While doing my Costco shopping this past weekend, I noticed they had gotten in their fresh cranberries...so I bought a big 2-pound bag of them. I decided to go ahead and break them in by making a recipe with them. Cranberries are one of my holiday favorites and one of my favorite things I used to like to make with them was cranberry orange bread with nuts -- it was "bread" only because it was baked in a loaf pan and looked like bread...because the truth is it was sweet enough that it really counted more as a "cake" instead. I wanted to make something less sweet and more suitable to have for breakfast or a nice little snack to have with a cup of coffee. I wasn't looking for dessert. I decided to make mini muffins that had the same cranberry, orange and walnut flavor I loved, but with more of a bran-muffin type texture. I knew if I used all almond flour that they would be more cake-like...so instead, I used a combination of golden flax, almond flour and a touch of coconut flour to soak up any extra liquid that might come from using fresh cranberries. They turned out great -- not overly sweet, but just sweet enough (for me). If you like them sweeter, by all means increase the sweetener...just taste your batter for sweetness before baking them and adjust it accordingly. I snapped a few photos below as well as the recipe. Enjoy!
Cranberry Orange Walnut Mini-Muffins (Low Carb & Wheat Free)
Makes 3 dozen
1 cup blanched almond flour
1 cup ground golden flax seeds
2 tablespoons coconut flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup Swerve Confectioners Sweetener (or powdered erythritol)
3 large eggs
1/4 cup extra light olive oil or coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
3/4 cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons finely grated orange zest (from about 1 large orange)
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, chopped
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
3 tablespoons Swerve Granular Sweetener, optional (for sprinkling on top of muffins before baking)
Olive oil spray or coconut oil spray for greasing muffin tins
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray mini muffin pans with oil and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour, ground flax, coconut flour, baking powder and 1 cup sweetener until combined.
In a separate medium bowl, beat eggs, oil, vanilla and orange extract, buttermilk and orange zest until well combined. Add wet mixture to dry mixture and stir until combined. Fold in cranberries and walnuts. Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling almost to the top. If desired, sprinkle top of each muffin with granular sweetener. Bake for 18-21 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool about 5 minutes in pan; flip and cool completely on a wire rack. Makes approximately 3 dozen mini-muffins.