Banana and Pear Muffins with Blueberries

I'm going through a muffin-baking phase, so I thought I'd do a new version of The Eczema Diet 'Pear Muffins' recipe, which I made 2 days ago (the kids have already devoured them, as I never bake muffins anymore - who has the time?). 

My daughter no longer has eczema (and can eat everything now) so I've topped these muffins with salicylate-rich blueberries. If you are in Stage 2 of The Eczema Diet, or if you're absolutely sure you are not sensitive to salicylates (more than 60% of eczema sufferers are), then feel free to add blueberries. Or just add them because you want to. 

This recipe is dairy-free and wheat-free (contains gluten from spelt flour), and you can use gluten-free flour if you need to. The muffins are basically sugar-free too, aside from natural sugars from fruit and alkalising rice malt syrup (which is not that sweet). As they are low in sugar, load each one with heaps of fruit so each mouthful has a piece of sweet fruit. My kids love these (but hey, they are a bit junk-food deprived, except for my son who I spoil often).

Here is the recipe... It makes 12 medium-sized muffins. Let me know how you go with it!

You will need:

Food processor (or similar)

Muffin pan, lined with paper liners or greased with rice bran oil (the eczema-friendly oil)


1 egg or egg-free substitute

½ cup (125 mL) rice malt syrup (see notes, below)

1 cup organic soy milk or rice milk (250 mL)

1 small, ripe banana (or ½ large banana, see notes)

1⁄2 tsp natural vanilla extract (2 mL)

1⁄3 cup rice bran oil (75 mL)

2 cups spelt flour, preferably whole-meal

3 or 4 tsp wheat-free (gluten-free) baking powder (check amount they suggest on the packet instructions)

1⁄2 tsp baking soda

2 large ripe pears, peeled and diced (the more the better)

Stage 2 option: ½ cup of blueberries, for decoration


1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C)

2. In food processor, combine egg, rice malt syrup, non-dairy milk, banana and vanilla; process until smooth. With the motor running, slowly drizzle rice bran oil through the chute; process until smooth and creamy.

3. In a bowl, combine spelt flour, baking powder and baking soda (sift to combine). Then pour the liquid into the flour mix and stir with a wooden spoon until combined and lump-free. Using a spoon, gently stir in pear.

4. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each three-quarters full (see photo, they are quite full which makes lovely, high muffins). If using blueberries, top the uncooked muffins with about 3 blueberries each.

5. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes or until light golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack.

Printable Version (Adobe PDF)

Variations and notes

  • Bananas: Do not use ‘sugar’ bananas, also known as ‘lady finger’ bananas, as they are rich in salicylates and amines (normal bananas contain amines too, but not as many).
  • If you are gluten intolerant, try using an all-purpose gluten-free flour mix instead of the spelt flour; you may need a little less milk (use malt-free soy milk).
  • For Stage 2: top the muffins with 2 or 3 blueberries each.
  • If rice malt syrup is not available, use 1/3 cup pure maple syrup or golden syrup (rice malt syrup is not as sweet).
  • Use real vanilla extract, not the imitation vanilla.
  • These muffins can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • School lunches: pop them into sandwich bags or separate containers, freeze them, and then put one into your child's lunchbox each day. 


At Eczema Life, we recommend nutritionist Karen Fischer's low food chemical program (The Eczema Detox) along with additive-free supplements for skin health and wellbeing. Click on the images to view more details: