Pumpkin Chia Muffins

It’s the time of year when you feel like you should be doing something with pumpkin.  This combined with the fact that I suddenly have a teenager in the house who is getting up ten minutes before she has to leave for school and thinking she can just rush out the door with nothing in her stomach and…

(Hand over mouth)…..MOM?!

Anyway, I put the two problems together and searched out a pumpkin breakfast muffin recipe.  I found this one from Dr. Oz’s site and I have made them four times in four weeks.  Right now I have a double batch going, they’re that popular.

These have no end of good things in them, and you can tweak the recipe to get as many good things in there as you like.  The original recipe, doubled, calls for 2 cups whole wheat flour and 1 cup of white flour.  But you can make this into 3 cups of virtually any kind of grains or flours.  I mean literally.  Anything.  You might not have the fluffiest, most domed muffins, but I’ve never made the recipe with the same flour twice and it always works and tastes great.  So tonight, for example, my 3 cups are made of:

1/2 cup flaxseed meal

1/2 cup almond meal

1/2 cup white flour

1 1/2 cups wheat flour

Dr. Oz’s recipe also called for olive oil; I subbed coconut oil because I am an addict.  I also used regular sugar instead of the agave because agave isn’t something I keep around.  You can tweak this to your heart’s content depending on your religious beliefs.

I also added dark chocolate chips because duh.

Pumpkin Chia Muffins

(Single batch recipe below, makes 12 muffins plus an annoying dollop of batter you don’t know what to do with)

  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 cup whole-wheat or whole-grain flour plus 1/2 cup white flour (OR 1 1/2 cups of whatever flours/meals you like)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger (ginger!  not the garlic powder!  don’t ask!)
  • 2 tsp baking soda (when using almond meal and flaxseed meal, I throw another 1/2 tsp in)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 can (16-oz) pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (or olive oil, or canola)
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar (or 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup sugar; I made it a scant 1/2 cup because I was using chocolate chips)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans (Optional)
  • 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350

Combine dry ingredients in one bowl, wet ingredients in another.

Combine dry and wet and stir in chocolate chips.

Bake 25-30 minutes until tester comes out dry.

Serve as they’re flying out the door to the bus stop.

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Orange Almond Chia Muffins

chiaseedsI think Steve T was the one who first told me about Chia seeds, and then it seemed I was reading about them in every other article about Super Foods.  Chia seeds, yes, as in the seeds you use to grow a Chia pet.  They are, supposedly, amazingly good for you for all kinds of reasons (google for yourself, or read about ten of them here).  They’re also dirt cheap, supposedly, but a while went by without me knowing where to obtain them.

Enter Trader Joe’s.  Yeah, they started carrying chia, and I bought a couple bags and started experimenting with eating them.  First up was a recipe I found in Whole Living for a coconut breakfast pudding.  It’s glorified oatmeal, let’s be honest, which they tart up into a “pudding” by adding sauteed nectarines and such.  You soak oats and chia seeds overnight in almond milk, and then boil up the next day with cinnamon and shredded coconut.  I doubled the recipe and added some dried cranberries to it, skipping the sauteed fruit, and kept the lot in a tupperware in the fridge.  I was surprised when Jeeps and I got a week’s worth of breakfast out of that batch:  let me tell you, those chia seeds EXPAND.  A half cup of this is like Lembas bread.

Next up were muffins, in keeping with the breakfast theme.  Every now and then the kids get Cheerioed out, and ask can they have something else for breakfast, please.  Now you know me, I don’t cook cheefully before noon, so muffins do the trick nicely for everyone.

For a change of pace, these muffins are made with almond meal (also available at Trader Joe’s and Red Mill makes it as well).  Unbeknownst to me, almond meal produces unspeakably good baked goods and I believe these qualify as gluten-free but don’t quote me on that.  Whatever their classification, they are yum – citrusy with a slight crunch from the chia seeds, and as with the pudding, very very filling.  Two with a banana and you are good to go.  One makes a nice snack before bedtime.

Orange Almond Chia Muffins

  • IMG_56623 cups almond meal
  • 6 tbsps chia seeds
  • 3 eggs
  • 6 tbsps milk (regular, almond, soy, hemp, whatever you like)
  • 6 tbsps orange juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 5 tbsps coconut oil (or butter), melted
  • Zest of one large orange
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp almond extract
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • sliced or slivered almonds (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.  Line muffin tin or spray with Pam

Mix together all dry ingredients, set aside

Mix together wet ingredients.  Add to dry and stir until just combined

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full.  Top with slivered or sliced almonds if desired.

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Bake 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

These freeze and defrost very well.

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