Following the success of last month's Soup Swap, my neighbors and I gathered last night for a muffin swap (and a great excuse to get out of the house for some adult conversation.) We packaged our muffins in bags of 6 and came home with lots of different muffins (and recipes) to try.
I knew I wanted to bring a healthy option, so I immediately decided on Orange Cranberry Wheat Germ Muffins. Several years ago, my friend Juliann made a batch for us. My kids loved them, and I have made them often since. But lately, I've really been trying to cut the sugar we consume, so for the muffin swap, I gave the recipe a slight makeover. I used whole wheat flour, mostly home-dehydrated cranberries instead of craisins, less sugar and oil, and no orange juice. The kids still gobbled them up, so I'd say the changes were a success!
Orange Cranberry Wheat Germ Muffins
3 cups freshly ground soft white wheat flour (or whole wheat pastry flour)
1 cup wheat germ/bran (I was out of wheat germ. Use whatever you have!)
1 cup of dried cranberries (I used 1/3 cup Craisins and 2/3 cup dehydrated cranberries. We like the texture of the craisins, but not their sugar content.)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup safflower oil
1/4 cup applesauce or pearsauce
2 tsp grated orange grind or 1 tsp dried orange powder
2 TBL homemade orange extract + enough water to make 1 cup
Preheat oven to 375. Grease muffin pans if you aren't using liners. Combine flour and next 7 ingredients in a large bowl; stir with a whisk. Make a well in the center.
In another bowl, combine remaining ingredients and mix well. Add to flour mixture and stir until just combined. Spoon batter into muffin cups. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched in the center.