We are drunk on oranges around here these days. I just can’t resist the huge bags of them in the supermarket, and once they are in the house, we go through them like wildfire. Hey – you need that extra vitamin C this time of year, to ward off the multitude of nasty germs that are lurking around every corner! Mostly though, we are just gluttons when it comes to those orbs of delectable juiciness – I have to be honest about that. And, of course, I am also totally breaking my rule of eating seasonally and locally – though not really, cause orange trees can’t survive here in upstate NY, so oranges fall in the same category as things like olives and Fritos. Necessities that we must have to sustain life, but that we can’t grow ourselves.
To get the absolute most flavor from the cardamom in these, you need to plan ahead a little, and mix the spices with the juice and zest from one orange at least an hour ahead of time. Muffins are best eaten pretty quickly, which means the flavors in the finished product don’t have time to blend and develop – so this step allows time for the spices to fully hydrate and for the the flavors to bloom and open up. It is worth it, trust me. If you plan to have these for breakfast, you could even do this step the night before – it will be at room temperature over night.
- Juice of 1 medium orange
- Grated zest of 1 medium orange
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 egg
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 1 cup non-fat Greek Yogurt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In a small bowl, combine the juice, zest, cinnamon and cardamom, and allow to site at least an hour, or up to overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 12 well regular muffin tin by placing liners in the wells.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- In another medium bowl whisk together the egg, oil, yogurt, vanilla, along with the juice, zest and spice mixture.
- Combine the wet and dry mixtures, mixing as little as possible to get them combined uniformly. This will be a lumpy batter. Divide evenly in the muffin tin and bake for approximately 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean [check several muffins in the different parts of the tin]. Serve warm with butter and/or jam. Muffins are best eaten pretty quickly but will keep for a day or two at room temperature, in a sealed container. Makes 12 regular sized muffins.