I'm sure I can guess what you're thinking: "why are these muffins 'free' of so many ingredients?". Well to answer that question, recently I've noticed that some of my favorite foods are causing me discomfort, and after catching up with my cousin said the same thing. While I don't follow a particular diet to eliminate uncomfortable symptoms I get with eating certain foods, my cousin got tested for a few food allergies and found that among others, she is allergic to gluten, dairy, eggs, and flax- all ingredients that are used in breads, breakfast foods, and baking. Because of this, she asked if I could think of any recipes she could make for breakfast, so I put my baking skills to the test.
Flax is commonly used as an egg substitute in vegan cooking because it creates a gelatinous texture similar to that of an egg white, when soaked in water. However, since my cousin is allergic to both eggs and flax, I decided I would try out the next best thing I could think of that would create a similar texture in the batter: chia seeds. This then led me to the idea of lemon poppy seed muffins, and I wondered if I could use the chia seeds as both an egg substitute and a poppy seed substitute. Surprisingly, it worked! The muffins turned out moist, lemony, and with the perfect texture of a muffin. I tried them out on my sister, too, and she said they tasted exactly like a lemon poppy seed muffin; you couldn't even tell they were gluten free. It's also almost an added to use chia seeds, because they are high in omega-3 fatty acids, a great source of fiber, and contain some protein and iron! Here's what you'll need:
You will need:
Begin with preheating the oven to 375°F, and line a muffin tin with paper cups, or lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray.
In a small bowl, combine 2 tbsp. of chia seeds and 6 tbsp. of water, stir, and let sit for about 5 minutes, until a thickened, gel-like substance has formed. Try not to let the seeds sit for more than 5 minutes, however, because then the mixture can thicken too much. It should look something like this ->
Next, in a mixing bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder. baking soda, salt, and lemon zest. Whisk until evenly combined.
Then, add in the lemon juice, vanilla, cider vinegar, vegetable oil, and almond milk, and chia seed egg, mixing it with a spatula until combined. Mixture shouldn't be lumpy or too thin.
Fill the muffin tins 3/4 of the way and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean (I baked them for 23 minutes).
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