As someone who lives for hot, sunny weather, winter seems to drag on and on. This year I was even deluded into thinking that maybe, just maybe, there would not be any snow. Those days of sunshine, breezy 50* “heat,” and green grass were really devious, making me believe that winter had decided to sit this one out.
But it happened; yes, it finally happened. As much as I wanted to think that winter was not coming this year, early Saturday morning I was greeted by Old Man Winter himself. So I dusted off my Ugg boots, squeaked through the freshly fallen snow, and greeted the glistening wonderland with a smile on my face. Truth be told, I will always have a special place in my Midwestern heart for the beauty of the changing seasons, freezing weather and all.
That said, I would not be able to get through winter without a few tricks up my sleeve. Hot yoga “Hawaii” is my little escape during the day…and at night? The warmth of my cozy kitchen provides the perfect escape for my warm weather dreams.
Feeling particular inspiration the other night, I ventured into my freezer in search of a taste of summer. Fortunately I found a bag of frozen pineapple, strawberries, and peaches that were so sweet and succulent—perfect for muffins!
In under an hour, my kitchen was perfumed with the smell of fresh orange zest and rich coconut milk. There were no sugar plum fairies dancing in my family’s heads; I put a little sunshine in it instead!
Tropical Sunshine Muffins
Makes 12 muffins
- 1-3/4 cup + 2 TBS spelt flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 flax egg (1 TBS ground flax seed + 3 TBS warm water + a few minutes to gel)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar OR 1/3 cup sucanat OR stevia, to taste
- 3/4 cup canned coconut milk (lite or regular will work)
- 1/4 cup orange juice, freshly squeezed if possible
- 3/4 tsp orange zest
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup frozen tropical fruit (or a mix of strawberries, pineapple, and peaches), cut in bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup toasted coconut
- Preheat oven to 350*F. Line muffin tin or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, mix brown sugar, flax egg, coconut milk, orange juice, orange zest, and vanilla extract.
- Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Mix to combine.
- Stir in fruit and coconut (if using) until well distributed.
- Using an ice cream scooper (or however you prefer), place an even amount of batter in each muffin cup.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
- Bask in the sunshine, even if it’s just in your muffins…
How do you get through winter? Do you like snow?
Have a sunny day!