The flavors of fall are some of my favorites. As the weather cools, I tend to crave warming spices and things that pack a little punch, such as citrus. I feel like these cravings are totally understandable being that citrus is packed with vitamin C and the warming spices help bring some heat to our bodies as we adjust to the changing season.
Shopping for produce is also fun as the selection changes, and all of a sudden, there seems to be a lot of orange colored items to choose from. Of course, oranges are always available, but they are exceptionally delicious this time of year when incorporated into baking. Can you smell your kitchen now? So heavenly!
Orange pairs well with many things. You often see orange with cranberries in the fall, or with chocolate. Both of those options are incredible, and to be honest, you could use those in this recipe. I chose to go in a different direction and use pomegranates as they are another delicious seasonal item. These tiny pomegranate seeds pack some delicious flavor as well as some amazing health benefits. They are low in calories, rich in fiber and also contain a good amount of vitamin C and K, which are essential to our dietary needs. Pomegranate seeds, like other fruits and vegetables, are rich in phytochemicals. The group of phytochemicals in pomegranate seeds is called polyphenols. Pomegranate seeds are rich in specific polyphenols, such as tannins, quercetin and anthocyanins. These 3 polyphenols may offer both heart health and anti-cancer benefits. If you enjoy pomegranates, you may also like my apple pomegranate crisp recipe. It's another fall favorite!
So if you ask me, these muffins are just the boost you need to start your day! They also make a delicious snack, dessert, or on the go treat. Crispy streusel on top is the finishing touch that I highly recommend! This is a fabulous recipe for your holiday entertaining as well. Have a basket of these muffins at the table for your Thanksgiving feast and I guarantee you they will be gobbled up quickly!
2 & 1/2 cups cashew flour (or almond flour)
1/2 cup + 2 Tbs arrowroot
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice (3 oranges is a safe bet)
3 Tbs orange zest, divided
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup pomegranate arils
3/4 cup cashew flour (or another nut flour)
1/2 cup chopped nuts of your choice (I used pecans)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch of sea salt
1 Tbs coconut oil or butter, solid
1 Tbs maple syrup
1-2 Tbs pomegranate arils (optional)
1 Tbs orange zest (optional)
1. Prep your orange juice and zest first. You can even do this the day before to save time. Next, prep your streusel topping because you want that ready to go once the muffin batter is complete. In a small bowl, combine the nut flour, nuts, cinnamon, and salt. Sift, then add the oil or butter, along with the maple syrup. Use your fingers to mix the butter or oil so it is incorporated well and your streusel mixture is "clumpy". Toss in some pomegranate arils and orange zest for a little extra punch if desired. Set the bowl aside.
2. Preheat your oven to 350°F and line your muffin pan with liners. This recipe makes 14 muffins so depending on your muffin pan size, you may be wondering what to do with the remaining batter. A couple of suggestions are, grab a second muffin pan for the last two muffins, or pour the remaining batter into some sort of ramekin to make a small cake. Try not to squeeze the batter into 12 muffins. By the time you do that, and put the streusel on top, they won't look very presentable.
3. Combine the cashew flour, arrowroot, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
4. In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Then add the orange juice and 2 Tbs of zest, maple syrup, and coconut milk. Mix well. Then add the pomegranate arils.
5. Combine the flour mixture with the wet ingredients and gently stir to just combine. Avoid over stirring. Pour the batter into your muffin pan so each muffin is about 3/4 full. Then sprinkle the streusel on top. Bake the muffins for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the muffins to cool, then enjoy! Makes 14 muffins.