Orange-cranberry muffins with pecans [Vegan]

It's hard to beat the combination of orange and cranberry, especially when talking about baked goods like muffins, quick breads and cookies. These muffins are filled with the sweet and tangy flavors, and the extra crunch of chopped pecans add a little something extra special. The original recipe called for the zest from one orange but you can never have too much orange in breads and muffins like these, so I doubled this. The muffins are all the better for it. I also substituted the all purpose flour for a gluten-free blend. A cup-for-cup style gluten-free flour works perfectly for this flexible recipe.

This recipe was adapted from Egglesscooking.com.

© Jaymi Heimbuch
Ingredients:
2 cups all purpose flour (or 2 cups Multi-Blend Flour from Authentic Foods for a gluten-free version)
3/4 cup gently packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil (for a healthier version, substitute this with 1/3 cup apple sauce)
2/3 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
1 very ripe banana, mashed until smooth (about 1/4 cup)
1/3 cup water
zest from two large oranges
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup chopped pecans

1. Preheat the oven at 375 degrees. Grease a muffin tin or line them with nonbleached muffin papers.

2. In a large bowl mix together the flour, brown sugar, and baking powder. Set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, combine the oil (or applesauce), orange juice, water, banana, and orange zest. Stir until combined.

4. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just moistened. Gently fold in the cranberries and pecans, but avoid over-mixing.

© Jaymi Heimbuch

6. Spoon batter into the muffin tins and place in the preheated oven.

© Jaymi Heimbuch

7. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

© Jaymi Heimbuch

8. Let the muffins cool for 5 minutes in the tins, then remove them and finish cooling on a wire rack.

© Jaymi Heimbuch

Tags: Cooking | Recipes | The Cooking Project | Vegan | Vegetarian | Weekday Vegetarian