Saturday, April 12, 2014

Orange-Vanilla Muffins

I can hardly believe that Spring (notice I had to capitalize it) is finally here. After such a long winter, I'm ready for something a little sunny. Sunny? What I mean to say is fresh, light, and...well..citrus-y. Not to worry--chocolate is never very far away from me--let's just change things up a little for now.

Just look at how refreshing this orange looks! I used one large orange for this recipe.

I'm a little schizophrenic eclectic when it comes to food. One minute I'm all about healthy and the next I'm stuffing my face with muffins. Seriously, though, look at all of the vitamin C going into this batch of Orange-Vanilla Muffins...... 

A little yogurt and coconut oil makes these even healthier. Believe it. Negates the sugar and white flour. Still feel guilty? Swap 1 cup of  white whole-wheat flour for 1 of the cups of all purpose flour.

My inspiration for these citrus-y muffins came from a new flavor of yogurt that I found while I was at the grocery store....Orange Vanilla. I love that flavor combination. It reminds me of creamsicles. I couldn't wait to try it in a recipe. Feel free to sub plain or vanilla yogurt if you can't find this one.

Orange-Vanilla Muffins

1-2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest, divided
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (5-6 oz) container Orange-Vanilla Greek yogurt (sub plain or vanilla, if desired)
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
6 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.; line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.

In a small bowl, stir together 2 teaspoons orange zest and 1/4 cup sugar; set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

Place the yogurt, egg, orange juice, and coconut oil in a microwave safe bowl or large measuring cup. Use a fork to blend the mixture. Microwave on high for 30-40 seconds, or until the mixture is at room temperature (and the coconut oil stays melted). Stir in the vanilla and the remaining orange zest. Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture and gently stir with a rubber spatula until just blended--batter will be lumpy.

Spoon the batter into the lined muffin cups. Sprinkle the sugar/orange mixture over the tops of the muffins. Bake for 17-20 minutes, or until the tops spring back when lightly touched. Remove the muffins from the pan and cool on a wire rack.

How would you like to wake up to these??!!

The orange infused sugar on top gives these muffins a nice crunch...

Soft and orange-y--just like I wanted them to be!

What's your favorite spring food?

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