What are chia seeds? Chia seeds are an ancient seed consumed by the Aztecs and are an excellent plant source of omega fats, protein, soluble fiber, antioxidants, calcium and iron. Remember the chia pet craze? This is the same seed, but this time prepared for human consumption. I am a chia seed newbie. I bought them out of pure curiosity. I pop them on top of my yogurt parfaits or morning oatmeal, but they are also frequently used in salads, stir fries and in smoothies. I think they would be a great on a spinach and strawberry salad too!
To make these muffins you will need a zester. Zesters are fun and easy to use. I use my zest to add citrus zest into muffin and bread recipes mostly, but sometimes add lemon zest to roasted broccoli, broccoli rabe or asparagus too.
I always use Greek yogurt in recipes when possible as it is a great way to boost the protein content, which in muffins and breads is typically low. Protein at meal times is a good way to keep your belly full.
- Makes 12 muffins
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 lemon, zested (1 1/2 teaspoons zest)
- 1/2 c fat free plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice (1 lemon)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
- [OR use 1 1/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour (I didn't have any today 🙂 )]
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teasoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- ¼ cup sliced almonds for topping* optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare 12 muffin tin with paper liners.
- Cream butter, oil and sugar in medium bowl.
- Beat in eggs one at a time.
- Fold in lemon zest, yogurt and lemon juice and extracts.
- Gently stir in flours, baking powder and soda.
- Fold in chia seeds.
- Place heaping spoonful of batter in muffin cups filling ¾ full. Garnish with almonds as desired.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.
YUM! These are very airy, lemony and just sweet enough.