A healthy scone recipe is just the thing to warm and comfort after the delightful excesses of the holiday season.
These fragrant mandarin and elderflower scones are not only light and flaky, but they're also dairy-free, low in sugar, and full of flavor. They're a charming indulgence made with whole wheat flour and full of things that may help the body ward off a cold or flu.
Brew a strong cuppa and then settle in with a good book while you eat one of these freshly baked scones or tuck several in a basket to give to a neighbor or good friend who could use cheering up in the dead of winter.
How to Make Healthy Scones with Mandarin and Elderflower
These dairy-free scones are made flaky by the use of lard instead of butter and moistened by fresh mandarin juice instead of milk, cream, or buttermilk. Several spoonfuls of mandarin zest make them both fragrant and tender while adding flecks of bright orange to the dough. Dried elderflowers add texture and lend their cold-fighting properties to the scones.
You could use other kinds of citrus for this healthy scone recipe such as limes, Meyer lemons, oranges, tangerines, or clementines. Make sure you wash the fruit well in warm water before removing the zest to ensure you don't get unwanted wax in your dough.
The elderflowers can also be substituted with your favorite dried herbs or flowers. If you fancy floral flavors, you could use dried calendula, lavender buds, or hibiscus for equally pretty and beautifully scented scones. Fancy something a little more earthy? Try finely chopped rosemary, crumbled mint leaves, or torn sage leaves. Just remember that herbs have a stronger flavor than dried flowers, so use a smaller amount.
How to Shape Your Scones
The key to scones that rise tall and evenly is to knead the dough well but not too much. Simply knead gently only until the dough holds together and can easily be pressed into a circle about 1-inch thick. When you cut the scones, do so quickly, without twisting, and you'll give your scones the best chance of rising well.
The scones work best in a simple shape such as triangles or circles. For some reason, they don't rise as well when cut in a more complicated shape such as stars or squares.
Since these scones have so little sugar in them, there's room for brushing the tops with oat milk and dusting them lightly with a bit of granulated or raw sugar to add a bit of crunch and sparkle. If you're not too concerned about the health aspect, you could also make a simple citrus glaze with powdered sugar, mandarin juice, and a pinch of cinnamon.
Serve these scones at room temperature with your favorite non-dairy butter replacement and low-sugar jam, marmalade, or a dollop of dairy-free vanilla yogurt.
This healthy scone recipe is enhanced when accompanied by a large mug of citrus tea such as our sweet and spicy Rainy Day Puerh with cinnamon, ginger, and orange peel. Other good options are our Be Well Blend with orange and elderberry or our Comfort Blend black tea with orange and cinnamon.
Healthy Scone Recipe with Mandarin and Elderflower
- 1 and 1/4 cups white flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- zest of three mandarins
- 1/4 cup dried elderflowers
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup lard, cut into pieces
- 3/4 cup fresh squeezed mandarin juice
- 1-2 tablespoons oat milk
- Granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 450°F.
In a large bowl, stir together white flour, whole wheat flour, mandarin zest, elderflowers, baking powder, sugar, and salt. With fingers or in food processor, cut in lard until mixture resembles coarse sand.
Pour in mandarin juice and toss with a fork until flour mixture is damp. Pour out onto lightly floured surface and knead just until dough comes together well.
Press dough into circle about 1-inch thick. Cut into 2-inch circles and place on baking sheet lined with baking paper about 2 inches apart.
Brush tops with oat milk and sprinkle with granulated sugar.
Bake 10-12 minutes until scones have risen and tops are golden brown.
When baked, remove to cooling rack and let cool at least 5 minutes or until room temperature.