Cranberry Orange Walnut Muffins

Walnuts are one of nature's superfoods; they're chock full of omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, vitamin E, and more. Research has linked walnut consumption to improved metabolism, improved bone health, coronary heart disease prevention, cancer prevention, type 2 diabetes prevention, mood boosts, and more! 

Alfie loves raw walnuts. He eats them every single day, but the rest of us prefer to pair our walnuts with a bit of sweetness and/or savory. So we sprinkle walnuts on our salads and pair them with fruit and cheese. However, 3Po and Jammy have braces, so they can't eat walnuts for the time being. When California Walnuts challenged me to come up with snack ideas featuring walnuts and other pantry staples, I wanted to come up with something that 3Po and Jammy could enjoy. I decided to take out my trusty food processor and grind some walnuts into a fine powder. We've been eating a lot of cranberry orange bread, so I decided to make some cranberry orange muffins and add walnuts to them. I found a great recipe on the internet and tweaked it, adding more walnuts and a dollop of yogurt for extra moisture. The result is fantastic! 

Cranberry Orange Walnut Muffins

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup vanilla yogurt (or substitute plain yogurt)
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup ground walnuts (grind walnut pieces in a food processor)

Preheat oven to 375F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

Mix oil, juice, sugar, egg, and yogurt in a bowl.

Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.

Fold in walnuts and cranberries by hand.

Fill muffin tins. Bake 18-22 minutes until tops are browned and a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean.  

Makes 12 muffins.

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