I’ve been obsessing over these muffins for weeks now; changing up different combinations of nuts and dried fruit, experimenting with different fresh fruit, trying to work in as much as the batter will hold. My research has proven, no matter which way you try it, this batter holds a lot.
Brimming over with dried fruit, nuts and a healthy tang, these muffins pack an enormous wallop in the mornings and keep you going till lunch time. Actually, these pack an enormous wallop at lunch, as well…
2 c. plain flour
1/2 c. granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. grapefruit juice (orange juice also works)
1/2 c. sunflower oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
a few drops of almond extract
the zest of one large naval orange or one grapefruit
1 c. sultanas/pitted dates, chopped/dried apricots, chopped (any other dried fruit really)
1 c. fresh cranberries, chopped (fresh apple and fresh mango also both work, but I drop down to 1/2 c. to offset the liquid retained in these juicier fruits)
1 c. walnuts/pecans (any soft nut works)
1-2 tbsp. poppy seeds
2-3 tbsp. linseeds
2-3 tbsp. pumpkin seeds
1-2 tbsp. sesame seeds
In a large mixing bowl, sift the dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients. Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the wet ingredients, give a couple of quick stirs to moisten the dry ingredients, then add in the fruits and nuts. Mix until ‘just-combined’; that is, until the dry ingredients are moistened but only just.
Spoon into a lightly greased muffin tin, so that each cup is very slightly over-filled. Bake in a pre-heated oven, at 375 F/Gas 5 for about 25 minutes, or until the tops are puffed and lightly browned.
Once you remove them from the oven, leave in the tin to cool for about 5 minutes before transferring onto a cooling rack.
Perfect served with coffee and fresh juice at breakfast.
Makes about 12 muffins.