Friday, December 23, 2011

Cranberry-Orange Muffins (Vegan & GF)

My girls love muffins.  They don't care what kind. They just love muffins. I don't think they've ever said no to one. It's become kind of funny.  I think it stems from the fact that we just don't have a lot of baked goods or sweet treats around the house.  I've never been a huge fan of baking.  It's not necessarily my culinary gift.  My love in the kitchen is cooking.  I get real excited about using whole foods to create healthy, simple dishes.  So I think part of the love my girls have for muffins is that "mom's finally made a baked good!"  Happy day for them!

We have  a group of dear friends we meet with weekly in what we call a house church.  We get together. We share life.  We share a meal. Our kids play, fight, cry, giggle, and love on each other.  All the while we share our hearts with each other and try to be people that love on and encourage and support one another.  It's a beautiful thing.  In our little house church pod there are several who have gone gluten free over the years so it's been a natural progression for me to learn to make things in a way that is available for all to eat. Even though I'm not a huge fan of baking I've ventured off into a bit of gluten free baking.  It's a fun new challenge, and I am always up for a new adventure. 

On top of playing around with my gluten free baking, I've been experimenting and totally in love with fresh cranberries.  Oh my word.  I just can't get enough of this tasty little fruit.  I love tossing dried cranberries into salads but have yet to find any dried cranberries without sugar.  Not that it's the end of the world to have some sugar but I like to minimize our families consumption of sugar, especially in the winter with all the colds and flu.  This year I've become a big fan of fresh cranberries.  I bought a bunch this fall at the farmers market, rinsed them, and tossed them into bags and froze them.  Perfect.  I've done cookies, smoothies, teas, muffins, breads, and juices.  Did you know cranberries are believed to help protect against urinary tract infections? According to the Ayurvedic tradition, cranberries are the lymph-movers of the winter season.  They lymphatic system drains the cells and transports the immune system.   It's not a surprise then that cranberries have a global effect on the body's well-being, meaning better lymph drainage equals better overall health.  A couple other benefits John Douillard states that cranberries offer is that they aid in strengthening the gums, protect against the common cold, boost heart health, and protect the prostate.  I say these little berries pack a punch!

Cranberry-Orange Muffins

1 cup (1/3 each of sweet sorghum, buckwheat, & tapicoa flours)(regular flour is always an option)
3/4 cup oats
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
3 TBS ground flaxseeds
1 TBS ground chia seeds
3 TBS raw honey, maple syrup, or brown rice syrup
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup applesauce (unsweetened)
1/2 cup non-dairy milk

juice of 1 orange
zest of 1 orange
3/4 cup chopped pecans, walnuts, or almonds
1 cup chopped fresh cranberries

Mix flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt together in one bowl.

Mix flax seeds, chia seeds, oil, applesauce, milk, sweetener, orange zest, and the juice of 1 orange together in separate bowl.

Combine the wet and dry mixtures.  Fold in nuts and cranberries.

Pour into muffin tins.  (FYI---reusable muffin cups make an awesome little Christmas gift!)

Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes. 

Enjoy some vegan, granulated sugar-free, gluten-free muffins!  :)

Have a beautiful Christmas!

Grace & Peace to you!!

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