You all know how much I love a good muffin recipe. And Christmas is no exception. Our Christmas brunch usually includes at least two different varieties of muffins and last year these Pineapple Cherry Chia Muffins were my family’s favorite.
This recipe was inspired by one of our favorite desserts – pineapple upside down cake. I keep the combination of the pineapple and cherries, but eliminate lots of the sugar and add in some flax and chia seeds for a nutritional boost.
These muffins are moist, delicious and festive – with a bright burst of cherry red that screams Christmas to me. They are relatively healthy too (maraschino cherries not included. If you wanted to make them healthier you could sub frozen dark cherries or even dried cherries for the maraschino cherries. But since it’s Christmas, we will keep our maraschinos thank you very much).
This is a simple recipe to throw together. I like to prep all my ingredients the night before – especially if I am making these for Christmas morning, and bake them fresh in the morning. Just don’t start too early because the aroma of baking muffins is sure to rouse your family from their slumber. Not that there is too much slumbering going around here on Christmas Eve, but if you do have sleepers in your house, be forewarned that the sweet smell of Christmas are a good way to wake up sleepyheads.
I start by combining all the dry ingredient – white whole wheat flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, ground flax seeds and salt, in a large bowl and leave it covered on my counter. I also set out my can of pineapple chunks and measure out my chia seeds.
Then I prep my wet ingredients. I chop up the cherries, measure out the cherry juice, and combine the cherry mixture with the vanilla. I also cut up four tablespoons of butter so they are ready to melt in the morning. I even like to line my muffin tin with liners – in this case cute little Christmas papers.
In the morning all I have to do is preheat the oven and melt the butter in the microwave. Then I give the dry ingredients a quick whisk just to make sure they are light and fluffy. I stir in the cherry mixture, butter and eggs. then I gently fold in the pineapple chunks and mix until everything is combined. Finally, I stir in the chia seeds.
I use a 1/4 cup muffin scoop to fill my muffin tin about 2/3 full and then bake in a 400 degree oven for about 16 minutes. The muffins are done when the edges are lightly browned and the tops spring back lightly when touched. I allow them to cool in the pan about ten minutes and then transfer them to my Christmas dish for serving.
Often, these muffins are grabbed for a pre-brunch treat while we are still gathered around the tree or enjoyed as an appetizer while we prep the meal. But no matter when they are eaten, they are always enjoyed.
And although I am sharing this recipe as part of my Holiday Baking Series, don’t think this is only a Christmas recipe. These recipes would be just as delicious on a warm July morning – ahh, let’s all take just one moment to remember those – as they are on Christmas morning.