15 Jan Healthy Orange, Almond & Cocoa Nib Muffins, for Lark & Linen
We’re still okay with healthy, right? I mean, it’s still January after all. That means most of us are still bear-hugging our Vitamixes and sporting yoga pants so we at least look like we slaved at the gym, right?
So what if my tummy hurts from eating too many leafy greens and I spend most of my free time daydreaming about dark chocolate? I’m no quitter. I must cleanse on. My liver is going to be so squeaky clean after this. Pep! (No matter that I plan on my first post-cleanse indulgence being an over-pour of full-bodied, spicy red wine.)
The good news (besides my clean liver): there’s a big, sparkly pink light at the end of the tunnel. We’ve only got a couple weeks left in January, and you know what that means? It means that light — it’s February. And February means Valentine’s Day. And Valentine’s day means all the chocolate, wine and conversation hearts we can handle. (And maybe a dozen red ones and a Mavin Gaye serenade if we’re extra lucky.)
So, I knoooow you may be hitting your healthy/detox/low-cal/no-cal limit but, we’ve gotta be good to save up points for February’s indulgent, chocolatey love fest. Deal? (Maybe means yes.)
Lucky for us, we can have our healthies and love them too, because these Orange, Almond & Cocoa Nib Muffins fall within the resolution-friendly spectrum without tasting like hockey pucks. They’re moist, flavorful, whole wheat breakfast powerhouses. Oranges are reaching peak season and as most of the country is facing the winter doldrums, there’s no better time to incorporate bright winter citrus into your baked goods. In this recipe orange zest and juice infuse hearty whole wheat flour with a fresh, floral flavor thats reminiscent of the sun-drenched orchards from which the fruit came. Almonds add crunch (always with the crunch) and cocoa nibs are included for their pleasantly bitter, lightly fruity bite and superfood powers (and let’s be honest, to satisfy our insatiable chocolate craving).
To push them as close as I could get to guiltless (without hitting flavorless), these muffins are dairy and refined sugar free. Instead of muffin’s typical milk and/or sour cream, this version is made with plant-based coconut oil and almond milk, and in place of refined sugar, I’ve substituted a combination of raw, turbinado sugar and real maple syrup (<— that’s a huge flavor booster, too!). In fact, these muffins are only about two eggs away from being vegan, and could easily be adapted by using an egg substitute such as ground flax seed.
So let’s recap: moist, hearty, healthy, bright, fresh, crunchy, bitter, chocolatey (kinda), dairy-free, refined sugar free, and vegan(ish). Not to mention some of the prettiest dang muffins you ever did see! Are you convinced yet? Good! Hop on over to Lark & Linen for the full recipe.
Have a great weekend!
Oh! and since I know you’ll ask, the muffin pan from Anthropologie!