Cranberry Orange Christmas Muffins

I call these “Christmas Muffins” due to the spices I add to the recipe around the holidays. The aroma of the spices mixed with the orange zest smells like Christmas! Normally these muffins are made with golden raisins, but during the holidays, I change out the raisins for dried cranberries and some seasonal spices. They’re great for breakfast, or as an afternoon snack, and also another great gift idea to spread some Christmas Cheer.

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*Makes 12 Muffins*

Ingredients:

¾ Cup Oat Bran Flour*    (Make your own instructions below)
½ Cup Organic Unbleached flour
½ Cup Organic Stone Ground Whole Wheat Flour
(For gluten-free, substitute Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Baking flour for both)
2 Tbls. Fresh Ground Flaxseed Meal
2 Tbls. Coconut Flour
½ Cup Organic Sugar (I use Coconut Sugar)   img_9167
1 ½ tsp. Baking Powder
½ tsp. Baking Soda
¼ tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Allspice
1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
1/4 tsp. Ground Cloves
Zest of One Organic Orange**    (See note below)
¾ Cup Dried Cranberries
1 Orange, peeled, quartered and seeded
½ Cup Buttermilk***   (Make your own instructions below)
¼ cup Coconut Oil
1 Egg

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Directions:

Preheat Oven 375. Line one 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners.

  1. Combine all dry ingredients in medium size bowl, including orange zest, then stir in raisins.
  2. In Blender combine: Orange sections, Buttermilk, Coconut Oil, and Egg. Blend well. Pour into dry ingredients and combine. Batter will be thick. Spoon into muffin pan.
  3. Bake 18-20 min.

*To Make Oat Flour: Use either Old Fashioned Oats, or Steel Cut oats, or a combination of both. (Do Not use “Quick Cooking Oats”, they have been partially cooked with water and will not work for oat flour). Measure 1 to 2 cups oats into food processor. Pulse 10-15 times, then process for :30 to :60 seconds, or until it is the consistency of flour. Store in airtight container. Steel cut oats still have the bran coating, so it creates “Oat Bran Flour”. It will require more processing and it will not process as smooth as Old Fashioned Oats, it will be a little grainy (which is totally fine), Old Fashioned Oats have had the outer bran coating removed, so you’ll end up with a finer “Oat Flour” after processing. Either type will work well in the recipe, or you can use a combination of both. It’s just a matter of what you have on hand. If you use a combination of both, process the Steel Cut Oats first, then after they’re almost to a flour-like state, add the Old Fashioned Oats and process for another :30 seconds

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Steel Cut Oats
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Steel Cut Oats processed for :60 seconds
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Processed Steel Cut Oats and Old Fashioned Oats

**Orange Zest – I’ve tried the recipe with and without orange zest. It’s much better with the zest, it adds a depth of orange flavor that the orange alone doesn’t. If you have a microplane grater, then add zest to the dry ingredients, but if you have a regular zester, that creates strips of zest, then add it to the blender with the wet ingredients and blend.

***Buttermilk: ½ Cup Milk of choice (I use Organic Whole Milk) ½ Tbls. Of fresh squeezed lemon juice, or white distilled vinegar. Let sit for 5 minutes.

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