What happens to those extra ingredients hanging around the kitchen after the holidays? Do they wilt away in the refrigerator or are they thrown in the garbage? These ingredients need to be used or stored away properly for later use. One ingredient that I usually have left over from the holidays are fresh cranberries. Cranberries are an inexpensive fruit (this year), loaded with essential nutrients and have rightfully earned their place on many dinner tables throughout the holidays. What’s so great about Cranberries? Cranberries have the combined taste of a sweet and sour flavor, making this fruit the perfect addition to your favorite dessert, side dish, beverage or breakfast meal.
Is it better to use frozen or fresh cranberries? What is the best way to store our cranberries, and how to make Orange Cranberry Crumb Muffins?
Frozen vs. Fresh Cranberries
What is the best choice to use, frozen or fresh cranberries? Well, there are benefits to both. The most beneficial way to use cranberries is to buy them fresh. When using fresh cranberries you will consume all of the nutrients, vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates and fiber, which will boost the immune system as well as maximizing the characteristics of the fruit. Frozen cranberries retain the nutrients but lose their firm texture. After one week of testing my fresh to frozen cranberries, some seemed to shrivel up. The fruit will soften but can still be a great addition to baked and cooked recipes. There is no difference in taste using frozen or fresh. The cranberries that were frozen and thawed will not taste the same if eaten raw, but if using frozen or fresh cranberries when cooking or baking, there is no big difference in taste.
How to Store Cranberries
Storing cranberries is simple and similar to refrigerating or freezing any other types of fruits. Using a ziploc bag or air tight container, remove all of the air and sealing it tight will do the trick. Cranberries can be stored in the refrigerator for one month or in the freezer for up to one year. So, when you get that fresh bag of cranberries, don’t worry about wasting any as you can store it in the refrigerator or freezer for later use.
How to Make Orange Cranberry Crumb Muffins
This muffin recipe is quick, simple and very moist. The cinnamon crumb mixture on top of the muffin gives this recipe two thumbs up and a 5 star rating. This will be your go-to recipe when entertaining or binge watching your favorite TV show with friends and family.
Ingredients: flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, oil, eggs, milk, vanilla extract, orange juice, orange zest, sour cream, cranberries, cinnamon and butter.
Tools/Equipment: large mixing bowl, pastry blender, wooden spoon, citrus zester, muffin pan, disher (ice cream scoop), rubber spatula and cooling rack.
Step One – In a large bowl, add sugar, eggs, vanilla, milk, orange juice, oil and sour cream. Whisk to incorporate air and combine all ingredients together.
The orange zest along with the orange juice will infuse these muffins with a citrus flavor that will elevate these muffins to the next taste level.
Step Three – Add the flour, baking powder and salt to the egg mixture. Continue whisking all ingredients together. Do not overmix as it will change the texture of the muffins.
Step Four – Using a rubber spatula, fold or gently mix the cranberries into the batter. If you prefer to have less or more cranberries, go for it! Adding a little more or less cranberries will not alter the texture or taste of these muffins at all. These muffins will become one of your favorite desserts as these are bursting with flavor and having the balance of sweet and tartness. Oh boy!
Step Five – Prepare your muffin pan by generously spraying with cooking spray. Of course, this will prevent your muffins from sticking to the pan, but I am sure you are aware of this.
Step Six – Using a disher or some might call it, ice cream scoop, scoop out batter and fill the muffin pan pockets until all of the batter is used. This disher will give equal sized portions, as long as you don’t double scoop on a few. (Actually, I do this all of the time, don’t worry, it will be fine, keep the big one for yourself.)
Step Seven – I know you thought we were finished, but no, adding my crumb topping is a must have in this recipe. In a medium sized bowl, add flour, sugar and cinnamon, whisk to blend together.
Step Eight – Using a pastry blender or two knives, add and cut in butter into the flour mixture until it resembles small crumbs.
Step Nine – Divide small amounts of the crumb mixture onto the top of each muffin batter until all of the crumb mixture is gone. This is the best topping for these muffins as it adds a sweet, cinnamon, and crunchy taste to these muffins. I can’t wait until these babies come out of the oven. Oh my goodness!
Step Ten – Place muffin pan into the oven to bake. Once finished, let the muffins cool down for 10 minutes. Remove muffins and place each one onto a cooling rack. Prepare your hot beverage of choice, my choice is decaf tea, retrieve the small cake plate, grab a napkin and off to the dinner table to dive into this muffin. You are probably going to reach for a second one before the night ends. I did. Enjoy!
These Orange Cranberry Crumb Muffins can be stored for three months in the freezer and lasts up to 3-5 days in the refrigerator. You can watch my Orange Cranberry Crumb Muffin video on TikTok or Instagram. Share pictures of your Orange Cranberry Crumb Muffins in the comment section. These muffins will not disappoint!