To prepare topping: Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar into each muffin cup. Sprinkle nuts, if using, over the sugar. Stack pineapple slices and cut into 6 wedges. Place 2 wedges in each muffin cup.

3. To prepare muffins: Whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. Whisk eggs and brown sugar in a medium bowl until smooth. Whisk in oil, juice and vanilla. Stir in crushed pineapple. Add to the dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula just until moistened. Stir in carrot, oats, raisins and nuts, if using. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin cups (they'll be quite full).

4. Bake the muffins until golden brown and firm to the touch, 15 to 25 minutes. Immediately loosen edges and turn muffins out onto a baking sheet. Restore any stray pineapple pieces and nuts. Let cool for at least 10 minutes. Serve upside-down, either warm or at room temperature.

Makes 1 dozen muffins.

211 calories per muffin; 6 g total fat (1 g sat, 3 g mono); 35 mg cholesterol; 36 g carbohydrate; 4 g protein; 3 g fiber; 181 mg sodium.

Use a salt substitute to reduce sodium content.

Ingredient note: Baking raisins, moister than regular ones, ensure a better texture. To substitute regular raisins, plump them first: soak in boiling water for 10 minutes; drain well.

Topping variations: Replace canned pineapple with 3/4 cup sliced fresh pineapple, banana, mango or plums, or with rhubarb cut into 1/2-inch pieces.

B-man