When cranberries are in season, I stock up and freeze them for later use. I love adding fresh cranberries to meals throughout the fall and winter; the purpley-red color reminds me of the rich hues of fall. Oranges, of course, are orbs of sunshine that can help carry us through the dark winter months. In these vegan cranberry/orange muffins, the orange flavor is strong and sweet, and the cranberries provide sour, gooey bursts of contrasting flavor that render jelly or jam unnecesary.
These beautiful muffins are based on a recipe from Sophie-Safe Cooking, a great little cookbook for people who have just learned they have celiac disease or food allergies but whose bodies can tolerate (certified gluten-free) oats. I talk about this cookbook all the time, but it’s been a lifesaver for me as I learn to make gluten-free, egg-free baked goods. Every recipe in the cookbook is free of the top 8 allergens: wheat/gluten, soy, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, eggs, shellfish, and fish. The baked goods in the cookbook are largely based upon grinding rolled oats in the blender to serve as oat flour.
I altered this cranberry/orange muffin recipe a bit to my taste preferences. It’s such a tasty breakfast (or snack)—and it’s so easy to make—that I highly recommend it to anyone, even those who can eat gluten or eggs. I freeze the muffins in batches and reheat one in the microwave for breakfast every few days. (I try to rotate my breakfast foods.) I don’ t know the cookbook author, Emily Hendrix, but I emailed her, and she was kind enough to allow me to share this recipe.
Gluten-Free, Egg-Free, Soy-Free, High-Fiber (Vegan) Cranberry/Orange Muffins
(Whew, that’s a title!)
3 c. rolled oats, ground to flour in a blender (it’s okay if small pieces are left intact)
2/3 c. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 T. flax seed meal (optional, but adds omega-3s and fiber)
2 T. oil
3-4 oranges (for 3/4 c. OJ and peel of one orange)
1 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 c. fresh cranberries (if frozen, thaw them)
1/2 c. chopped walnuts or pecans (optional, but adds protein and fiber)
gluten-free cooking spray
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Mix oat flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and flax meal in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
Zest the peel of one orange using the small holes on a box grater or a microplane grater. Microwave the two-three oranges for 20-30 seconds to warm them slightly; then firmly roll the oranges on the counter or cutting board. (This helps them release more juice.) Slice the oranges, and squeeze the juice and some pulp from them into a liquid measuring cup. (Remove any orange seeds that fall in the measuring cup.) Stop when you reach 3/4 c. of juice; if you do not get 3/4 cup of juice, add some water to equal 3/4 cup. (You can use refrigerated OJ for this step as the cookbook suggests, but the orange zest and fresh juice heighten the orange flavor.)
Add zest, oil, juice, and vinegar to the dry mix, and stir together well.
Stir in cranberries and nuts.
Put cupcake liners in muffin cups–either 9 for regular muffins, 12 for kid-sized ones. If you are making 9 muffins, put a small amount of water in the remaining three muffin holes in the muffin pan. Spray each muffin liner with cooking spray. Pour muffin mix into the muffin liners, filling the liners almost entirely full for 9 muffins or 2/3 full for 12 muffins.
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, or until toothpick stuck in the middle of a muffin comes out with only a few tiny crumbs attached (well, and maybe an oozing cranberry depending on where you stick the toothpick).
Enjoy immediately, or let cool and freeze for later!
I’m submitting this tasty recipe to the Living With Food Allergies Carnival, which will be hosted this week by Rational Jenn.