Thursday, October 17, 2013

Blackberry Lemon Muffins (egg free, dairy free, nut free)

Have you picked up an allergy cookbook lately? The problem with most of them is that they are honest and sincere efforts to put forth recipes for all allergy sufferers. The problem with this is that you end up with gluten free, egg free, dairy free, nut free, sugar free, raw, free range, organic type recipes that are trying to mimic your old favorites. For instance you might find what sounds like a tantalizing recipe for peach muffins only to realize its peaches mixed with couscous and honey. Or how about a delightful grain free cookie that is really just pulverized chick peas mixed with molasses? Ummmmmm yeahhhhhhhh. That ain't gonna fly in this house. I do not point this out to mock anyone who has to follow a diet free from the top allergens but simply to point out that I have developed a certain fear of "allergy" type recipes.

 My most successful recipes were those that only eliminated the things we could no longer eat and kept all the other ingredients. For the most part this meant finding substitutions for eggs since we rarely baked with peanut butter anyway.

My favorite substitution for eggs have far and way been chia seeds. This marvelous little seed, when ground up, and mixed with water turns into this gelatinous blob of goo that resembles the consistency of an egg white. At first my children were skeptical about why their waffles had little black flecks in them but after explaining it was chocolate all was forgotten. Why, yes, lying to your children is perfectly acceptable, preferable, in fact to explaining to them that there are weird seeds in their food. "No, Jack, seriously its ok, the Aztec people were really into this ancient super food called chia seeds. Its been cool for eons. ALL the cool kids are eating chia seeds." I might remind you that I am the mother to the child who would not consume ice cream until he was three because it was too cold. Case closed. Lying forever about everything.

This recipe is both low calorie and incredibly moist. Those two things don't usually co exist but this recipe delivers. I have always shied away from light muffin recipes because quite frankly I don't want a dry muffin. Nothing worse than feeling like you can't swallow your muffin because its choking you out. The quick oats add incredibly density and moistness to the muffin and because the base doesn't lend its own flavor to the recipe it can be incredibly versatile. Add blueberries instead of blackberries, or even apples! Mix it up! I have two every morning for breakfast and I feel like I'm cheating at life. Also the muffins freeze very well so we always make a double batch and then pull a couple of them out from the freezer each night for breakfast the next day.

Lets review:

1: Anything questionable is chocolate
2: Lie forever about everything
3: Dry muffins should be thrown away or kept in a basket by the door to chuck at door to door solicitors.

                                                              The cast of characters

      Blackberry Lemon Muffins      


  • 1 1/2 cups quick oats
  • 1 cup skim milk (soy or almond milk for dairy free muffins) 
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 TBSP ground chia seeds plus 3 TBSP warm water
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 TBSP oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt 
  • 1 cup blackberries or blueberries
              Recipe adapted from

1: Preheat oven to 400
2: Pulse/blend oats for several seconds in either a blender or food processor and leave to soak in the milk/soy milk for 30 minutes. I rarely wait this long....I'm an impatient muffin woman 
3: Combine sugar, chia seeds, warm water, applesauce, vanilla and oil and stir to combine. 
4: Zest one lemon and add to the sugar mixture. 
5: Once the oat and milk mixture has soaked for a bit add to the sugar mixture and stir to combine. 
6: Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt to the sugar mixture and stir just until combined. 
7: Fold in the blackberries. Fresh OR frozen work just fine. 
8: Portion into muffin tins that have been sprayed with cooking spray or have muffin liners and bake for 22-24 minutes. I like to sprinkle the tops with cinnamon and sugar because I am a health rebel like that. 
Nutrition Information:
Calories: 135
Fat: 2.2
Carbohydrates: 27.5
Protein: 2.7
Fiber: 1.4

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