Whole Wheat Cranberry Orange Muffins

These muffins are quite tart with only a little sweetness. If you aren’t a huge fan of tart, you could increase the amount of sugar, decrease the amount of cranberries, or use dried cranberries in place of fresh ones… but I think you’d be making a mistake!  

Ingredients

Muffin batter

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 cup orange juice*
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries*

To garnish

  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • Extra fresh cranberries

*I squeezed my own (about five small oranges), but feel free to use bottled!

*Frozen ones work great, no need to defrost!

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F

Yields 12 muffins

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the muffin batter ingredients except for the cranberries. Using a mixer, mix until well combined. Stir in the cranberries.
  2. Pour the batter into a greased muffin tray. 
  3. Add some extra fresh cranberries on top along with extra orange zest. 
  4. Bake for 18-20 minutes at 400°F. 

Cranberry Ginger Almond Biscotti

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I love coffee, especially with a piece (or three) of biscotti! I was always intimidated by the idea of making it myself (you have to put it in the oven twice?!), but you’ll be amazed by how easy it is.

Yields ~4 dozen

Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar, plus 1 tablespoon for dusting
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3/4 cup unsalted whole almonds
  • 3/4 cup crystallized ginger, diced
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions

>>Preheat oven to 350°F

  1. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder.
  2. Add the eggs, applesauce, and almond extract and mix until well combined.
  3. Stir in the almonds, ginger, and cranberries. 
  4. On a floured surface, knead the dough until smooth. It may be dry and crumbly at first, but should stick together as you knead. If it’s too moist, add more flour. 
  5. Divide the dough in half, and shape into two logs that are approximately 1” high, 2” wide, and 12-14” long. 
  6. Put the logs on a parchment-lined baking sheet and dust the tops with the remaining sugar. 
  7. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the logs are lightly browned and beginning to crack on top.
  8. Remove from oven and allow the logs to cool, then slice the logs into 1/4” thick pieces. A serrated knife works great!
  9. Lay the slices on parchment-lined baking sheets and return to the oven for around 25 minutes, flipping the biscotti over halfway through. They should dry out completely, becoming crisp and light brown. Cool completely on wire racks before eating. 
  10. Make some coffee, grab the newspaper, and enjoy! 

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Banana Bread with Cranberries & Chocolate Chips

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Sometimes I think that David deliberately lets bananas stick around past their prime so that I will make banana bread.

It works every time.

Ingredients

  • 3 bananas
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons plain or vanilla yogurt (can substitute with more butter if you’d prefer)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries*
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips (optional…but not really!)

*You can use dried cranberries instead of fresh if it’s what you have, but I highly recommend the tart pop of fresh cranberries!  I keep a couple bags in the freezer.

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F

1) With a mixer, beat together the bananas, melted butter, yogurt, egg, and vanilla.

3) Add the sugar, baking soda, and the flour, mixing until smooth (it’s okay if there’s still a few chunks of banana).

5) By hand, stir in the cranberries and (if using) chocolate chips.

6) Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan (9×5 and 8×4 both work).

7) Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until top is browned and a fork comes out clean from the center.

8) Remove the banana bread from the pan and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before slicing.

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Cinnamon Granola

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We ran out of granola and I decided to try out something new. This is a slight twist on my maple granola recipe. The added spices (cinnamon! nutmeg! ginger! cardamon!) give it a little something extra.

Ingredients

  • 2  cups  old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick oats)
  • ½  cup  sliced almonds
  • ½  cup  dried cranberries (or a different dried fruit, or a mix)
  • ¼  cup  unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ¼  cup  pure maple syrup (or agave nectar, or honey)
  • 1  tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamon

Directions

Preheat oven to 300°F

  1. In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients except for the dried fruit. Stir until everything is well coated in the maple syrup.
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  2. Spread the granola out evenly onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, then toss the granola so it cooks evenly. Bake for another 10-15 minutes, until lightly golden.
  3. Stir in the dried fruit.
  4. Let the granola cool completely before storing it.
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Maple Granola

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David loves to eat a bowl of granola with fruit and yogurt for breakfast. Store bought granola is pretty expensive, and often comes loaded with sugar. I like to make a big batch by doubling the recipe. I’m storing this batch in former pickle jars!

Ingredients

Makes ~3 1/2 cups

  • 2  cups  old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick oats)
  • 1/2  cup  sliced almonds
  • 1/2  cup  dried cranberries (or a different dried fruit, or a mix)
  • 1/4  cup  unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4  cup  pure maple syrup (or agave nectar, or honey)
  • 1  tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/8  cup  shelled sunflower seeds (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 300°F

  1. In a large bowl, mix together all of the ingredients except for the dried fruit. Stir until everything is well coated in the maple syrup.
  2. Spread the granola out evenly onto a cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, then toss the granola so it cooks evenly. Bake for another 10-15 minutes, until lightly golden.
  3. Stir in the dried fruit.
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  4. Let the granola cool completely before storing it.
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Curried Chickpea Salad Sandwich

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Inspired by the super easy and fast Greek Yogurt Chickpea Salad Sandwich I made recently, along with a recipe I saw on The Simple Veganista, I made this for lunch.

Ingredients

Makes 2 pita sandwiches

  • 1 14oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 green onions, diced
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 6 tablespoons plain greek yogurt (use hummus to make vegan)
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • black pepper, to taste
  • few leaves of lettuce, to serve
  • one piece of pita bread, cut in half

I think that the best thing about this recipe (aside from how fast you can throw it together) is how flexible it is: replace the cranberries with another dried fruit (raisins? apricots?); throw in some red onion or bell pepper; add shredded carrots, apple slices, nuts, feta cheese, etc.

Directions

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients (chickpeas, green onions, cranberries, greek yogurt, onion powder, cayenne, curry powder, pepper). Stir until well combined.
  2. If you’d prefer it as a salad (gluten free!), go ahead and eat it as is. I divided it in half, scooped the salad into two pita halves, and served with lettuce.
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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies with Carrots and Cranberries

>>Yields approximately three dozen

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups oats
  • 1 cup shredded carrots (one large carrot and one small carrot should be about right)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Directions

>>Preheat oven to 375 F

1) In a large bowl, combine the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar. Beat with an egg mixer.

2) Add the egg and beat until smooth.

3) Add the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and vanilla.

4) Using a spoon, stir in the oats, carrots, cranberries, and chocolate chips. Stir until they are well-integrated.

5) Form into cookies and put them on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 375°F for 10-12 minutes.