Triple Berry Chia Seed Muffins
In case you haven’t noticed, it’s been full-blown back-to-school mania on the interwebs over the past two weeks, and it’s getting to me. I’ve been out of the classroom for five a few years, yet advertisers have successfully managed to make me feel like I need all manner of fancy school supplies and a new lunchbox or my life is going to end.
Kudos to the Staples marketing team.
Truth be told, I really miss school, and I wouldn’t mind going back for a bit. The real world is scary always sometimes, and school sounds like a nice vacation. Doesn’t it?
To be clear, when I say “school,” I’m not talking about college. I definitely couldn’t do kollege again. When my roommate asked me last night, “How sweet would it be if we were going back to college this week??!!!” I got a little itchy/anxious. My old woman liver (and soul) felt actual pain just thinking about it.
(FYI: Logan, who is almost four years my senior, believes he would “absolutely CRUSH” a second round of college. Terrifying.)
I’d be pretty psyched to relive my elementary school days though—preferably kindergarten through second or third grade. God knows I love me some chapter books, freeze tag, and art class, and I would “absolutely CRUSH” juice boxes and naptime. Ahhhh to rock shortalls and butterfly clipped cornrows again…
For better or worse, reminiscing about my grade school glory years inevitably leads to an intense craving for a muffin. I know that may sound random, but it actually makes total sense because I ate a truly ridiculous amount of muffins as a child.
In fact, some of my fondest childhood memories involve trips to a bakery in our LA ’hood where my sister and I inhaled warm Cherry Streusel muffins and kiddie hot chocolates before school. I can’t remember the name of the bakery (which will annoy me all day), but those muffins were epic. Fluffy, studded with perfectly tart-sweet cherries, and topped with a crunchy, brown sugar-y crumble, they were all kinds of love and happiness on my young taste buds.
Between the aforementioned Cherry Streusel bad boys, Mrs. Beasley’s lemon mini muffins (if you live in LA and have never tried those, get on it), and the Costco blueberry muffins that my mom always stocked in our pantry (don’t judge, you know they’re dank), I probably consumed at least one muffin a day for like five years.
Confessions of a childhood muffin addict.
So yesterday morning, when yet another “back-to-school” ad popped up on my computer screen, I figured it was as good a time as any to make muffins. However, because traditional muffins are essentially giant cupcakes and less than thong bikini-friendly, I decided to give mine a more nutritious spin. Enter: Triple Berry Chia Seed Mini Muffins.
I made several batches to get these muffins just right, and sweet baby Jesus, they are glorious. The batter is thick enough to keep all the luscious berries from sinking to the bottom (the worst!), and each bite is light, fluffy and perfectly sweet.
Most baked goods involving flour, sugar, and fruit are pretty good, but it’s the little things that make these muffins so addictive. A pinch of cinnamon, a sprinkling of lemon zest, a splash of vanilla, a drizzle of honey, three different types of berries—All these tiny things combine to give the muffins some serious depth in the flavor department. It’s magical.
Plus, they’re surprisingly healthy! Instead of butter, I used a combination of heart-healthy coconut oil and non-fat Greek yogurt, which keeps the muffins incredibly moist (sorry). You’ve also got plenty of antioxidant-rich berries in there, and superfood chia seeds provide an added boost of protein, fiber and omega-3s. (For more information/fangirling on chia seeds, see here.) Joy of JOYS.
As always, feel free to adapt these muffins to suit your tastes. I originally wanted to make them with cherries, but they didn’t have any at my market, so I went the berry route. I think fresh cherry muffins would be just as delightful (let me know if you try them), as would peach, nectarine, fig (?!), or straight up blueberry. Add some nuts if you like. You do you.
If you want to get really wild, you could even try topping your muffins with the walnut crumble from this banana bread. That would be awesome.
These easy Triple Berry Chia Seed Mini Muffins are the perfect on-the-go breakfast or smart snack, friends. I imagine that they would also be very popular with small children, so if you happen to have one or more (yikes) of those running around, do them a solid and pack a couple in their lunchbox. You should also take these muffins to sports games when it’s your snack day because everyone loves the parent with the good snacks (aka not orange slices).
Triple Berry Chia Seed Mini Muffins: (Makes about 20 mini muffins)
1 large egg
½ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup non-fat Greek yogurt
¼ cup liquid coconut oil
2 tablespoons honey
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon grated lemon zest
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups fresh or frozen berries (I used equal parts blueberries, raspberries, and diced strawberries)
2 tablespoons chia seeds
Preparing your Triple Berry Chia Seed Mini Muffins:
-Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees. Spray a mini muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside.
-In a medium bowl whisk the egg and sugar for about a minute.
-Add the yogurt, coconut oil, honey, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and lemon zest and whisk to combine.
-In a separate mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
-Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients.
-Mix until just combined. Be careful not to over-mix, people. (Over-mixed batter=dense muffins) The batter will be pretty thick, almost like cookie dough. It’s a good thing.
-Gently fold in the berries and chia seeds.
-Spoon heaping tablespoons of batter into the prepared muffin tin. You should have enough batter for about 20 mini muffins. (Obviously, double or triple that amount if you’re using a standard or large muffin tin.)
-Bake for 15-17 minutes until the tops are golden and a tester inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean.
-Let the muffins cool in the tin for about 10 minutes, and then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Or just eat them warm. They’re really, really good warm…
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