This might be an unusual way to begin a blog, but I would like to start with a short story – don’t worry – it’s really quick! I will begin by stating that I had just made these delicious muffins.
I needed to run a few quick errands and my first stop was my neighborhood drug store. As I approached the cash register with my items, the clerk looked at me and exclaimed, “You smell sooooo gooood!” I was a little startled, and became even more so, as he continued, “You smell like food! You’re making me hungry!” I was somewhat bewildered by his response and quickly grabbed my items. I then thought to myself, “Maybe it’s a good thing to smell like freshly baked Cranberry Orange Muffins!”
That morning, I had made three versions of my muffins. A friend had asked me if there was a way to make these muffins dairy-free. And so, I experimented. One version used reduced fat buttermilk (my go to recipe). I also tried substituting vanilla soy yogurt and almond milk for the buttermilk. I used different colored paper liners (yellow, white, and blue) for each batch.
I first measured all my ingredients. I had 3 sets of everything! I am something of a purist and really try to use fresh ingredients that are chemical free. For example, I use baking powder that is Aluminum-free. I first mixed together my dry ingredients (2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup light brown sugar, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon salt). I combined beaten eggs, 1 cup of buttermilk (or vanilla soy yogurt or almond milk), 1/3 cup of canola oil, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, and 1 tablespoon of orange zest in a medium bowl. Then I mixed the wet and dry ingredients together.
I used 1 cup of cranberries and sprinkled them with 1 tablespoon of flour so they wouldn’t sink to the bottom of the batter.Then I folded the cranberries into the batter and spooned the batter into individual muffin cups. I sprinkled the muffins with one tablespoon of orange zest prior to popping them in the oven and then baked them for 25 minutes, until they were golden brown.
The verdict: The batch with the buttermilk had the best flavor and consistency. The muffins with the vanilla soy yogurt had a great taste and texture too. The batch with the almond milk was a bit disappointing and tasted a tad flat. Almond milk is considerably thinner than buttermilk and yogurt and I might have been better off using a smaller volume of almond milk.My recommendation: make these Cranberry Orange Muffins with buttermilk or vanilla soy yogurt for a dairy-free version. They are scrumptious and you and your kitchen will smell AMAZING!
Here is the recipe from when it all began:
Click to view and print: Orange Cranberry Muffins