Cheery Cherry Muffins

When fresh cherries are cheap in the summer I buy a ton. I wash, pit, bag them up in Ziplocs and toss them in the freezer. The pitting part used to be a big pain in the toosh but last summer I bought this simple gadget. It's amazing when you have the right tools how much easier it is. When there are no cherries to be found at the Farmer's Market and the supermarkets are charging a fortune for them I pull out some of my sweet secret stash.

I use them in my Black Cherry Protein Ice Cream and Protein Smoothies and these yummy Cherry Nut Muffins I made this weekend. They brightened the rainy day and baking them cheered me up after my weekend plans were washed out. I kept a few out, froze a few for next week (they freeze great), and gave a few to my neighbor. This morning I cut 2 in half and heated them lightly in a pan. They get all golden and toasty. I ate them with a fresh fruit salad. A super yummy start to the day.

Shelly's Cherry Nut Mini Protein Muffins

3/4 cup Spelt Flour
1/2 cup Vanilla Protein Powder
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
dash of Salt
1/4 cup Walnuts, chopped
2 Tablespoons (plus a little for the top) Unsweetened Shredded Coconut
2 Eggs, beaten
1 Tablespoon Canola Oil
4 Tablespoons Sugar Free Torani Syrup (I used SF Black Cherry)
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
1 cup Frozen Cherries, chopped

Preheat oven to 350. Spray mini muffin tin with Pam and set aside. Mix all ingredients together till combined.

Spoon into muffin tin and sprinkle with a little more coconut. Bake at 350 for 12 minutes or until a tester inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Remove pans from oven.

Allow to cool in the pan for 3 minutes.

Transfer to wire cooling rack to cool completely. Store in a sealed container to keep them soft and moist.