Monday, January 17, 2011

Cranberry Orange Muffins

A couple of years ago I bought a stevia cookbook. I had just discovered what stevia was and I couldn't wait to try and make something. As soon as I got the book I decided to make a Carob Brownies recipe which had stevia instead of sugar and carob powder instead of cocoa powder. Once it was all done and I tried it, I lost all my enthusiasm for stevia.

Now that I don't have the option to bake with sugar I decided to give this cookbook another chance. I opted for something safer, something that wouldn't completely suffer from a lack of sugar. The Orange Cranberry muffins were the perfect fit.

I was so excited to make this recipe that I completely rushed through it, hardly reading the instructions. As a result, I put all the liquids one by one directly into the dry ingredients without mixing them together first. This genius move forced me to put in at least twice as much yogurt as the recipe called for to give these muffins the right consistency. In the end, the yogurt flavour really came through nicely and gave the muffins a nice tartness to them.

A few days later, a couple of friends came over and I happily served these muffins. Mind you I still haven't told most people about my SF lifestyle. My guest happily grabbed a muffin and asked if I made it myself. I proudly said that I did, completely forgetting to mention that there was no sugar in the muffins. After she tried a couple of bites I could see hesitation on her face. Even though there is stevia in the muffins, they are really not very sweet. So be prepared for that type of response if you are serving these to guests, or better yet, warn them in advance.

Cranberry Orange Muffins

Somewhat adapted from Stevia: Naturally Sweet Recipes for Desserts, Drinks, and More 
  • 2 cups chopped fresh cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon powdered stevia extract
  • 2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup oil 
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons sesame tahini
  • 2/3 cup plain yogurt
  • Grated rind of 1 orange
  • fresh orange juice from 1 orange
Preheat the oven to 375 ˚F. Oil the muffin pans or use muffin cups.

Chop up the cranberries. Place in a small bowl. Mix the stevia extract into the cranberries. Set aside.

Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl. [I opted not to sift and the muffins still turned out well]

In a large mixing bowl, beat the oil and egg together with a wire whisk. Mix in the tahini. Beat in the yogurt, then the orange rind and orange juice. Stir the sweetened cranberries into the batter.

Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, stirring as little as possible. Spoon batter into the muffin tins. Bake 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool on a rack.


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