Sunday, 21 September 2014

Sunshine Muffins

I'm a creature of habit and I like routine. My Saturday morning routine may seem a little mundane but it is actually something I enjoy immensely; A class at the gym, a visit to the fruit and veg market, cleaning the house (...with some good tunes pumpin!) and a fridge cleanout and subsequent cookup. Just recently, this routine has stretched to include baking muffins, thereby rekindling my passion and love for baking scrumptious things. It's so satisfying to fill the house with that "freshly baked" aroma and to have some homemade delicacies to take as an offering when visiting family in the afternoons. Simple pleasures.

Thanks to a lemon tree laden with fruit, lemon and poppyseed muffins have featured in my kitchen for the past 3 weeks. Whilst the lemony goodness of said muffins was a real hit, this week signaled the need for something new. Hence I created these "Sunshine Muffins," named so thanks to their sunflower seeds, the tropical feel of the orange and the addictive sunshine which beamed through the window as I baked up this storm.

Sunshine Muffins 
Makes 16 small muffins (though it could make 12 slightly larger muffins)

1.5 cups plain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup plain natural yoghurt
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup sunflower seeds 
Rind of 1 orange, finely grated

Juice of 2 oranges
4 thin orange slices, quartered

1. Preheat over to 170 degrees Celsius. Grease or line a 12 hole muffin tray.
2. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, beat together the sugar and eggs until pale and smooth (about 2 minutes). Beat in the yoghurt, followed by the olive oil.
4. Add the flour mixture and beat until well combined. Stir in the orange rind, orange juice and sunflower seeds and mix well.
5. Spoon the batter into muffins cases and top each muffin with a quartered orange slice. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden and a cake tester comes out clean.
6. Leave to cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling. Enjoy!

Sunshine Muffins (please excuse the poor quality photo.... they were snapped up quickly!)

What's good about this recipe? Well for one, the delectably moist texture, made possible by the olive oil and yoghurt. Soft, airy and melt-in-your-mouth worthy. This is in contrast to the crunch of the sunflower seeds for a bit of variety. Secondly, the combination of both orange juice and orange rind give a vibrant, fresh zing to these muffins which does transport you to a warm tropical paradise (well, in your mind at least). Nutritionally, using olive oil rather than butter provides heart-healthy fats whilst the addition of the natural yoghurt offers a dose of protein, calcium and electrolytes. Vitamin C is also in abundance thanks to the orange juice, whilst fibre and vitamin E are supplied by the sunflower seeds.

Nutrition Information: Per Serve (1 muffin): 760 kilojoules energy, 3.8g protein, 9g total fat, 1.4g saturated fat, 21g carbohydrate, 11g sugar, 0.7g fibre, 244mg sodium, 43mg calcium.

I hope these muffins bring a little ray of sunshine into your day! Enjoy.

- Em xx