Lemon Chia Seed Muffins

Lemon Chia Muffins_wide

These. These were special.

Lemon Chia Muffins_stacked

On Thursday morning, I was loading the recipe for these muffins into Greatist’s content system, and they sounded so good I had to stop what I was doing and make them immediately. (I guess that’s what I get for trying to work before feeding myself.)

The recipe comes from my friend Kelli at The Corner Kitchen. She uses Meyer lemon, lemon greek yogurt, chia seeds, and olive oil to make a healthier version of classic lemon poppyseed muffins.

Lemon Chia Muffin_side

I was missing a few of the ingredients Kelli used, so I improvised a bit: regular lemon instead of Meyer, and plain Greek yogurt instead of lemon-flavored. I also used gluten-free flour instead of all-purpose. And I didn’t fill the muffin cups enough. Oops! (They still taste great.)

I can see how the Meyer lemon would have enhanced the flavor quite a bit, but they were just fine with regular lemon, too. I do recommend doubling the amount of lemon zest if you skip out on the lemon-flavored Greek yogurt. The sweetness level of these was perfect for me with the plain Greek yogurt, but they could have used a bit more lemon flavor.

Head over to The Corner Kitchen for the recipe

Blueberry-Flax Greek Yogurt Pancake Muffins

I’m not a “get up and make breakfast” kind of girl. I need at least two hours after I wake up before I am a fully functioning human, and I usually need to prepare breakfast for myself before that two hours is up. So, the answer? Things that I can make ahead of time and are easy enough to throw in a bowl/microwave and start eating in less than five minutes.

Blueberry-Flax Greek Yogurt Muffins_longNow, on the weekends, I’m a huge fan of whole-grain, gluten-free pancakes for brunch. But during the week, they don’t exactly fit my “less than five minutes of prep” requirement. But sometimes, you just want to enjoy a pancake-like delight in the middle of the week. The answer? Pancake muffins! Basically, you make pancake batter and spoon it into a muffin tin instead of into a pan. Brilliant! Here’s one of my favorite combinations — oats, flaxseed, Greek yogurt, and blueberries. Top with a bit of butter and a drizzle of maple syrup for some real pancake flavor. Another favorite combination? Crumble one of these muffins over a bowl of plain yogurt with fresh strawberries and a drizzle of maple syrup — perfection! (Check out THAT creation on my Instagram!)

Blueberry-Flax Greek Yogurt Pancake Muffins

 Blueberry-Flax Greek Yogurt MuffinsWhat You’ll Need:

3/4 cup  gluten-free pancake mix (or gluten-free flour mix)
1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
1/2–3/4 cup milk (any type)
1 egg
2 tablespoons honey (or agave, or maple syrup)
3/4 cup blueberries

What to Do: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease or line a 12-cup muffin tin.

Combine pancake mix (or flour), oats, greek yogurt, milk, egg, oil, and honey in a medium-sized bowl. Stir until smooth and there are no lumps.

Fold in blueberries. The mixture should be moist, but not soupy and not doughy. If your mix is too doughy, add milk until it reaches the desired consistency (which should sort of resemble the consistency of frosting).

Fill muffin cups about 3/4 to 4/5 of the way up, making sure the top of each is level (so that the muffin cooks evenly). Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and cool in the tin at least 1 hour. Then, enjoy!

Note: These muffins keep great frozen. I make a batch, remove them from a pan, place in a tupperware container and freeze for weeks! Then, just microwave for 30 seconds when you’re ready to eat, or stick them in a toaster oven for a few minutes. 

The Savory Muffin: Butternut Squash and Feta


Butternut Squash Feta Muffins

Now, when I first came across savory muffins, I was skeptical. Muffins are supposed to be sweet, tender little treats that are acceptable to eat for breakfast, but should probably qualify as dessert.

But when I had to make and photograph these butternut squash-based muffins for work, I sucked up my preconceptions and baked up a batch. And boy were they fantastic.

This recipe is a combination of a Cheesy Butternut Squash Muffin from Food52, and a Pumpkin Feta Muffin from 101 Cookbooks. I liked elements of both, so I combined the two for my batch!

Butternut Squash and Feta Savory Muffins

Butternut Squash Feta Muffins

Makes 12

What You’ll Need:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups baby spinach, chopped
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
2 teaspoons Grey Poupon mustard
2 eggs
3/4 cup non-fat milk
2 cups flour (I used gluten-free flour from Bobs Red Mill)
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper

*Note: I often find when baking with gluten-free flour that I need to add a little extra liquid to get the batter or dough to the right consistency. So, when throwing these together, if the batter looks a little too sticky, don’t be afraid to add a little extra milk — I did (probably about 2 tablespoons). 

What to Do:

Heat the oven to 425F.

On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the diced squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Arrange in a single layer.

Stick in the oven, and roast until tender, about 20-30 minutes. (Be sure to stir ’em up every 5-10 minutes). They should be slightly browned, but not burnt! Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Turn down the oven to 400F, and grease a muffin tin with a bit of EVOO.

In a large bowl, combine 2/3 of the squash, the spinach, parmesan, and 1/2 cup of the feta.

In a small bowl, beat eggs. Add milk and mustard, and stir until combined.

Add the wet ingredients to the larger bowl, and stir.

Add in the flour, baking powder, and 1 teaspoon salt. Gently stir until evenly combined (but not over mixed!)

Spoon the batter into the muffin pan. Top each muffin with the leftover squash and feta, and sprinkle with a generous grind of black pepper.

Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the muffins are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center of  one muffin comes out clean.

Remove, and let cool. Enjoy alongside soup, crumbled over a salad, or as a savory breakfast or snack!