Today’s post veers slightly away from the typical ‘southernesque’ southbyse.com recipe by using an ingredient I’ve recently come to know and love… cha cha chia! Now I am one of those nut and seed people – I love them! Walnuts, pecans, sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts – I enjoy them all.
I also love surprises, even when I eat – well, nice surprises – not the ‘my food is under/over cooked’ kind. Dear Hubby gives me the single arched eyebrow whenever we eat sushi and an hour afterwards I let out a giggly “Ha!” as a stray masago roe pops in my mouth. So maybe that tidbit may be considered ‘TMI’ – to me it’s an unexpected, yet happy moment.
Yes, chia is the seed used in the chia pet, albeit I would never eat the chia seeds from a toy/household decoration. My organic chia comes from Herban Marketplace, our local go-to all-natural, organic market, where I can buy in bulk or prepackaged. The health benefits of chia are astounding and I find myself adding them to salads, baked goods, cereal, and yogurt.
Fiber-filled chia seeds also contain more omega-3s in one serving than a serving of salmon. Legend has it the Aztecs ate these little seeds before going into battle. This tiny seed can absorb 10 times its weight in water when added to drinks and food. This makes you feel fuller, increases muscle hydration, and controls your blood sugar by slowing down how fast you burn carbohydrates, giving you longer lasting energy. The powers of this super food translate into big beauty benefits too as Chia are more than 60 percent essential fatty acids, which strengthens skin, hair, and nails.
Substitute chia for poppy seeds to get the health benefits along with the nice crunch! Orange Chia muffins fall into this category. Using olive oil, fresh citrus and organic white and whole wheat flour keeps these breakfast treats healthy and filling!
Orange Chia Seed Muffins
- 2 ½ cups flour (1 ½ cups all-purpose flour plus 1 cup white whole wheat or regular whole wheat)
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- ½ cup sugar (preferably organic Demera)
- ¾ cup milk (skim, 1% or 2% will work)
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Juice from 1 orange (about 1/3 cup) including any pulp
- 1 tsp fresh grated orange zest
- 2-3 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 eggs, lightly whisked
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil muffin tin or line with paper muffin cups. Sift flours into a large bowl, add baking powder, salt, sugar and chia seeds.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs until frothy. Add in the milk, oil, orange juice and zest, and whisk together well. Add in dry ingredients all at once. Mix only until ingredients are just combined, to ensure muffins stay light and fluffy. Spoon into prepared muffin tin. Bake for approximately 18-20 minutes or until tops of muffins spring back when pressed.
Makes 12 medium-sized muffins.