Heart Healthy Muffins!
These Heart Healthy Muffins have no eggs or dairy products. It’s the olive oil, walnuts, brandy, spices and fresh orange juice + orange zest that combine wonderfully and ensure delicious results. This recipe is based on a Nistisimo Cake (a fasting cake) I found in my husband’s aunt Machi’s hand written cookbook that includes many local specialties made during the Greek fasting times before Easter and Christmas.
Machi may have made her cake during the fasting periods but I make these muffins all year round. Actually, I always have some stored in my freezer which I can quickly warm up and serve with Greek yogurt and honey for breakfast . . . . or as a treat with my afternoon tea or coffee!
Whatever the occasion, I hope you will enjoy these muffins as much as I do!
Heart Healthy Muffins
¼ cup Greek olive oil or if you prefer corn oil, or sunflower oil
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup fresh orange juice
¼ cup Greek brandy (Metaxa)
2 cups all purpose flour
1 heaped tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
1 heaped tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 tblsp orange zest
1 full tbslp Greek honey
¼ cup coarsely chopped walnuts
¼ cup raisins
In a mixer, beat together oil, sugar, orange juice and brandy. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon, ginger and cloves and mix. Add orange zest, honey and walnuts and mix. Roll raisins in a little bit of flour and add to batter, mixing carefully. Should the dough seem too stiff, add a little extra orange juice and/or brandy.
Pour dough into well greased muffin pans and bake in a preheated oven, 175C - 180C, for about 20 – 35 minutes (baking time will depend on the size of muffin pan used). Once baked, remove from oven and leave to cool on baking racks or serve immediately with lots of Greek honey!
Yield: 12 regular size muffins (6 – 8 oversized)
These muffins keep very well if stored in an airtight container.
Great for doing ahead of time as they freeze extremely well!
You can double the recipe without any trouble!If you don’t have a muffin pan than this dough just use any small loaf baking tin you may have.I often use a 21cm x 11cm loaf baking tin with great results!
For something more substantial, make muffin sandwiches with savory cheeses, salad greens and ham.Tasty contrast and something truly different!
Also, if baked in mini-muffin pans, these muffins are ideal for entertaining purposes.I often serve them with cream cheese and dried fruit spreads, cheddar cheese and ham, prosciutto and melon or anything else you may fancy!
©KaritasM – February 2018