It’s raining in San Francisco today. We’ve been mourning the lack of moisture all over the West this winter, which is nothing like past winters I’ve spent in the bay area. I remember walking the length of campus in the pouring rain to get to a midterm. The class was held in a frigid basement room of the old women’s gymnasium, next door to the anthropology collection, and I thought I was going to freeze to death before finishing that midterm. My pants and feet were soaking wet and I’m sure my toes turned blue. I remember not really caring about the test any more. I just wanted to finish it and get out of there! Ah, those were the days.
The fool in me thinks You should go back to school! You’re certainly not getting a job so you don’t have anything better to do! Ha. No way. The smarter part of me remembers that I promised to never repeat the thesis-writing experience.
What can I do instead, now that I’m without employment, internships, or medical crises to keep me occupied? I’m thinking about learning to sing or dance (I’ve been watching way too much Glee on Netflix). Or maybe I’ll through myself headlong into organizing and decorating the house, something that might never get done otherwise.
Before I get to whiny, let me get to the point: These muffins are bright sunny spots on this grey day and on my recent dark mood. The solutions to my boredom and idleness are of cooking and blogging, of course. A job would help too. I have at least one really, really incredible prospect in my sights.
Meanwhile, I’ll be making these muffins over and over again until I get tired of them. They are undoubtedly the best thing I’ve made in a long time. I knew they would be as soon as the idea hit me. What about lemon poppy seed muffins but with chia seeds instead! They could be vegan!
Lemon poppy seed muffins have always struck me as the most dainty, sophisticated muffin. They don’t have much substance and often toe the line between cupcake and muffin. With chia seeds, though, and whole wheat pastry flour, these muffins are like undercover spies in the world of frivolous pastries. A modest amount of honey adds the perfect sweetness and the lemon flavor is surprisingly strong, in a good way.
If you have not tried chia seeds I encourage you to get some. As gross as this may sound, their coagulating abilities are just so…cool. I mostly use them in hot cereal and overnight oats but now that I’ve baked with them once I think they will join flax seed meal as an essential part of my vegan baking.
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds + 3/4 cup water
- 3/4 cup sour non-dairy milk + juice from half a lemon
- zest from 1 lemon
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line a muffin tin with silicone or paper cups.
- Combine chia seeds with water, whisking them together. Allow them to sit for 5-10 minutes.
- In a large bowl, blend flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, combine lemon zest, soy milk, and lemon juice.
- Add honey and chia gel to soy milk mixture, stirring until honey dissolves and is thoroughly blended.
- Stir in vanilla extract.
- Add wet ingredients to dry and stir gently till barely combined.
- Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin and bake for approximately 20 minutes.
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