Sometimes, when the miserable grey winter days start to pile up on each other and feel like you haven't seen a hint of blue sky in weeks, you just have to make your own sunshine.
That's why I'm so thankful for the fact that citrus season overlaps so perfectly with the most miserable part of the winter.
These muffins take advantage of all the perfect juicy oranges that are so plentiful right now.
A whole orange is blended right into the batter to give it loads of fresh citrus flavour, while a handful of chopped dates to add a little extra sweetness. I like to stop right there, but I suppose you could throw in some chopped pecans for a little crunch, if you were so inclined.
And best of all, this recipe couldn't be easier to make thanks to my secret weapon... a blender.
Muffins in the Blender? Not as Crazy as it Sounds!
It's an unusual technique, to say the least. But once you've made muffin batter in the blender, you may not want to go back to the old-fashioned way of doing things.
The entire batter, from start to finish, is made right in the blender. No other equipment needed, except for a good silicone spatula to make sure every last speck of batter makes it into the pan.
It's also perfect for jam-packed schedules, because the batter can literally be whipped up in under 5 minutes, and you don't have any extra bowls to wash up at the end. Easy peasy!
A Whole Orange? Really?
The other advantage of using a blender for this recipe is that it allows you to blend an entire orange, peel and all, as a base for the batter.
Yes, you heard me. The. Whole. Dang. Orange. (Well, okay, not the seeds. You can throw those out.)
It might sound crazy, but it adds a ton of fresh citrus flavour, and gives the muffins a light and tender crumb.
I like to use a navel orange, because they're plentiful and affordable at this time of year. It also works with other types of oranges, and even with related fruits like tangerines or tangelos.
If you're working with a smaller variety like, say, clementines, then you'll want to use two to make up for the difference in size.
More Delicious Muffin Recipes
I fully admit to having a minor obsession with muffins of all kinds, which is probably why I've shared so many different recipes over the years.
Are you as excited about muffins as I am? Then here are a few other fabulous muffin recipes you should try:
- Peanut Butter and Banana Muffins
- Pear and Rye Muffins with Dark Chocolate
- Peaches and Cream Muffins
- Pina Colada Muffins
- Sour Cream Muffins with Haskap Berries
- Spiced Millet and Apricot Muffins
These sunny orange and date muffins are easy as can be, thanks to a quick batter that's made directly in the blender. An entire orange, peel and all, is blended in for an intense fresh orange flavour that's guaranteed to wake up your tastebuds.
- 1 whole orange
- ½ cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 1 ½ cups flour
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup chopped pitted dates
- Preheat oven to 375F. Generously grease the cups of a 12-cup muffin tin, or line with paper liners.
- Cut the orange into eight segments. Carefully remove any seeds, and transfer the entire orange (yes, peel and all!) to the blender. Add orange juice, egg and oil, and blend until smooth.
- Add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and blend just until combined. Stir in the chopped dates.
- Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tin, dividing evenly among the 12 cups. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the muffins are golden-brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American