Healthy, real food Orange Cranberry Christmas Breakfast MuffinssteemCreated with Sketch.

in #recipes4 years ago

You don’t have to have a boring Xmas just because your diet is limited! Suitable for Paleo, gluten free, dairy free, low sugar, low carb, GAPS, SCD, or other whole food diets.

This was inspired by a Nigella Lawson recipe. I might have mentioned before that I love her passion for food, her ideas and her sense of joy. Even though virtually all her recipes have at least some ingredients that don’t belong on a whole food diet, and I have to do a pile of adjustments!

My best-ever-Xmas-cake, based on one of her recipes is here.
The original version of this recipe (if you’re not avoiding wheat, sugar or starch) is here.

I also love her turn of phrase, and couldn’t say it better myself:

I have never quite understood how people can go in for vast, rich breakfasts on Christmas morning. I am hardly a modest eater by anyone's standards, but even I can't quite accommodate a platterful of buttery scrambled eggs with smoked salmon before the gargantuan Christmas feast. And I speak as cook and eater on this one. I do, however, see the need to make breakfast special in some way, and these muffins do that. What's more, if you measure out the dry ingredients the night before and put the muffin cases in the muffin tin, you don't need to do anything more labour intensive on Christmas morning itself than preheat your oven, whisk up a few runny ingredients in a jug and stir them into the waiting bowl. Then dollop the batter into the prepared muffin cases and all's sweet - and smelling of cinnamony, orange-scented Christmas.

As we don’t usually have our Xmas dinner till mid to late afternoon, I have to disagree with her on the smoked salmon and scrambled eggs for breakfast though! I started making these about five years ago, and have two different starch free recipes. One uses coconut flour and the other almond flour.

Ingredients for the coconut flour version

• 1/2 cup sifted coconut flour
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon or mixed spice
• 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 6 eggs
• 4 Tbs (50gm, 2oz) butter or coconut oil, melted
• 4 Tbs honey (or other natural sweetener of your choice*)
• 4 Tbs juice from an orange
• Grated zest of the orange
• 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
• 1 cup frozen cranberries

  • I think the flavour of honey complements this recipe best, but other sweeteners could include coconut nectar or sugar, maple syrup, or softened and mashed dates.

Even if you don’t usually use much sweetener, these do need a little, as the cranberries (if you use frozen) are not sweetened.

If you can’t get frozen cranberries, and have to use dried, don’t cook for quite as long.


Ingredients for the almond flour version

• 2 cups ground almonds
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon or mixed spice
• 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 3 eggs
• 8 Tbs (100gm, 4oz) butter or coconut oil, melted
• 4 Tbs honey (or other natural sweetener of your choice*)
• 4 Tbs juice from an orange
• Grated zest of the orange
• ½ teaspoon celtic sea salt
• 1 cup frozen cranberries

A picture of Nigella’s wheat based version.


You will have noticed that the almond flour version uses less eggs, but more flour and fat than the coconut version. So, although the method is the same, their textures are different, and both are moist and yummy.

If you want to make sure nothing sticks to the muffin pans, you can line the pans as I’ve described before (and repeated below). But if you don’t mind a bit of muffin being stuck to the paper liner, paper cups are quicker and easier, and look more festive. The almond flour doesn’t stick as much as the coconut.

Sift the coconut flour (or almond flour), baking soda and spices into a bowl and mix thoroughly. Blend together eggs, butter or oil, orange juice, honey, salt and zest. Mix the two together until there are no lumps. Stir in cranberries. Pour batter into muffin pans.

Both make 12 medium sized muffins, and notice that the temperatures and cooking times are slightly different. If you would rather make fewer, larger muffins, cook for longer.

• Coconut flour: Bake at 400°F (200C) for about 16-18 minutes.
• Almond flour: Bake at 350°F (175C) for about 20 minutes.

But watch carefully. If they start to over-brown, put a layer of brown paper or foil over the top,

They are a nice consistency, both warm and cold, and don’t need a spread. But they would be extra good with butter, ghee, sour cream, or yoghurt cheese. Or maybe even sour cream or yoghurt cheese mixed with some lemon juice and honey.

Prepping the muffin trays

I grease my muffins trays REALLY well with coconut oil, then cut small squares of baking paper. They don’t line the entire pan, but cover the bottom and a little bit up the sides. You still might need to slide a knife around the sides of each pan, but they will lift away from the bottom easily.

Thanks for reading and I hope this is helpful for starting to get into the Xmas spirit.

Versions of these recipes are already on some of my other websites, but this version has been rewritten. Photos by @kiwideb or @sift666 unless otherwise stated. Sorry there weren’t more photos as I haven’t made a new batch this year!

Follow me for more health, nutrition, food, lifestyle and recipe posts.

I am now on Peerhub offering one on one nutritional coaching and EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) sessions by Skype.

Some of my previous RECIPES AND KITCHEN TIPS:

Choc Blackcurrant Smoothie ~ Paleo Cottage Pie ~ Feijoa Pear Smoothie ~ Grain free, dairy free Pumpkin & Cashew Bread ~ Tip for storing ginger & tumeric ~ Grain Free Banana Cashew muffins ~ Warming winter soup ~ Healthy Chocolate & Fudge ~ Jerky with vegetables ~ Breakfast ideas ~ Choco-mallow protein bars ~ Equipment for the real food kitchen ~ Carrot Almond bread ~ Grain free Fruit & Nut bar ~ Vegetable muffins ~ Finger food for a gathering ~ Real food ideas for snacks and road trips ~ Best ever (and easiest) Christmas cake ~ For MORE RECIPES and my 15 step Whole Food cooking course, see my recipe website.


Having cooked gluten free for over 10 years, I love seeing simple substitution like this - keeping it simple is key! Would also suggest a simply use of GF flour rather than going to the trouble of sourcing and using coconut/almond flour. Its's getting better and more gluten-like in effect!

Many of my clients need to be starch free, which is why I use those flours or sometimes cashews. This way my recipes cover the widest range of diets - though of course for people who can tolerate starches, a GF flour would work fine too. I wish I could tolerate starches myself! Thanks for your comments, it;s great to have lots of info for people with special dietary needs.