What are scuffins? Scone + Muffin = Scuffin.
Imagine the delicious buttery taste of a scone in the convenient shape of a muffin & you’ve got a scuffin.
This recipe came about as a muffin mishap, but it was too delicious to keep to myself. The muffins didn’t quite resemble the sweetness or soft texture of a muffin. Instead, they had a naturally sweet taste and the perfect buttery crispness of a scone. The term scuffin was born.
I have tested this recipe on three friends and the jury is out- it’s a winner! Made without any added sugar (just naturally sweet from the cranberries, orange juice, and raspberries), this is a scone that you can enjoy for breakfast…with no regrets!
Here are some of the nutritional aspects I love about this recipe:
- No gums– most gluten-free flour blends contain gums such as xanthan gum to help give them a similar texture to their wheat-containing counterparts. There is concern that these gums may be linked to intestinal inflammation and other detriment health effects.
- More than 50% of the grains are whole grains– when baking, I love to aim for at least half of the grains being whole grains. That’s because whole grains are packed with fiber, B vitamins, magnesium, zinc, and more! In fact, the amount of brown rice flour in this recipe packs in 30 percent of the daily recommendation of vitamin B6. Vitamin B3, B1, magnesium, and zinc are not far behind.
- Less blood sugar spiking– sugar and ingredients in many gluten-free flour blends tend to be blood sugar spiking. Examples are flours such as potato starch and tapioca flour (note: the white rice flour in this recipe does spike blood sugar similar to these, but it is not the major flour used). We know that blood sugar imbalance and insulin resistance are linked to a variety of health consequences. Some of these include type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), Alzheimer’s disease, and more! A good reason to make sure we are limiting high glycemic load foods and combining our carbs with protein, healthy fats, and fiber for gentler absorption.
- Fructose friendly– there is a lot of debate about whether it is possible to have “too much” fruit. In my experience, you can. Additionally, the types of fruits seem to matter, especially for those with FODMAP intolerance. That’s because the presence of glucose helps you absorb fructose. When too much fructose is consumed, it can be malabsorbed, leading to digestive symptoms and related issues. Personally, if I consume too much fruit, especially high FODMAP fruits, my face breaks out with acne. No fun. This recipe doesn’t cause that issue for me because it contains low FODMAP fruits.
- Antioxidants– the cranberries, raspberries, & orange zest in this recipe pack an antioxidant punch. Did you know vitamin C is an antioxidant? Well these fruits are definitely rich in this antioxidant! Other antioxidants supplied by this recipe include proanthocyanidins, flavonoids, phenolic acids, and more!
- Fresh whole cranberries– the processing of cranberries into juice or dried fruits causes them to lose much of their antioxidant content, especially anthocyanins. Whole cranberries can be sour, but in this recipe, the sour is perfectly balanced with the sweetness of the orange and raspberries to make these scuffins delightful!
Cranberry Health Benefits:
Cranberries are believed to confer a variety of health benefits. Here’s what’s been found in research :
- Rich in polyphenols
- Polyphenols are associated with antiviral, antibacterial, antimutagenic, anticarcinogenic, and anti-inflammatory properties
- Animal models show cranberry extracts can reduce C-reactive protein (CRP)
- CRP is a marker of inflammation, so reducing it is a good thing
- Suppress Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection
- H pylori is an organism that can overgrow in the stomach and lead to gastric ulcers as well as symptoms such as belching, nausea, bloating, and abdominal pain
- Lower LDL & total cholesterol, while increasing HDL cholesterol
- LDL = “the bad one” & HDL = “the good one”
- Reduce biomarkers of metabolic syndrome
- Metabolic syndrome is characterized by high blood pressure, high blood sugar, increased body fat around the waist, and elevated cholesterol levels
- Protect against urinary tract infections
- Several human trials have shown that cranberry consumption can be beneficial for protecting against urinary tract infections. This is important because antibiotics are commonly used for urinary tract infections, creating concern about development of bacterial resistance. Cranberries are naturally antimicrobial through a variety of mechanisms, resulting in much less chance of bacterial resistance. (Note: urinary tract infections are a serious condition and should be evaluated by and treated by a physician. I am not promoting the use of cranberry as an alternative to antibiotics, but rather as a potential preventative measure.)
- ⅓ cup brown rice flour
- ⅓ cup blanched almond flour or sweet white sorghum flour
- ⅓ cup arrowroot starch or white rice flour
- ½ tsp non-aluminum baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 tablespoons melted butter (or coconut oil for dairy-free)
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp grated orange zest
- ⅓ cup freshly squeezed orange juice (navel orange works well)
- ½ cup fresh cranberries (frozen would likely work also)
- ½ cup frozen raspberries
- ¼ cup raw pecan pieces
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a separate small or medium microwave-safe bowl, melt butter or coconut oil. Using fork, beat in egg. Add orange zest and juice and give it a stir.
- Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir until just combined.
- Fold in the cranberries, raspberries, and pecans.
- Scoop approximately ¼ cup of batter into each of 6 muffin tin slots lined with baking cups.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned on tops and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving warm.
- Store leftovers in airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week. Reheat leftovers in microwave or toaster oven before enjoying.
 Blumberg JB, Camesano TA, Cassidy A, et al. Cranberries and their bioactive constituents in human health. Adv Nutr. 2013;4(6):618-32.
Hello! I have SIBO, but can tolerate gluten just fine. How can I make these with regular (non gluten free) flours? Although, I think the addition of almond meal sounds really good!
Thanks for sharing.
I am really not sure whether these would turn out with wheat flour since I never use it. But if you want to try, I would recommend using 1 cup of all-purpose flour.
Looking at the SIBO chart, arrowroot is in the “illegal” column….also, don’t grains cause inflammation???
According to the SIBO Specific Food Guide, yes, this recipe contains “illegal” ingredients. Only some of my recipes follow that guide. I allow greater variety in other recipes because many of my clients tolerate certain of the “illegal” ingredients just fine. Additionally, the lesser degree of restriction allows for a much better quality of life.
I similarly believed that grains caused inflammation before I went to nutrition school. They have certainly been demonized in the internet health world. However, based on what I have learned through my education, working with clients, and my personal experience, grains can have a place in a health-promoting diet. They are rich in B vitamins and fiber which are essential to good health and the health of our gut bacteria. Another reason they can be important is that some individuals on SIBO diets end up very restricted in terms of their carbohydrate intake and face negative symptoms because of it. If they are intolerant to fructose, certain low FODMAP grains may be an excellent alternative for restoring adequate macronutrient intake.
Could you replace the orange juice and orange zest? My daughter has fructose malabsorption and can’t tolerate orange…
Orange zest shouldn’t be a problem with fructose malabsorption as the peel doesn’t contain fructose (which is why it is very bitter). As for the orange juice, it is the sweetener in this recipe so you would have to use some sort of sweetener to replace it.
Hope that helps!