Triple Orange Oatmeal Muffins

Ingredients:

2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (I used Cara Cara oranges)
1 cup old fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup canola oil
1/4 cup candied orange peel (optional)
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch salt
1 tablespoon (or more!) fresh orange zest

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. Line or grease and flour or line one 12 well muffin tin. In a large bowl, mix together the oatmeal, egg, oil, milk, juice, zest and sugar. After it is thoroughly mixed, add in the flour, salt, and baking powder. Stir to combine. Fold in the orange peel. Divide evenly amongst 12 muffin wells. Sprinkle with additional oats (strictly for appearances) if desired.

Bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the center muffin comes out clean.

If you used liners, remove the muffins on to a wire rack. If not, place the whole tin on the rack.

Cool completely.

Yield: 1 dozen muffins

My thoughts:

A little over a week ago my husband made sweet potato cornbread muffins to have for breakfast and he just ate the last ones he had frozen today. I know everyone is jumping on the bread baking train and I love bread as much as the next person but it uses so much flour! We have a good amount here thanks to always having a pretty well-stocked pantry in non-pandemic times but I don’t know if I want to devote so much to it to one thing, at least not yet. Muffins use a lot less flour (especially if you also use oats or cornmeal in them) and I think they freeze better than bread.

I bought a lot of cara cara oranges back in early March but I think I overestimated how much fruit my husband might eat over the course of the first few weeks in self-quarantine. It’s nearly a month now and while they are still good–not moldy and they’re tasty– but the skin has started to look a little dried out so I thought it was best to use them up. I zested four of them and juiced them.  I had some candied orange peel leftover from some recipe development work I did and I think it adds an extra punch of orange flavor (citrus notoriously “bakes out”–you can combat this with lots of zest but it always helps to have some extra oompf) but if you don’t have it, don’t worry about it, add some extra zest if you can.

These are very filling muffins with a surprisingly light crumb and a sweet kiss of orange. I recommend keeping around 3 days’ worth at room temperature and freezing the rest until you are ready to eat them. I suggest defrosting them overnight on the counter (this is safe for bread products, not meat!) or I hear that they defrost quickly in the microwave.

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