Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sugar-free Orange Muffins

When my sister came to visit recently, she told me about some delicious orange scones that she had eaten with chunks of orange peel that made them so satisfying and yummy. I decided that I really wanted to create a recipe based on her description of the scones, but wanted to try muffins instead of scones, and I wanted to make them sugar-free to make them a bit healthier. I think that I've accomplished that with this recipe. One of the best ways to reduce sugar in a recipe is to replace the butter/margarine/oil with fruit purees. It not only alleviates the need to use butter (unless you are looking for a butter taste -- consequently, this is not recommended for scones), it can also replace or significantly reduce the sugar.

These muffins would be an excellent addition to brunch, or just a nice treat after school.

1 large orange
1 extra-large egg
1 1/4 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour (could also substitute wheat)
2 tsp baking powder
1 banana, preferably browned
1/2 cup natural applesauce
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp orange flavoring
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
cooking spray

Makes approximately 8 muffins.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, smash the banana using a potato masher or fork (I used my hands!) until it is very creamy. Stir in the applesauce until well combined. Cut the orange into quarters, and squeeze in as much juice as possible, being sure to pick out any seeds. Add the orange flavoring

Add the egg, and whisk until all liquid is well blended, and the mixture bubbles slightly.

In a separate bowl, mix together the remainder of the ingredients.

Cut a few pieces of the rind and chop into small bits. Add about a tablespoon to the dry ingredients.

Mix the wet and dry ingredients carefully, until just combined. Overmixing will make them tough!

Spray a muffin tin, and fill the cups with the batter. Bake for 25 minutes.

Cool on a cooling rack in the pan, remove muffins carefully.

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