Good morning! It’s a rainy, chilly and dreary day here in Charlotte so it seems like the perfect morning to share a baking recipe with you. I don’t know about you but this kind of weather always makes me want to cozy up in the kitchen with a cup of hot tea and play around. I did just that early this week on another rainy day and created a recipe for lemon muffins with olive oil, greek yogurt and chia seeds. As I’ve shared before, I like to have muffins in the freezer for a quick breakfast option. They go really well as a side for green smoothies.
I almost always stick with banana muffins and two of my favorite recipes that I’ve blogged and made over and are these Easy and Healthy Banana Muffins and these Peanut Butter and Banana Muffins.This week I wanted to mix it up a bit and get away from banana and peanut butter. A lemon muffin sounded good and once I started doing some online and Pinterest searches I was inspired put my own twist on them in several ways.
First, I was intrigued to find some muffins made with olive oil and I thought that would be a great compliment to the lemon flavor. I’ve only ever used olive oil in savory cooking and baking. This was my first time using it in sweets.
Second, I saw a fun idea to switch poppy seeds which you traditionally find in lemon muffins for chia seeds. Chia seeds pack quite a bigger nutritional punch than poppy seeds.
Third, I subbed some of the oil for Greek yogurt. This is something I’ve been doing for years and years. I love Greek yogurt in baked goods.
And last, I added some sliced almonds and dried cranberries to the batter at the last minute. This ended up giving the muffins a nice variety in texture between the muffin itself, the chia seeds and the other add ins.
When I mixed everything together and sampled the batter I was a little nervous. The taste of the lemon batter and the sweetness level was spot on but the olive oil flavor was pretty up front and a little overpowering but I could only hope that it would mellow out a bit in the oven.
I was pleased to pull the muffins out of the oven and find that they appeared to have risen and cracked perfectly. The true test was sampling one to see how they would taste.
As soon as they were cool enough to taste I had one with a cup of coffee and the verdict was that they tasted amazing! As I had hoped, the olive oil did mellow out and and while it was still slightly distinguishable it was in a really pleasant way. I did use real sugar in this recipe but as little as I thought I could get away with at just 1/2 a cup. It was the right amount of sweetness for this recipe. The muffins are definitely not overly sweet, which I think is nice when you’re eating them for breakfast. So many muffins are more in the zone of a cupcake without frosting these days. And I just loved the mix of chia seeds, almonds and dried cranberries. I wouldn’t change anything about that! I went back for a second muffin shortly after finishing the first.
And here’s the recipe!
Olive Oil & Greek Yogurt Lemon Chia Seed Muffins
(Peanut Butter Runner Original Recipe)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour (I used King Arthur…if you don’t have this use all-purpose flour for all of the flour)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup dried cranberries
Preaheat oven to 350 degrees and prepared a 12-cup muffin tin with liners or cooking spray.
In a large bowl whisk together the flours, baking powder and salt.
In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, sugar, lemon juice and zest until light and fluffy. You can do this by hand by beating vigorously with whisk or using a handheld mixer. Slowly add in olive oil and greek yogurt and continue to mix until incorporated. Begin to add the flour mixture about 1/2 cup at a time, making sure flour is incorporated before adding more. Do not overmix. Once all the flour has been added, gently stir in the chia seeds, almonds and cranberries.
Fill muffin tins about 2/3 full. I only got 11 muffins out of the batter. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until set, cracked on top and lightly golden. Will depend on the temperature of your oven. Remove from muffin tin and place on wire rack to cool. Best eaten immediately but can also be stored in an airtight container for 2-3 days or individually wrapped and frozen for a month. To reheat, wrap in a paper towel and microwave for 20 seconds.
Yield: 10-12 muffins