Have you ever gotten a sudden, unexplainable craving? For some reason I get a sudden urge for orange near the beginning of winter each year. Orange juice, orange cake, orange candy and oranges of course. I even had blood orange candies to eat during the birth of our son, hahaha! I remember a while back sitting in the cafeteria with some of my best friends at the time and one of them peeled open a Clementine. Our lunch lady stood creepily behind us and exclaimed “Smells like Chreeestmas!!” From that point on it was a bit of an inside joke. I only wonder now if oranges to me signify that simpler time or if maybe age makes oranges smell like Christmas/ pine. Who knows. These muffins will most certainly ease that craving for oranges and strangely remind you of Christmas.
Vegan/ GF Orange Spice Muffins:
1 cup corn meal or polenta
¾ cup rice flour
1 tbsp aluminum free baking powder
Pinch of finely ground sea salt
4 tbsp vegan margarine melted
¼ cup light brown sugar (aim for a natural cane sugar without molasses; ie: muscavado
1 tbsp ground flax seed
6 tbsp warm water
1 cup soy milk
Zest of 1 orange
½ cup fresh orange, finely chopped and pressed
Sprinkle of cane sugar* and cinnamon
Begin by mixing the tablespoon of ground flax seed with the warm water in a small bowl, set aside (this is your egg). Mix together all dry ingredients. Including orange zest. Fold in wet ingredients including your pressed and chopped orange (Simply chop half a cup of fresh orange and place between two paper towels until mostly dried. You may also use dried apricots.) DO NOT over mix as this will result in heavy muffins. Next fill prepared muffin pan and sprinkle cane sugar and cinnamon on top, bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until a fork pushed into the center comes out clean. Let muffins cool completely before serving. (Or sneak a warm one ;). *Sigh* "Smells like Chreeesmaaaas!"