Orange, Pumpkin and Date Muffins

It’s probably pretty clear that muffins are something that are baked, and eaten, quite regularly in this house.

The reason I tend to go for muffins is for a few reasons:

  1. They are quick and easy to make
  2. They can be appropriately portioned into whatever sized morsel you want
  3. They freeze really well, meaning you don’t have to feel like you are eating the same thing everyday for a week
  4. They are the perfect size for lunchboxes

I had some quinoa flour in the pantry and some pumpkin that needed using, which resulted in the creation of these Orange, Pumpkin and Date muffins. The dates provide a natural sweetness, while the juice and zest of the orange give the distinct citrus flavour, while the mashed pumpkin provides a good nutrition boost but also allows the muffin to retain it’s moisture and compliments the spice profile nicely. If you were wanting to add some crunch to these muffins, some slivered almonds or chopped walnuts would work quite nicely. I have chosen to not put nuts in these muffins as the kids will take them to school and kinder.

The first time I made these Orange, Pumpkin and Date muffins, I used only quinoa flour, which left a distinct after taste, which wasn’t offensive and no one complained, but I thought that I would make a few amendments to allow it to be more suitable to everyones palate. Often flours such as quinoa, buckwheat and chickpea flour have quite a strong flavour, so it is best to mix them with another type of flour, such as a wheat, spelt or even rice flour for a gluten free alternative.

I hope you enjoy these muffins for something a little bit different. xx.

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup peeled pumpkin, steamed and mashed
  • 3/4 cup quinoa flour
  • 3/4 cup wholemeal spelt flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/3 cup dates, pitted and chopped, I used 3 medjool dates
  • Zest of 1 orange, finely grated
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and prepare ~12-15 hole muffin tin.
  2. Peel pumpkin and chop into 1cm slices and place in a steamer basket and steam until soft. Allow to cool slightly and mash.
  3. Place the flours, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, spices, zest and dates into a large bowl and mix to combine.
  4. Add the eggs, orange juice, vanilla and the mashed pumpkin and mix well to combine.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the muffin tray and bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown.

Peach and Blackberry Muffins

We love muffins in this household, and with an array of amazing Summer fruits currently available, it makes the flavours of our muffins new and exciting!

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I bought a whole heap of peaches this week, as they are cheap as chips, with the intention of stewing them. Aaron then took Brian for a walk the other night, and came home with a bucket full of blackberries, from the wild blackberry bushes that we have growing in the reserve not too far from our house, and so these muffins were born.

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Elise, who is now one, is an absolute animal when it comes to eating. She will often eat more that Claire in a day, so I wanted to make these muffins suitable for her, yet still delicious for the rest of the family, so I have kept the sugar to a minimum, but added more blackberries than I might have otherwise.

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The first batch of these I made with the intention of sending the to school with Mark during his first week, but they disappeared within a few days. Luckily, we still had peaches and Aaron picked some more blackberries so I could make some more and perfect the recipe. I have kept this second batch in the freezer and they freeze/defrost really well.

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If blackberries weren’t readily available, fresh or frozen raspberries would work really well. The original muffins I was planning were peach and raspberry until the blackberries appeared on my kitchen bench.

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Enjoy xx.

Ingredients:

Makes 15 muffins

  • 1 3/4 cups wholemeal flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut, toasted
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarb soda
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 60g butter, melted
  • 75g coconut oil, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup natural yoghurt
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 2 peaches, 1 diced, 1 sliced for on top of the muffins

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180° and prepare muffin tin.
  2. Place flour, oats, baking powder, bicarb soda, brown sugar and salt into a large bowl and mix to combine.
  3. Melt the butter and coconut oil in the microwave or in a saucepan and allow to cool slightly.
  4. Place the eggs, yoghurt, vanilla, milk and lemon juice into a medium sized bowl and mix to combine.
  5. Add the egg mix to the dry ingredients and mix, then add the melted butter and oil and mix well.
  6. Gently fold in the diced peach and blackberries.
  7. Spoon into prepared muffin tin, top each muffin with a slice of peach, and bake for 15 minutes or until inserted skewer comes out clean.
  8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before removing muffins from the tin.

Lemon and Raspberry Muffins

Muffins really are one of the best snacks for kids and adults alike and they can be packed full of goodness or just packed full of deliciousness if thats what you prefer.

The thing I like best about muffins is probably that they freeze really well, meaning I can make a batch and there isn’t the pressure to eat them all before they aren’t so good anymore. This allows variety throughout the weeks.

These lemon and raspberry muffins came about as we had a whole heap of lemons that Mum gave us and we had frozen raspberries in the freezer. If we had blueberries, they would have been lemon and blueberry muffins, which would also be a nice match. This is a really basic recipe and requires no beaters, just 2 bowls, one for wet and one for dry ingredients. I have used coconut oil, but you can use a vegetable oil if you prefer.

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The kids really liked these muffins, as they do any muffin. They are great for lunch boxes as they can go straight from the freezer and are defrosted by morning tea and help to keep the rest of the lunch box a little bit cool.

Enjoy xx.

Ingredients:

Makes 18 muffins

  • 3 cups plain flour (you can use wholemeal)
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g white sugar
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tsp lemon zest, finely grated
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 tbs natural yoghurt
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen raspberries

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and prepare muffin tray.
  2. Place flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl and mix to combine.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, whisk the eggs and sugars until combined. Mix in the milk, lemon juice, yoghurt, zest and vanilla and mix to combine. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and lightly mix. Add coconut oil and mix. Do not over mix.
  4. Gently fold in the raspberries and avoid over-mixing to avoid excess running of the raspberries.
  5. Spoon mixture into prepared muffin tins and flatten the top.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  7. Allow to cool and store in an airtight container for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Mixed Berry and Orange Muffins

Another week, another muffin recipe. I find muffins to be really easy and convenient to make, both for adults and for kids. I can freeze half the batch so we don’t feel like we are eating muffins double time to prevent them going off, the kids LOVE them, and they are really easy for Aaron and I to take to work.

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When cooking with the kids, the key is to give them tasks and keep them focussed, otherwise ingredients get thrown on the floor and the kitchen becomes a bombsight. Because muffins require the preparation of patty pans, this takes a good 4-5 minutes and they like to count them and categorise the colours and most importantly, they feel useful. So, if cooking with kids, give them tasks.

These muffins are a great one for kids as the majority of the sweetness comes from the orange juice and the berries themselves, which means very little added sugar is required.

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They will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 4-5 days, a little longer if in the fridge and obviously, much longer if in the freezer. You could freeze the whole batch and put them into kids lunch boxes straight out of the freezer and they will be defrosted and fresh by morning tea time.

Enjoy xx

Ingredients:

Makes 15 muffins

  • 2 cups wholemeal flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarb soda
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut, toasted
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 90g butter, melted
  • Juice and zest of 1 orange
  • 200g mixed berries (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 tbs maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • Shredded coconut to top muffins

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C and prepare muffin tray.
  2. To toast coconut, heat a small frypan over medium heat, add coconut and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring, until golden.
  3. Place flour, baking powder, bicarb soda, coconut and zest into a large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon to combine.
  4. Place eggs, milk, orange juice, vanilla and maple syrup into a small bowl and lightly beat to break up the egg yolks. Add melted butter and mix to combine.
  5. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in wet mix. Stir gently to combine.
  6. Add berries and stir gently until just combined.
  7. Place 1/4-1/3 cup of mixture into each patty pan, filling to ~3/4 full. Sprinkle with extra coconut.
  8. Bake for ~15-20 minutes or until muffins bounce back when pressed on top.