I 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
- 3 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.
Bake 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
These freeze and defrost very well.