Vegan's Chronicles + [Vegan Brunch]

Clementine Cranberry Muffins

When I first started experimenting with vegan baking, muffins were the first things I learned to bake and got hooked on. It was actually the only thing I baked on a regular basis. But after a while, I started branching out and trying other things like cookies and quick breads, so the humble muffin got neglected and left on the wayside. However, I find that whenever temperatures dip, I start baking muffins again, and the past two weeks have been no exception. All I want for breakfast these days is warm, fresh-outta-the oven muffins, so yesterday, I woke up and baked some seasonal Clementine Cranberry muffins! It's funny how a craving will hit you and won't shake itself off until it has been satisfied.

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These muffins were inspired by a huge bag of clementines I got at my local market. I used the Orange Cranberry Nut Muffin recipe from Vegan Brunch by Isa, but substituted fresh clementines instead of oranges, and omitted the pecans. I got 10 muffins instead of 12... I guess I make my muffins bigger. hehe.

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After using my microplane grater for the zest, I peeled the clementines and got as much of the white membranes off, and then just pureed them into a thick pulpy juice with my hand immersion blender.

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You could probably just squeeze the clementines to get pulp-free juice, but I figured it would get a bit messy doing that. Besides, a little extra fiber ain't gonna hurt anyone.

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The combination of clementines with cranberries was delicious!

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Soft crumb with a slight crackly, crisp top.

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Clementine-Cranberry Muffins
(adapted from this recipe by Isa Chandra)
makes 10-12 muffins

2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh clementine juice (I included pulp)
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons clementine zest
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cups dry cranberries

Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly grease a muffin tin. In a large mixing bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Make a well in the center and add canola oil, clementine juice, zest and vanilla. Mix just until all wet ingredients are moistened. About 1/2 way through mixing add the cranberries. Fill muffin tins 3/4 full and bake for 23 to 27 minutes, until lightly browned on top and a toothpick or knife inserted through the center comes out clean. When cool enough to handle, transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.

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These days I've been having breakfast outside onto my patio every morning. The temperature is pretty chilly, but once the sun is shining strong, it's not bad. I even made this make-shift patio table out of found materials, so now I can do practically everything outside. Journal, paint, blog, read... . it's glorious. I'm really gonna miss doing this once winter hits full-force.

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And then I saw an old grandma come out on the rooftop of my neighboring building to hang her laundry, so I shared two muffins with her. :) Our buildings are close enough that I can put the muffins on a tray and with a little stretching from both sides, the muffins can cross the divide. Wouldn't it be tragic if they fell into the crevasse? Anyway, it felt good to spread some vegan muffin love... In my previous apartment, I didn't get to know a single neighbor aside from my landlord's family who lived right above me. I find that most people living in villas and one-room apartments tend to just stick to themselves and hide in their tiny cubby holes, but this time, I'm gonna try to get to know the people around me.

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Perhaps I should go door to door handing out muffins. Who could refuse a humble loveable muffin, right?

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And while we're talking about muffins, here are some banana walnut-choc chip ones I made recently.

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Woops. I may have filled the muffin cup just a tad too much.

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Atomic banana muffin explosion!

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A muffin a day, keeps the blues away.

What's your favorite muffin flava?