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Paleo Vegan Mandarin Orange Almond Muffins

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Muffins are a type of bread that are baked in individual muffin pans. They are similar in appearance to cupcakes but without the sweet frosting of cupcakes. Muffins can also be savoury as well as sweet. Muffins are named after “muffe”, a type of German cake or “moufflet”, French soft bread. There are endless modern variations of ingredients for muffins. With different types of fruits like blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, orange, lemon, peach, bananas used as ingredients.  Nuts and spices like almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, peanuts, pine nuts and cinnamon. Other favourite ingredients are dates, raisins, chocolate, vanilla, vanilla beans and lavender. Other modern savoury versions are bacon and cheese, feta cheese and spinach, pumpkins, squashes, sweet potatoes and Asian flavours like coconut pandan (screwpine) and yam (taro). For my paleo, gluten free and vegan recipe of these muffins, I have incorporated mandarin orange juice and zest into almond meal with a hint of desiccated coconuts and topped with Chinese almond and some mandarin orange zest. This is a fusion recipe that I have created, resulting in really tasty, aromatic and nutritious muffins. This recipe is also corn free, dairy free, egg free, soy free and refined sugar free.



Mandarin oranges (citrus reticulate) or simply mandarins, is a small citrus tree with small fruits that are similar to oranges, except they are sweeter, less sour and so much more aromatic. China is the native homeland of mandarin oranges and they have been cultivated for over 4,000 years. Today, they are lavishly cultivated in Japan, southern China and India and are highly valued for home consumption in Australia. Other types of mandarin oranges available are clementine, satsuma and tangerine which are deep orange in colour. During the two weeks of Chinese New Year celebration, mandarin oranges are believed to be traditional signs of good fortune, prosperity and abundance. They are often shown as decoration and offered as gifts to family, friends and business acquaintances. Japanese mandarin oranges are also a Christmas tradition in United States and Canada.



Mandarin oranges are normally peeled and eaten fresh. They can be used in making desserts, added to salads, and for flavouring in cooking. Mandarin orange oil is also used to flavour puddings, chewing gums, candies and ice creams. Mandarin orange peels can also be used fresh, whole, zested or dried (called chenpi in Mandarin). Some popular Chinese cuisines using dried mandarin orange peels (chenpi) are red bean soup desserts, mooncake, orange chicken, Cantonese braised beef with white radish, porridge, duck and pigeon or quails. Chenpi tea is believed to relieve sore throat. Chenpi is also added to flavour wine. In traditional Chinese medicine, chenpi is used to regulate chi or qi, for treatment of digestive problems and poor appetite. These citrus mandarin orange fruits not only has a delightful taste, they also have many health benefits. Mandarin orange is rich in dietary fiber and is an excellent source of vitamin C (ascorbic acid), beta carotene and vitamin A. Mandarin orange has plant-based chemicals or phytochemicals like flavonoid antioxidants, mainly tangeritin, hesperidin, and naritutin, numerous times higher than oranges. Health benefits of mandarin orange include support healthy eye sights and prevent development of age related macula degenerative diseases; promote healthy skin; help lower bad cholesterol and may prevent certain types of cancer; promote healthy skin; aids wound healings and assist in weight loss.



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8 Responses

  1. Em
    | Reply

    omg these were delicious! can’t wait to try some more of your vegan recipes :)

    • daphnegoh
      | Reply

      Thanks for your good feedback Em. Hope you enjoy the rest of my vegan recipes! :)

  2. Heidi Roberts
    | Reply

    These muffins look really tasty – I would love them just out of the oven and warm!

    • daphnegoh
      | Reply

      They are best serve warm, can’t agree with you more! :)

  3. Corina
    | Reply

    Such dainty little muffins! I love the sound of the almond and mandarin flavour and the almond topping looks like it adds a lovely crunch too.

    • daphnegoh
      | Reply

      The combination of almond and mandarin is just bursting with flavour. :)

  4. Nayna Kanabar
    | Reply

    The mandarins must have imparted a delicious flavour also adding moistness to the muffins.

    • daphnegoh
      | Reply

      The mandarins gave the muffins fantastic flavour and moistness indeed. :)

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