Blood Orange Chocolate Muffins
Do you want to hear a joke. Of course you do.
Q: What did the apple say to the orange after its rind was cut off?
A: What a pith-y!
Orange you glad you heard that joke? hahahahahahahaha! I am sometimes surprised that my friends have not all left me from the terrible-ness of my puns.
Sometimes I daydream about being a robot, because then I would be of utmost efficiency and never waste precious time. Robot Wanda would be entirely systematic and would not endlessly forget where she put her keys or the TV remote. Robot Wanda would always remember to fertilize and water her bonsai tree, Maximilian. The 24 hours in a day would seem like 36 hours because of the increased productivity!
Where was I going with all of this? Oh yes. Efficiency. Productivity. Streamline. This is my New Year’s resolution: to be Robot Wanda 2013, with 4x efficiency! Sometimes people tell me how efficient I already am, and then I smile, because what they perceive as efficiency is actually just laziness. I aspire to spend as little time as possible doing things I dislike (laziness/efficiency) in order to do things I do like doing, like updating my blog.
The first step to streamlining my life is to make breakfast more easily accessible. You see, as much as I love and respect breakfast, I am usually a sludge-like monster in the morning. I allot myself exactly fifteen minutes to wake up and get out the door every morning, so I am quite impressed if I manage to get dressed and gosh, I feel like awarding myself a fancy blue ribbon if I remember to brush my hair in the morning. So as you can see, these rushed fifteen minutes do not leave much time for breakfast. Skipping breakfast can often lead to decreased levels of concentration for me, since I will incessantly think about lunch instead of work.
What’s the solution? On one day of the week when you have extra time, make a healthy breakfast for yourself that will last all week. My breakfast solution has been blood orange chocolate muffins. These are beautiful jewel toned wonders are a breakfast that you will love waking up to. You can freeze the ones that you will not eat right away.
To prepare the blood oranges for baking, you should cut off ALL of the rind and pith from the oranges because the cooking will make the essential oils taste extra bitter, and you don’t want to be biting into your muffin and getting a bitter chunk. Remember also to remove the white fibers from the center of the orange. There should be no white stuff remaining when you are done. You also can remove all the white stuff painstakingly by hand, but I just like to slice it off with my cleaver. The trick is to rest the knife edge where the pith meets the flesh of the orange, then use a back and forth sawing motion while rotating your knife to follow the curve of the orange. It’s much quicker and neater.
I love these muffins because the blood orange chunks in them are a surprising filling rather than plain blueberry or raisin muffins. The little blood orange chunks will burst with juice, making your muffins wonderfully fragrant, and the chocolate will balance out the slight bitterness of the oranges. Blood oranges are in season right now, and we all know that in season fruits means cheapcheapcheap. I found these wonderful organic blood oranges for only $1.50/pound.
If you’ve ever wondered why blood oranges are red, it is because of the large amount of anthocyanins in them. Anthocyanins are pigment molecules that are found in many plants, but they are especially abundant in blood oranges, raspberries, and cranberries. Besides contributing their vibrant color, anthocyanins are also potent antioxidants, so they will scavenge and fight free radicals in your body for you, which is correlated with a lower incidence of neurological disease and reduced aging. Now THAT is what I call a useful, and more importantly, efficient breakfast!
Blood Orange Chocolate Muffins
makes 8 | prep time: 10 minutes | bake time: 25-30 minutes
- 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour (or 3/4 cup AP flour and 3/4 whole wheat, if you’re inclined to be healthier)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/3 cup canola/vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 tsp Ener-G-egg replacer
- 1/3 cup warm water
- 1/3 cup soymilk
- 3 blood oranges, rind removed and cut into large chunks
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
1. Mix the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder together in a large bowl and set aside.
2. It a separate bowl, mix the Ener-G-egg replacer powder with 1/3 cup warm water until fully dissolved, then add 1/3 cup canola oil and 1/3 cup soymilk.
3. Mix the dry ingredients from step 1 with the wet ingredients from step 2. Only mix TEN (10) times at the max, just until you can no longer see the dry flour! Then add the blood orange chunks, chocolate chips, and poppy seeds and mix for a maximum 3 times to incorporate. The more you stir the muffin mix, the tougher your muffins will be.
4. Line your 8 muffin slots with muffin paper and then pour the batter equally into the 8 muffin slots.
5. Bake at 400 degrees F until golden brown on top and a toothpick in the middle comes out almost clean, about 25 minutes.