It’s cranberry season here in New England which means several cranberry festivals are going on and the bogs are getting cleared out. It also means I get stuck behind big trucks brimming with freshly picked cranberries. Sometimes when they take a turn or go around a curve, cranberries fly out the top. The result is cranberry sauce on the road!
Cranberry and orange are a great match—an unlikely one in nature though considering super warm climates can grow oranges, and crazy New England weather brings on the cranberries.
Cranberries are durable little berries with a potent antioxidant punch. Cranberries and blueberries are cleansing for the urinary tract and can prevent and treat infections. This is due to the proanthocyanidins; The special structure of these PACs (involving A-type linkages between their components) acts as a barrier to bacteria that might otherwise latch on to the urinary tract lining. They are great medicine and fit nicely into the saying Let thy food be thy medicine and let thy medicine be thy food.*
Cranberries also have anti-cancer properties through many mechanisms including the triggering of apoptosis (programmed cell death) in tumor cells. The cancer-preventive benefits of cranberries are now known to extend to cancers of the breast, colon, lung, and prostate.*
In addition, in this recipe I’ve included flax seeds for their fiber and anti-cancer qualities. A pinch here and there through out your week really adds up. Buy them and grind them just before using or freeze some ahead of time.
Cranberry-Orange Flax Muffins
- 1 cup gluten-free flour mix (4 cups brown rice flour, 2/3 cup coconut flour, 1-1/3 cup tapioca flour, 1 teaspoon xanthan gum)
- 1/2 cup fresh milled oats (oat flour)
- 2 tablespoons flax seeds, ground
- 1/2 cup sucanat or rapadura sugar
- 1⁄2 tsp Himalayan salt
- 1⁄2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 cup egg whites (2 whites)
- 1/3 cup organic yogurt
- 1/3 cup soymilk
- 2 1/2 tsp finely grated orange zest
- 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1⁄4 cup sunflower seed oil OR extra virgin coconut oil
- 1-1⁄2 cups organic fresh or frozen cranberries, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 375° F. Coat a 12-cup muffin tin with healthy cooking spray.
Whisk dry ingredients in a large bowl; make a well in the center.
Combine egg whites, yogurt, milk, zest, juice, and oil. Stir into dry ingredients. Fold in the cranberries.
Bake for 22-25 minutes or until top springs back when touched lightly with a fingertip.
Cool on a wire rack.
Delicious served with a dab of coconut oil and sifted with cinnamon and freshly grated nutmeg.