I went through a blood orange phase this winter and simply could not get enough of them. I used these delicious, vibrant colored oranges in a number of recipes, and ate at least one as a snack daily. Sadly, blood oranges are no longer available, so I had to find an alternative. I saw Cara Cara oranges in our local grocery store, and having never tried them before, I was curious to experiment. Cara Cara oranges, are a type of navel orange grown in California’s San Joaquin Valley and are available December through April. From the outside, Cara Cara oranges look like any other navel orange, but their interior is a distinctive pinkish red, similar to a red grapefruit. These oranges have a sweet flavor with a tangy zing, and best of all, they’re seedless.
I have been enjoying my new ingredient find thoroughly the past few weeks, often simply savoring the lush fruit as an afternoon snack. This weekend however, I had some time on my hands as my husband was in Augusta Georgia attending the Master’s golf tournament, so I decided to do some baking. I made a simple muffin recipe using both the juice and flesh of my Cara Cara oranges, and used nutritious oat flour in place of all-purpose flour. To make my muffins a little healthier, I replaced some of the oil with fat-free Greek yogurt. I topped my muffins with a combination of zest from the rind of my Cara Cara oranges along with sugar that I rubbed together. This added a crispy top with an extra pop of orange flavor.
Deborah Mele 2015
Cara Cara Orange Muffins
- 2 Cups Oat Flour
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 3/4 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
- 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 Cup Peeled, Diced Cara Cara Orange Flesh
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1/3 Cup Olive Oil
- 1/2 Cup Cara Cara Juice
- 1/2 Cup Fat Free Greek Yogurt
- 1 Egg
- Zest from 1 Cara Cara Orange
- 1/2 Cup Sugar
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. and line a muffin tin with papers.
- In one bowl, stir together the oat flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
- In another bowl, whisk together the vanilla extract, olive oil, orange juice, yogurt, and egg.
- Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry, and mix with a wooden spoon just until blended.
- Stir in the diced orange flesh.
- Divide the batter between the 12 muffin cups.
- In a small bowl, rub the zest with the sugar.
- Sprinkle the sugar mixture equally over the muffins, then bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out cleans.