It’s citrus season! We just love the fact that citrus is possibly the brightest and happiest of fruits, and happens to be in season during the dark-grey days of winter. If you have the winter blues, these muffins will bring you the citrus punch of sunshine that you are craving.
These muffins are made with sweet gorgeous blood oranges. Blood oranges are slightly bitter, but less acidic than, lets say, navel oranges. However, some types are actually sweeter than your average orange. Their appearance on the outside can be rather unassuming, but when you cut into them a orangey-red, almost cranberry, color presents itself.
Blood oranges are “bloody” from a pigment called anthocyanin. Anthocyanin is a powerful antioxidant. Moreover, blood oranges contain high amounts of Vitamin C, up to over 100% of the recommended daily amount, as well as potassium, Vitamin A, iron, calcium, and fiber.
In this recipe we use vanilla bean yogurt, virgin coconut oil, turbinado sugar, and freshly-grated zest for a great citrus kick, all of which give these muffins a citrus-molasses flavor that fills your home with a rich orange aroma. If you are not too keen on the bitter molasses flavor, go easy on the zest and substitute granulated sugar for the turbinado sugar. What is also great about this recipe is that you can substitute whatever yogurt you have on hand. We highly recommend a greek yogurt or a nice thick Icelandic yogurt. When it comes to yogurt flavors, try to stick with vanilla or an orange, it really gives these muffins an edge over others out there… We’ve even used Blood Orange Greek Yogurt! No blood oranges in your local store? Try another type of orange, it will change the citrus note, but it will still be delicious!
- 1-2 tablespoons finely grated blood orange zest, divided
- ¼ cup turbinado sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 (5-6 oz) container vanilla bean yogurt
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- ½ cup fresh blood orange juice
- 6 tablespoons virgin coconut oil, melted
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (vanilla extract can be substituted)
- unsweetened coconut flakes to top, optional
- Preheat oven to 400°F and line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
- In a bowl, or large measuring cup, mix the yogurt, egg, and blood orange juice. Set aside and let it come to room temperature.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together 2 teaspoons of the blood orange zest and ¼ cup turbinado sugar. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- Melt the coconut oil and whisk it into the room temperature yogurt mixture. If the coconut oil begins to harden in the yogurt mixture you can microwave on high for a few seconds, or just until the coconut oil stays melted. Stir in the vanilla bean paste and the remaining blood orange zest.
- Add the liquid mixture to the flour mixture and gently stir with a rubber spatula until just combined. Be careful to not overwork the batter, it will be lumpy.
- Divide the batter into the 12 lined muffin cups. Sprinkle with the turbinado zest mixture, followed by a pinch of the coconut flakes.
- Bake for 14-18 minutes, or until the tops spring back when lightly touched.
- Remove the muffins from the pan and cool on a wire rack.
If blood oranges are not available at your local market any orange that you can find will work with this recipe.