Featured Ingredient: Clementine’s
Those crates of clementine’s (the ones here are most often from Morocco or Spain) have become de rigueur during the Christmas season. And rightfully so! Not only do they deliver an explosion of sweetness in your mouth, but clementine’s – a member of the mandarin family – are teeming with antioxidants including vitamin C. U.K. scientists recently found that vitamin C may help you avoid diabetes. While, a study in the Nutrition Journal reported that women with the highest blood vitamin C levels were more likely to have lower blood pressure numbers. The researchers surmise that vitamin C decreases levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of blood pressure raising inflammation. Did you know that vitamin C also helps boost the absorption of iron from plant-based foods? So if you toss in some clemintine segments into a bean salad you’ll soak up more of the iron present in the beans. How cool!
A breeze to peel, clementine’s are really the perfect out of hand fruit snack, but they can also be worked into a number of baked goods such as these muffins. These whole grain gems are good on their own, but truth be told, are much better when adorned with a generous amount homemade jam. The black currant jam we had in the fridge stood up to the challenge perfectly. I’m thinking I could have made these more citrusy by incorporating zest from the clemintine’s. Some almond extract would be great too! Any other ideas out there?
Clementine Walnut Muffins
Adapted from Alive magazine
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 + 1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup liquefied coconut oil or other vegetable oil of choice
1/2 cup palm sugar or other sugar of choice
4 clementines, peeled
1/3 cup walnut pieces
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, nutmeg, allspice and salt. In a separate bowl, lightly beat egg and combine with milk, oil and sugar. Combine wet and dry ingredients. Slice clementine segments in half and fold in about 3 fruits worth, leaving extra for topping. Fold in walnuts. Divide batter among 12 muffin cups and top each with 2 pieces of clementine. Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Let cool before unmolding.