Bakery Worthy Date Orange Muffins

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Something about cafe culture is so enticing. There’s nothing better than walking into a country bakery or trendy cafe and being hit with an abundance of wonderful smells. A mixture of fresh bread, straight-from-the-oven cookies, and brewing coffee. Relaxing and people watching with a good coffee, a good book, and a freshly baked, still warm, muffin is the perfect way to spend a lazy morning or afternoon.  These big-topped, bakery style Date Orange Muffins are naturally sweet, satisfying and healthy. They’re deliciously fruity, moist and fluffy, and they smell and taste like they could  have come straight from the bakery oven. After baking, they’ll leave a delicious smell in your house, and they’re the perfect treat to enjoy with a cup of coffee or frothy cappucino.

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Muffins are a bit of a trick food.  We often assume that a store or bakery bought muffin is healthy.  Maybe because they’re usually placed beside heavily frosted cupcakes, and glistening sugary pastries, so with their seed and nut sprinkled tops they seem like the healthiest choice in a range full of obviously sugary alternatives. Or because the names of muffins usually seem to include some healthy sounding combination of fruit, vegetables, nuts, or seeds. Blueberry muffin, zucchini, pumpkin spice, cranberry orange, etc etc.

So if you go into a bakery wanting something healthy and you’re faced with a case of  triple chocolate cupcakes, pastries whose sugary toppings are sparkling in the light and doughnuts covered in powdered sugar sitting temptingly behind glass , its easy to see why that pumpkin spice muffin topped with pumpkin and sunflower seeds is the go -to choice for any health-conscious visitors. It has a vegetable in it after all and that’s more than you can say about the jam doughnuts, cinnamon buns, or death by chocolate cake.

But in reality, store or bakery bought muffins are often made with white flour, and full of unwanted fat and refined sugar, so homemade is usually the way to go!

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This is a guilt-free totally healthy muffin, made with a mixture of buckwheat, spelt and chickpea flour. They’re full of protein and fiber and sweetened with dates, oranges and maple syrup.

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Date Orange Muffins

  • 1 large whole orange
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 3/4 cup chopped and pitted soft dates
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (or olive oil)
  • 1 tbsp flax seed + 2 tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup or other liquid sweetener
  • 3/4 cup chickpea flour
  • 3/4 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat spelt flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Coconut or flax seeds to sprinkle on the top (optional)

Directions

Makes about 8 large muffins

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C)
  2. Cut the orange into pieces and remove the seeds. Drop the pieces into a blender or food processor and blend until finely ground.
  3. In a small cup mix the flax seeds and 2 tbsp of water. Let it sit for about 5 mintues until it thickens.
  4. Add the orange juice, dates, maple syrup, coconut oil, and flax to the food processor and mix.
  5. In a bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder and baking soda and then pour the orange mixture over the top.
  6. Stir lightly until well mixed.
  7. Pour the mixture into a muffin tin and bake for about 20 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.