Healthified Cranberry Orange Muffins

I need your feedback!

I’m doing a little bit of an experiment and I hope that you’ll give me some helpful feedback. Every once in a while someone finds out about my blog and then asks, “Well, what are you going to do once you run out of fruits and vegetables?”

To be perfectly honest, I kind of expected there to be a lot more fruits and vegetables. I still have a couple left to make tutorials for and some fun kitchen tips, but eventually I will in fact run out of fruits and vegetables (gasp!).

I’ve been doing a lot of baking lately because it’s my way of getting around us trying to not turn the heat up too high (sneaky Bethany) and I had a friend that told me that they want to see all of the foods that I post on my Instagram page made into blog posts. And honestly, food photography is super fun. So here’s the announcement: I’m officially adding recipes to the blog. For now, it’s just going to be an experiment and I hope you’ll be willing to give me your honest feedback.

I’m going to focus on ways that you can add more fruits and vegetables to your meals, especially if it means that you can sneak veggies in without your picky husband or kids noticing. It’ll be our little secret. Oh, and I don’t really believe in trying recipes that will be easy to mess up OR that require more than like, two bowls or pans or whatever to make. I just don’t have time for that in my life. So get ready, world!

This little hunk…

Speaking of kiddos. My nephew just turned one and he’s an absolute stud!

In case you’re having a bad day, just stare into this little guy’s eyes for a quick minute.


Remember, he pees his pants every. single. day. and is still happy as a clam. So if you make a mistake today, even a big one, try to keep it in perspective and keep your head up.

I made a huge mistake the one day at work and was going to have to admit it to my boss because it was something I couldn’t fix myself and then was going to have to apologize to the client so I googled “how to fix a mistake at work.” Here’s what I learned:

  1. Own up to it.
  2. Say you’re sorry and offer a way that you’ll fix it.
  3. Move on!

Next up…let me tell you about a super fun experiment that I did that worked out really well. They’re called “healthified cranberry orange muffins.”

The Muffins, man!

So my mom always made these cranberry orange muffins growing up that are just amazing. Unfortunately, they are mostly just sugar. I always thought I was being super healthy by eating muffins with cranberries and mandarin oranges, but once I actually read the recipe I felt a little bad eating them for a ‘hearty’ breakfast. So I took my mom’s recipe and did a little experiment where I started out with her recipe and then changed four separate things to make them a little bit more nutritious, but just as delicious!IMG_5322

I had a health teacher that told me that if we only learned two things from his class it’s that we should drink more water and eat more fiber. So we’re adding more fiber to the recipe for sure and also more protein and trading refined sugar for dates. Also, I don’t actually keep white flour in the house, so you’ll see that’s a little bit different as well.  You’ll see from the photos that they don’t quite look as pretty when you exchange sugar for dates, but if you close your eyes when you eat them you won’t even notice!

You’ll see in the photos below that the original recipe are on the left and moving right the muffins get healthier.


A few things to know about these muffins. They’re quite dense, not fluffy. However, unlike normal muffins that you have to eat five to get full and you’re hungry an hour later, I was full for an entire four hours. And that was a boring workday so I wasn’t even distracted from hunger by something fun.

Second, they have about 8 grams of protein each. Which is pretty delightful compared to the 1 gram that they used to have.


Also, check out these adorable cupcake papers with duckies and swirly patterns. So cute! Now for the recipe:


Cranberry Orange Muffins



2 1/2 c     wheat flour
1 tsp       baking powder
1 tsp       baking soda
1/2 tsp    salt
1/4 c       flax meal
3/4 c       Vega Vanilla Proteins & Greens powder
3/4 c       coconut oil (melted)
2             eggs*
3/4 c       buttermilk (see note below if you don’t have buttermilk)**
3/4 tsp   vanilla extract
3/4 tsp   lemon extract***
3/4 tsp   orange extract
1 c          dried dates (about 18 dates)
1/2 c       water
3/4 c       chopped mandarin oranges
1/2 c       dried cranberries



  1. Preheat your oven to 375°.
  2. If you need to make your own buttermilk make this first as it will take five minutes to set. Read the instructions to make buttermilk below under “special notes.”
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, flax meal, and protein powder.
  4. Add the coconut oil, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, lemon, and orange extract to your dry ingredients and stir just until combined.
  5. Blend the dried dates with 1/2 cup of water until smooth. Next, stir the date paste into your muffin mix.
  6. Fold in the mandarin oranges and cranberries.
  7. Place muffin cups into your muffin pan and fill each 3/4 full. (I use an ice cream scoop to fill them!)
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until your muffins spring back when you poke them.

Special Notes

*To make vegan: To make this recipe vegan, simply exchange the eggs for flax eggs.

**Buttermilk: If you want to make buttermilk choose your favorite type of milk (dairy or otherwise) pour the amount desired and add a tablespoon of white or apple cider vinegar (lemon juice will also suffice) and allow to sit for 5 minutes. It will curdle and look bubbly.

***All of the extracts: If you don’t have lemon and orange extracts, feel free to use lemon juice in the same amount.



Thanks for hanging out friends! If you enjoyed this post, please feel free to share it on Pinterest below.

Pinterest Healthy Orange Muffins


5 thoughts on “Healthified Cranberry Orange Muffins

  1. Great idea on the recipes! But really. Run out of vegetables and fruits? I think not, if you will expand your vision. While our American list of potential edibles is very limited, there is a whole world of possibilities that you could explore! We generally leave a lot of foods offered in groceries ‘on the table’, let alone what else is out there. Americans pull from a very small percentage of the edibles God has provided. You could also speak to food waste – about 40% in the US overall. Just some thoughts.


    1. Hey Steve! Thanks for the ideas. I’m not totally sure how to get access to worldwide foods at this point , but you’re very right that there are a lot more than I know of. And food waste is a great topic to work on! Thank you! I hope it’s warm down there! We miss you guys.


  2. Miss you too, Unripe. 😉

    Look in the grocery, though. I think you might be surprised at some of the unusual produce that is available to you.

    Excited to see what you come up with! You do such wonderful pieces. 😉


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s