Kripalu Recipe: Cranberry-Mandarin Muffins

One of three fruits native to North America (the other two are the blueberry and the Concord grape), cranberries are chock-full of health benefits. They contain proanthocyanidins, which help prevent the adhesion of bacteria associated with urinary tract infections, and emerging studies show that they also help inhibit bacteria associated with gum disease and stomach ulcers. In addition, cranberries contain significant amounts of vitamin C, antioxidants, and other phytonutrients that help optimize your health and protect you against heart disease, cancer, and other diseases. This flavorful blend of fruits and grains is nutritious and tasty.

Preparation time: 15 minutes.
Baking time: 30 minutes.
Makes 12 muffins.

2 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour (or wheat-free alternative)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup canned mandarin oranges
2/3 cup fresh orange juice
1/3 cup honey
2/3 cup rice syrup
1/4 cup sunflower, safflower, or other vegetable oil
3/4 cup fresh or thawed frozen cranberries
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the oranges, orange juice, honey, syrup, and oil. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and mix until well blended. Gently fold in the cranberries until well combined.

Fill oiled muffin tins 2/3 full and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown on top. Cool on a wire rack or serve warm.