The orange, also referred to as sweet orange, is a hybrid, possibly between the pomelo and the mandarin, and is said to have originated in Southeast Asia. Oranges account for approximately 70% of the world’s citrus production (source). Raw oranges are a good source of Folate, Potassium and Thiamin, and are also a very good source of Dietary Fiber and Vitamin C (source). These sweet beauties not only provide antioxidant protection and immune support, benefit respiratory health, protect against cardiovascular disease and rheumatoid arthritis, and help prevent kidney stones and ulcers, oranges also contain a flavonoid called herperidin, located mostly in the white pith and orange peel, that is shown to lower high blood pressure and cholesterol (source).
The following recipe utilizes nearly an entire orange with the exception of the seeds and white pith, and contains no artificial flavors. Furthermore, these muffins have the added nutritional benefits of Vitamin K and Manganese from cloves (source), and Manganese, Phosphorus, Protein and Zinc from pecans (source).
Orange Clove Pecan Muffins
Yields 12 muffins
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 medium orange (approximately 3″ in diameter)
1/3 cup unsweetened regular almond milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons raw, unsalted pecan pieces (optional)
Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease muffin pan or line with aluminum foil / silicone baking cups.
In a medium bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, cloves and salt; set aside.
Grate the orange peel until all colored parts have been used. Add peel to dry mixture and set aside.
Peel orange and discard white pith and seeds. Place peeled orange into the bowl of a food processor and process for 30 seconds, or until mixture resembles a liquid. Pour into a measuring glass; you should end up with approximately 2/3 cup, more or less. Add almond milk to glass until level reaches 1-cup.
Add orange/milk mixture along with oil to dry mixture and mix just until combined. Fold in pecans. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each approximately 3/4 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.