This Mandarin Orange Almond Muffins recipe is paleo, gluten free and vegan. Besides, I have included mandarin orange juice and zest into the almond meal. Together with a hint of desiccated coconuts and topped with Chinese almond and some mandarin orange zest. Besides, this is a fusion Mandarin Orange Almond Muffins recipe that I have created. Moreover, these baked muffins are really tasty, aromatic and nutritious muffins. This Mandarin Orange Almond Muffins recipe is also corn free, dairy free, egg free, soy free and refined sugar free.
You may also like my other gluten free cupcake recipes:
Types of Muffins
Normally, they bake muffins in individual muffin pans and it is a type of bread. Likewise, they are similar in appearance to cupcake but without the sweet frosting of cupcake. In addition, muffins can also be savoury as well as sweet. They names muffins 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.
In additions, bakers also add nuts and spices as muffin ingredients. Specifically, almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, peanuts, pine nuts and cinnamon. Other favourite ingredients are dates, raisins, chocolate, vanilla, vanilla beans and lavender. Furthermore, modern savoury versions are bacon and cheese, feta cheese and spinach, pumpkin, squash, sweet potatoes. In addition, Asian flavours are coconut pandan (screwpine) and yam (taro).
Mandarin Orange Facts
Mandarin orange (Citrus reticulate) or simply mandarin, is a small citrus tree with small fruits that are similar to oranges. Except that they are sweeter, less sour and so much more aromatic. Likewise, China is the native homeland of mandarin oranges and they have cultivated them for over 4,000 years. Today, they grow mandarin oranges abundantly in Japan, southern China and India. Moreover, we highly value mandarin oranges 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 traditional signs of good fortune, prosperity and wealth. Besides, they often show mandarin oranges as decoration and offer them as gifts to family, friends and business partners. Japanese mandarin oranges are also a Christmas tradition in United States and Canada.
Versatility of Mandarin Orange
Normally, we peel and eat fresh mandarin oranges. Moreover, we use them in making desserts, add to salads, and for flavouring in cooking. In addition, we use mandarin orange oil to flavour pudding, chewing gum, candy and ice cream. Besides, we can use mandarin orange peels either fresh, whole, zested or dried (called chenpi in Chinese). Some popular Chinese food using dried mandarin orange peels (chenpi) are red bean soup desserts, mooncake and orange chicken. Additionally, we use chenpi to cook Cantonese braised beef with white radish, porridge, duck and pigeon or quails.
Nutritional Values of Mandarin Orange
Mandarin orange is rich in dietary fiber. Moreover, it 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. These citrus mandarin orange fruits are not only tasty and juicy, they also have many health benefits.
Health Benefits of Mandarin Orange
Overall, the health benefits of mandarin orange may include:
- Support healthy eye sights;
- Prevent development of age related macula degenerative diseases;
- Promote healthy skin;
- Help lower bad cholesterol;
- Prevent certain types of cancer;
- Promote healthy skin;
- Aids wound healing; and
- Assist in weight loss.
In traditional Chinese Medicine, practitioner use chenpi or mandarin orange skin to make tea for easing sore throat. Likewise, they use chenpi to regulate chi or qi, as well as for treatment of digestive problems and poor appetite.
Paleo Vegan Mandarin Orange Almond Muffins
For the muffins:
For the Mandarin Orange Juice (1¼ cup):
- 4 medium mandarin oranges choose mandarin oranges with thicker and firmer skin (or substitute with oranges)
- 1 teaspoon grated mandarin orange zest
For the Toppings:
- 35 g Chinese Almond ground (or blanched almond)
- 1½ tablespoons grated mandarin orange zest
For the mandarin orange juice:
- Place peeled and seeded mandarin oranges and 1 teaspoon mandarin orange zest into a Nutribullet or food processor and blend until you get a smooth juice. Strain through a fine sieve, using a tablespoon to press on the mandarin orange pulp to release more juice. You need 1¼ cup of mandarin orange juice.
For the muffins batter:
- Mix all the wet ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.
- Add all the dry ingredients into the mixing bowl of an electric mixer and then attach the wire whip or beater. Using medium speed, mix for about 2 minutes or until ingredients are well combined.
- Continue on low speed, gradually pour the wet ingredients mixture prepare in step 1 into electric mixing bowl and then increase speed to medium and mix for another 2 minute.
- Then gradually add in the mandarin orange juice and continue to mix the ingredients on low speed for another 2 minutes.
- Stop mixing and then use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl.
- Mix on medium setting for another 5 minutes or until batter is well combined.
For cooking the muffins:
- Preheat fan-forced oven to 155C or 311F and line muffin pans with patty pans.
- Spoon and fill each muffin pan with some batter, until nearly the top edge of the pan.
- Sprinkle some ground Chinese almonds or blanched almonds and mandarin orange zest onto the top of each cupcake pan. Use a small spoon to even out the top of the muffin batter.
- Bake the muffins for 40 minutes or until golden brown and tooth pick comes out clean.
- Cool in muffin pan for 5 minutes, then remove and place the cooked muffins on a cooling rack.