Jen's Kitchen Blog

Learning to cook the food I like to eat…

Cherries!!! Cherry Almond Muffins for Breakfast and Glazed Cherry Pork Chops for Dinner

Posted by jenskitchen on August 5, 2012

I was excited to find fresh cherries in my Bountiful Basket this week! First, because my mom had sent me a recipe for Cherry Almond Muffins. Second, because cherries are anti-inflammatory and there are some studies that suggest that eating cherries can help relieve arthritis symptoms.

I haven’t talked about it yet… But, one of the reasons I haven’t been updating this blog much is due to some health issues. In February of this year things went downhill fast. I hadn’t been feeling great for some time before that. But… I wrote it off as stress. Too much work. Too little sleep. A lot of personal stuff going on… You know. Life. But, in February, my body started screaming at me that this was something more than just a bit of stress. All of the joints on the left side of my body started aching. The fingers on my left hand were twisted painfully and refused to relax. My hip and knee (left leg only) would occasionally give out and refuse to support me. I had a couple of falls and found it difficult to walk. Sometimes I found it difficult to even get out of bed. Yeah. My body was screaming for attention.

So far, I’ve seen several primary care docs, 2 neurologists, a rheumatologist, a GI doc, an OB/Gyn, a podiatrist, and an eye doctor. I’ve been diagnosed with advanced osteoarthritis in my spine and a case of iritis. I’ve been through a bunch of tests… ruling out several possible issues… but mostly just leaving more questions than answers.

So, instead of relying on help from doctors, I’m focusing on nutrition and seeing a Rolfer. I’ve had more improvement from this course of action than in four months of seeking help from doctors.

Cherries for Dinner: Cherry Glazed Pork Chops

I started looking around the internet searching for inspiration to use cherries in a savory application. I was extremely excited to find this recipe for Cherry Glazed Pork Chops. First of all, it was already naturally gluten-free. Second, it just looked really good. I only made some minor changes based on just what I had on hand. I had some beautiful bone-in pork loin chops fr0m the Meat Shop so I used those instead of boneless. I used marsala instead of port. I used yellow onions instead of shallots. I used red wine vinegar rather than balsamic. And… it was very, very good. I would like to try the recipe as written in the future, though… just to compare. And because cherries and pork are insanely good.

Since I already had the cherry pitter out… I went ahead and pitted extra cherries so I could make my mom’s Cherry Almond Muffins.

Cherry Almond Muffins

Use your handy-dandy cherry pitter to pit about a cup or so of cherries (I used about 2 cups of cherries)

Whisk together the dry ingredients:

  • 385 grams Better Batter flour – remove about 1/3 C and add to the cherries. Toss to coat the cherries. Set the cherries aside.
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Cream together in a stand mixer:

  • 8 T butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 Cups sugar (or equivalent amount of your preferred sweetener)

Add one at a time, incorporating fully after each addition:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 Cups sour cream

Then, add in the dry ingredients. I did this in about 3 additions, just to keep flour from flying all over my kitchen.

Gently fold in the cherries that have been tossed in 1/3 C flour.

Line a muffin pan with muffin cups and fill about 2/3 C full with batter. Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes.

This made 24 small muffins for me. (My mom said it would make 12. Her muffin pan is probably bigger than mine : )

You can cool these on a wire rack and then enjoy warm – fresh out of the oven… or wrap and refrigerate or freeze. Gently warm the muffins before serving.

Enjoy!

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