Healthy Habits: Orange Cranberry Muffins and Pancakes

“Of course you’re sick….”

It never fails. A day or two into our holiday break, one of the children or my husband starts sniffling and coughing. Then one by one, they all fall victim and within three to five days all four are sick. The same thing happens during the February winter break. The adrenaline which keeps their immune system pumping through the semesters seems to slow down, and their bodies’ immune systems drop their defenses. Fortunately, over the years, my body appears to have become immune to their sicknesses so 98% of the time now, I’m healthy as I nurse them as opposed to the earlier years where I was sick as a dog, too, but had to be the mom who took care of everyone else!

While everyone is sick, I’m always trying to find ways to get more good nutrients like vitamin C into them. One of the ways they prefer is when I make foods which have ingredients high in vitamins and minerals. Oranges and cranberries are both good for the immune system so I’ve created muffin and pancake recipes which the family likes to eat.

To help boost the “good” in the muffins and pancakes I use high fiber, high protein flours and add both orange juice and cranberries. I freeze fresh whole cranberries in the freezer in two cup bags which I can just pull out when I need them, and I keep unsweetened frozen orange juice concentrate in the freezer as well. For both recipes, I use the frozen cranberries and orange juice concentrate as is without any thawing.


Orange Cranberry Pankcakes

(These make a lot: enough for a family of five with leftovers for the school week

so if you don’t want that many make half the recipe instead.)


4 cups milk of choice (cow, soy, flax, etc…)

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/3 cup vegan soy free butter

1 tbsp safflower oil (or canola or grapeseed or sunflower or other type you prefer)

2 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen, not dried)

1/2 cup unsweetened orange juice concentrate (frozen is fine)

1/2 cup Agave

2 eggs (or 2 tbsp ground flaxseed mixed with 6 tbsp water or 1/2 cup aquafaba*)

4 cups of your favorite high fiber, high protein gluten free flour blend **

1 tsp salt

5 tsp baking powder

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Preheat a pancake griddle to 350 and grease with preferred method. If using a pan, don’t warm the pan until you’re ready to cook the pancakes and cook the pancakes on medium heat.
  2. Mix the milk with the lemon juice and set aside.
  3. Melt the butter in a microwave for a few seconds and mix it with the oil. Set aside.
  4. In a food processor, chop up the cranberries with the orange juice concentrate and agave. Stir in the milk and the butter with the two eggs. Set aside.
  5. Mix the flour with the salt and baking powder.
  6. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix just until everything is moistened and the batter begins to bubble a bit.
  7. Use a 1/4 cup to pour batter onto the prepared griddle. When the pancake edges are dry and the pancake batter begins to pop little bubbles, turn them over and cook a minute on the other side to complete the pancake.
  8. If making a lot of pancakes to store for the week, put them in single layers on a cooling rack to cool completely before putting them into the fridge. To keep warm for eating, put the pancakes on an oven proof plate in the oven on the lowest temperature setting.

Notes: *Aquafaba is the liquid from a can of chickpeas. To substitute for eggs, use 1/4 cup per egg and whisk until frothy (foamy but still clear and not white like a meringue.)

** See Food FAQs under Ingredients to see some recipes for GF blends

Orange Cranberry Muffins


2 cups cranberries (fresh or frozen, not dried)

1/2 cup unsweetened orange juice concentrate (frozen is fine)

1/2 cup Agave

1 cup milk of choice (cow, soy, flax, etc….)

1/2 cup sorghum flour

1/2 cup quinoa flour

1 cup tapioca starch

1 cup potato starch

1 tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cloves

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp xanthan gum

1/2 cup vegan soy free butter

1/2 cup Agave

2 eggs

Baking Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 cupcake liners in muffin tins or grease the muffin tins with your preferred method.
  2. In a food processor, chop up the cranberries with the orange juice concentrate and agave. Stir in the milk and set aside.
  3. Mix together the sorghum flour, quinoa flour, tapioca starch, potato starch, baking powder, salt, cloves, cinnamon and xanthan gum. Set aside.
  4. Cream the vegan butter with mixer. Scrape down the sides. Slowly add the agave, mixing on low until the butter is creamy.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing the first in well before adding the second.
  6. Scrape down the sides and add the dry ingredients alternately with the cranberry milk mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, scraping down the side as needed.
  7. Fill the cupcake liners evenly with the batter (will be about 3/4 full).
  8. Bake for 15 minutes until cupcakes are puffed, golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Cool muffins on a wire cooling rack.