Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Seasonal Thanksgiving Muffins

Cranberry Oat Snack Muffins
Makes 24 mini muffins

These fiber filled gems are a great way to show off fresh cranberries, which are beginning to pop up at the farmers market in preparation for Thanksgiving. I tend to make these during the holiday season. They are always a big hit at bake sales. Because they contain some “white flour,” these are ideal for those of you transitioning from a mainstream diet to a more whole foods way of eating. Cranberries are high in vitamins C and K, necessary for wound healing and immune system functioning. They also contain manganese, another wonderful antioxidant nutrient.

1 cup rolled oats
¾ cup all purpose flour
¼ cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
¼ cup agave nectar
1/3 cup milk of choice (dairy, coconut, soy, almond, rice, hemp, etc.)
¼ cup orange juice
¼ cup liquid coconut oil or grapeseed oil
¼ cup yogurt (dairy, coconut, soy)
1 egg
Grated rind of an orange
½ cup fresh or frozen cranberries, halved

1. Preheat oven at 375 degrees.
2. Line mini muffin tins with paper muffin cups.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together oats, two flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
    Set aside.
4. In a medium bowl, combine agave, milk, orange juice, oil, yogurt and orange rind until
    thoroughly blended.
5. Mix liquid ingredients into dry ingredients, blending just until moistened, 15 to 20
    strokes should do it. Do not overmix.
6. Fold in cranberries.
7. Fill muffin cups half full.
8. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until muffins test done. Allow to cool in tin for 20
    minutes before removing.

The Value of Cranberries
For many years, researchers celebrated cranberries for their unique ability to help prevent urinary tract infections, especially in girls and women. But cranberries do so much more! They boast a high level of phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins and fiber, making them essential for helping boost the immune system, preventing cardiovascular disease (even in children), aiding in healthy digestion, even working to fight cavities and gingivitis. If you need some quick, easy ideas for using cranberries, try adding a handful of fresh berries to your favorite muffin, bread, or hearty cookie recipes!