Blood Orange Jelly

There’s an old lady who helps out at the tuckshop at my daughter’s school on the day when I have tuckshop duty. She’s so sweet and we are very lucky to have her. It’s not like the tuckshop is overrun by volunteers.
She’s also a wealth of knowledge. Amongst other things she told me about this blood orange jelly she makes and was nice enough to share the recipe. It’s delicious – but a bit sweet for my taste. Feel free to reduce or replace the sugar to a level that you are comfortable with. I’m gonna try it with half next time.
You could make this with regular oranges but the colour will obviously be a bit different. I also find the flavour of blood oranges more complex than regular navel oranges.

A bit blurry but you get the idea. The colour is gorgeous.

Do you know how hard it is to take a decent photo? The shiny surface seemed to confuse my camera. So until I can take a better photo in better lighting, we need to make do with this one.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon gelatine
3/4 cup boiling water
1 3/4 cups* blood orange juice – strained

Place the sugar, gelatine and boiling water into a saucepan and stir over low heat until it’s all dissolved. Take off the heat and whisk in strained juice. Pour into bowl or moulds and refrigerate for several hours or until set.

*It took me about 7 large oranges to get that amount.

Sweet Potato and Cinnamon Muffins

Sweet Potato MuffinsI didn’t grow up with sweet potatoes so I never really knew what to do with them. So I ended up just boiling them and I can’t quite blame my kids for not liking them that way. I have found some better ways to cook them now and I actually really like them. But the soggy boiled sweet potatoes of the past must still be haunting my kids because they don’t even want to try them most of the time.
When I came across this recipe for sweet potato and cinnamon muffins, I just had to try them. Cinnamon is my children’s favourite spice, so these muffins couldn’t be a total fail. However, as usual I couldn’t leave the recipe alone and had to create a healthier version. First I halved the sugar but I still found it quite sweet. So I tried it with only 1/4 of the sugar and they are fantastic. I also used wholemeal flour instead of white and coconut oil or butter instead of canola oil.

When my daughter saw them she excitedly grabbed one and her reaction was: “Mummy!!! These are delicous!!!” She ate for that day and would have had more if I had let her. What a great way to give them a treat and sneak in some vegies, too.

As she was eating her 4th muffin she asked me whether the orange bits were carrot (I had only mashed very roughly) and I told her what it was. I was half expecting her to say “ewwww”. But instead she said: “The sweet potato makes them so yummy and sweet”. It makes them moist and really really soft, too! And they’re really quick and easy to make. If you are making anything with Sweet Potatoes for dinner, just cook a few extras for this recipe.

Ingredients:
2 cups wholemeal flour
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon (or more if you prefer a stronger taste)
1/2 cup raw sugar or Rapadura
2 cups mashedsweet potatoes
1 egg
3/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil or butter – melted
1/4 cup milk (or water or non-dairy milk to make it dairy free)

Method:
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius (375 Fahrenheit)
If using a silicone muffin tin, you don’t need to do anything. If you’re using a traditional tin, either grease it or line it with muffin liners.
Mix up the dry ingredients in one bowl.
In a seperate bowl, whisk the egg, milk and oil with the mashed sweet potatoes.
Stir into the dry ingredients until just combined and all the flour has been moistened.
Fill your muffin cups to about 3/4 full. Bake for 15-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. You can serve these with a glaze (recipe below) but I don’t as I try to cut down on the sugar and they are delicious without it, too.
Makes about 18 muffins for me.
Once cooled these can be frozen – if they even last that long.

Glaze:
1 cup powdered (icing) sugar
2 Tablespoons + 1 1/2 teaspoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoons butter – melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and drizzle over warm muffins.