My daughter C reaching for Cranberry Orange AIP / Paleo muffins
Fresh cranberries might just be one of my favorite food-related parts of this holiday season. I love that, like pumpkin, they're a crossover ingredient, good for both Thanksgiving and Christmas menu ideas. And that deep red hue - it's a reminder of the beloved seasonal color. Plus, consider the cranberry for a moment: not something that can readily be eaten as is, it must undergo some gastronomic transformation to become truly enjoyable. There's something poetic in there, something about changing, growing, becoming.
OK, so maybe I'm not totally capturing it. Still, I think it's enough to consider that the winter - the hardest, darkest part of the year - can be a season of great growth, it we will embrace it. Sort of like the cranberry - bitter if eaten as is, delightful when reduced through cooking or paired with the right balance of sweet ingredients.
If you're still with me, let's talk about this recipe. Boy was I thrilled when these came out so beautifully after the second try. One of the harder parts of making any AIP baked item is getting the texture right - and it all comes down to finding the right balance of wet to dry ingredients. So when they initially came out gummy, I just adjusted the wet ingredients the second time around. Cris and I both declared them a success. But the real litmus test would be my daughter C. First one was gobbled up in a minute flat. Then, when my back was turned, yet another disappeared from the plate. When I caught her trying to steal yet a third, I knew I had a definite winner!!
See that?? Going for the third!!
What balances the cranberries so well, aside from the maple syrup, is the orange juice and zest. Fresh is definitely the way to go - you kill two birds with one stone by zesting the same orange you then juice! And don't hesitate to pour in the pulpy bits as well, unless you prefer your juice pulp-free.
I sure wish I'd made this for Thanksgiving, because these muffins would have surely graced my dinner table! As it is, I'll definitely then include them in my Christmas menu - and, for the big guy, make extra for beforehand as well. What this recipe has taught me is that muffins do indeed exist that are AIP and allergy-friendly that sacrifice nothing in taste. And kid-friendly as well?? Woohoo!!
* I highly recommend using refined coconut oil for baking needs. Although unrefined can
certainly be used in a pinch, it also tends to leave a not-entirely-pleasant (in my opinion)
** Great Lakes makes two kinds of gelatin. Both are exactly the same except for one
difference: the gelatin in the orange container congeals, whereas the collagen in the green
container does not. Since you need something to congeal here (to bind ingredients together)
you'll want the orange container, linked below.
Yield: 10 muffinsAuthor: Alyssa Reaves
Cranberry Orange Muffins (AIP, Paleo)
prep time: 10 MINS cook time: 35 MINS total time: 45 mins
1/4 cup freshly-squeezed orange juice (~1 1/2 oranges)
zest of one medium to large orange
1 gelatin egg: 1/3 cup filtered water, 1 TBSP gelatin**
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a large bowl, mix coconut flour, cassava flour, baking soda and sea salt together.
Chop cranberries, and then fold into dry ingredients.
Using a separate, smaller bowl, combine maple syrup, melted coconut oil, orange juice and zest.
Add liquids to dry ingredients. Stir well to combine.
Make gelatin egg: put water in a pot. Sprinkle gelatin over and allow to thicken, ~2-3 mins. Turn burner to medium / low and allow to dissolve, another ~2-3 mins. Remove from heat and whisk vigorously until all frothy. Immediately pour into bowl and stir to combine.
Line a muffin tin with 10 liners (or grease instead). Fill each to top.
Bake for 30-35 mins, until browned all along edges and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Keeps at room temp for 1-2 days. Can be frozen (wrap individually in plastic wrap and put inside large freezer bag for best results) for longer storage. Allow to come to room temp before serving.