Sunday, October 14, 2012

Healthy Cranberry Orange Muffins

Today I whipped up a batch of cranberry orange muffins because they are amazing muffins for the fall/holiday time frame. It's the first time I've baked in my new apartment, so there were some interesting obstacles. For example, the original recipe called for orange zest, and I forgot that I do not have a grater in the apartment. I improvised with a knife and some scissors. It turned out well!

The use of whole wheat flour and "light" salt are most of what makes this recipe so healthy. You can use a different flour and salt, if you prefer. I didn't find any difference in taste when using these ingredients. The only difference I found was in the texture. It's not quite as light as it would be with different flour. It's also a little grainier, but not by much.

Here are the ingredients you'll need:

  • 1 cup of cranberries (I think fresh cranberries taste better than frozen ones, personally)
  • 3/4 cup of orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of orange zest (I changed this from the whole teaspoon that's in the original recipe)
  • 2 cups of whole wheat flour 
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. It should be completely heated by the time you're done putting everything together.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, sugar). In a separate smaller bowl, beat together the orange juice, vegetable oil, egg, and orange zest. Add the liquid mixture to the larger bowl with the dry mixture, and stir until moist, adding in the cranberries as well.

If you are using whole wheat flour and paper muffin cups, you can almost fill the muffin cups to get optimum muffin shape and size. If you're using another type of flour or no paper muffin cups, I suggest only filling the muffin tins 3/4 of the way. Sprinkle a small amount of sugar along the tops of the muffins before putting them in the oven.

Bake the muffins for 15-20 minutes. I found that 15 minutes was the perfect amount of time for these muffins. Be sure to test them with a toothpick before you pull them out though! This recipe made 16 muffins (not all of them are pictured). 

Are there any fall or holiday recipes you love to break out around this time?

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