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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Lemon Chia Seed Muffins

So let me start by telling you about my first experience with chia seeds (not THIS experience).  I had been hearing good things, so I just had to try these little nutritional powerhouses (the very same seeds are in fact used on chia pets in case you were wondering like I had wondered.)  I decided to try them out by throwing them into my morning smoothie, and the result was that I thought I was experiencing morning sickness all week long.  Turns out I can't handle chia seeds on an empty stomach...and blended fruit and veggies with almond milk is not enough.  When chia seeds mix with liquid, they expand and becomes jelly-like (this is why you can make pudding out from these seeds.)  Apparently, when this happens in my stomach, I feel ill.  So I didn't care to give chia seeds a second shot until I saw a new Kashi granola bar using chia and chocolate.  It's become my favorite snack - except for the fact that the chia seeds tend to get stuck in my teeth, and as a teacher, I need to be careful I don't end up embarrassing myself in front of a room full of 16 year olds.  Well this new favorite snack has led me to attempt this muffin recipe.  I'm always looking for a healthier muffin so I feel okay eating something cake-like for breakfast (especially since Jim, Ade and I will eat them all week.)  These came out perfect.  I wouldn't change a thing.  It's an awesome healthier take on the traditional lemon poppy seed muffin.  They are not very sweet at feel free to add some more sugar or perhaps use a lemon yogurt which will have additional sugar in it in place of the yogurt and additional lemon juice.  There is no butter, but olive oil instead, and I threw in some whole wheat flour to amp up the healthy a wee bit more.  If you've been curious about using chia seeds, I feel like this is the least intimidating way to incorporate them into your diet.

Lemon Chia Seed Muffins
adapted from The Corner Kitchen
makes 12 muffins

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup sugar
2/3 cup nonfat greek yogurt
juice from 1 lemon
juice and zest from 1 meyer lemon
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp chia seeds

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a medium bowl, combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  In another large bowl, combine the oil, sugar, and yogurt.  Then add the lemon juice and zest.  Lastly, add the egg and vanilla.  Then add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.  Mix until just combined.  Then add the chia seeds and incorporate.  Line a muffin tin with liners and bake in the oven for 14 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of their centers clean.  Cool on a wire rack and enjoy.  Keep in an airtight container to store.  Mine began to taste a bit stale on day three, but popping it in the toaster oven for a few minutes perked it right back up.

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