I have a confession: chia seeds completely and totally intimidate me.
In recent months it seems these tiny little seeds are popping up in everything from pudding to oatmeal to smoothies. They are EVERYWHERE. I spent a good 6 months avoiding chia seeds like the plague and expressing my disgust for them when our paths crossed. Seeds that turn into a gel…gross. Yes, I know I am a dietitian and I should be alllllll over ingredients that brag about being so healthy…yada yada yada. Yes, I know chia seeds have an impressive amount of fiber and Omega-3’s. But, come on guys, they turn into GEL. Not my cup of tea.
Fast forward to chocolate chia seed muffins on my blog. How did we get here?! Turns out chia seeds don’t have to be eaten in a gelatinous form. Chia seeds can easily be added to baked goods; they maintain their shape and texture while still contributing health benefits. Score! It all started with these amazing granola bars from Kashi that combined chocolate chips and chia seeds; life is all about compromises. Healthy chia seeds obviously cancel out the decadence of chocolate chips. After buying box after box it was time to put my research to use and create my own chocolate chia combination!
I’m not sure whether to categorize this recipe as breakfast, snack, or dessert. They have attributes of each, and quite honestly, I don’t think there is a wrong time of day to eat a muffin. Don’t take my word for it though, I had black beans and rice for breakfast today! Best of all, these muffins are husband and former chia seed “hater”-approved!
- 1/2 c. canola oil or melted coconut oil
- 1/2 c. packed brown sugar
- 1/2 c. granulated sugar
- 1 c. 2% plain Greek yogurt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom (cardamom + chocolate = true love)
- 2 c. all-purpose flour (you can use whole wheat flour but the chia seeds added enough fiber for me)
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 c. chocolate chips
- 2 tbsp. chia seeds
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. I pulled out the vintage mixing bowls from my grandma for this recipe; I get a chuckle out of mixing modern and trendy ingredients in vintage cookware. I love the irony of it all. I like to imagine by great grandmother mixing chia seed muffins in her 1950’s kitchen, haha. I used a plain ‘ol whisk to mix the batter but you could also use a stand-mixer.
In a large bowl mix the wet ingredients: oil, brown sugar, granulated sugar, yogurt, eggs, and vanilla extract. Once the wet ingredients are well mixed, add the cinnamon and cardamom and whisk again.
Add the flour and baking powder; stir with a spatula gently until the dry ingredients are just mixed into the wet ingredients; over-mixing will lead to tough muffins. And nobody wants a tough muffin!
Stir in the chocolate chips and chia seeds last.
Line a muffin pan with paper liners to prevent sticking and spoon batter into each liner filling about 3/4 of the way.
I like to use a small scoop to help distribute the batter evenly.
Bake muffins for 20 minutes, until a knife comes out clean when inserted in the center of the muffin. This batter also makes the most adorable mini-muffins; bake the minis for 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool for several minutes before digging in!
I am completely obsessed with this combination; the cardamom throws it over the top for me! Years ago I made bread pudding that combined chocolate and cardamom; they have been best friends since.
Enjoy these for breakfast, brunch, snacks, or dessert…no boundaries exist for delicious muffins! Enjoy!