Monday, June 1, 2015

Cranberry Orange Muffins

It is always such a bummer when something you love is only available for a short time each year. That's part of eating seasonally though. Cranberries are one of those things that I like to have on hand year round, but they are usually only available October - December.So every year I stock up and throw a few extra bags into the freezer so they are on hand to make things like Pear-cranberry crisp (pears are an end of summer fruit here in So. Cal), and these Orange-Cranberry muffins!

As far as healthy foods go, cranberries are at the top of the list due to their high nutrient and antioxidant content and are often referred to as a "super food." Not to mention, half a cup of cranberries contains only 25 calories!

The possible health benefits of consuming cranberries include lowered risk of urinary tract infections, prevention of certain types of cancer, improved immune function, decreased blood pressure and more.

It is important to know that the most commonly consumed form of this food is Cranberry Juice, which is processed from the berries and typically produced by adding generous amounts of sugar. This form of cranberry cannot provide you with cranberry's full phytonutrient benefits. The cranberry "presscake"—or what is left behind in terms of skins and flesh after the juice has been processed out—typically contains the bulk of the phytonutrients when evaluated in lab studies.  (source)

So to get the full benefit of this super berry, I like to skip the juice, and instead incorporate the whole berry into recipes that use smaller amounts of natural sweeteners. These muffins are super easy, gluten-free (as long as you use GF oats), Dairy free, and can easily be vegan if you swap maple syrup for the honey! 

And all that aside, they are a healthy treat that my boys just LOVE and I can feel good about giving them. Beware though... they are hard to keep in the house and seem to disappear rather quickly around these parts :o)

Cranberry Orange Muffins

3 large overripe bananas
1/4 cup raw honey
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups oatmeal, blended to a flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 sup fresh cranberries, chopped
zest and juice of 1/2 orange
1/4 cup pecans, chopped (optional)


30 minutes at 350 degrees

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