Who needs cupcakes when you can make healthy delicious muffins instead? These vegan chia seed muffins are not just plant-based, but they’re nutritious and contain less fat and sugar than most muffins. Whilst they’re not super sweet, they’re plenty sweet enough. Ideal as a breakfast muffin as well as a teatime one.
As some of my regular readers will know, I try to ensure that most of my baked goods contain mostly healthy ingredients. Indeed, they’re a good vehicle for nuts, fruit, seeds and various super foods. I generally use at least half wholemeal, spelt or other healthy flours in my baking. I use organic eggs where possible and properly free ranging hen and duck eggs when it’s not. Organic butter, where the cows have been grass fed, is also nutritious (in moderation). Chocolate, it goes without saying, is good for you 😉
My main stumbling block is sugar. I haven’t yet managed to convince myself on this one. I use unrefined sugars in the main as well as other sweeteners such as rapadura, coconut sugar and maple syrup. But these substitutes are expensive and I do have rather a sweet tooth. I just hope the other nutritious ingredients counteract the ill effects of the sugar.
For more information on rapadura and other healthy ingredients I use, see ingredients are the key. It ties in very nicely with this month’s healthy theme.
When Chele announced that the theme for this month’s We Should Cocoa was healthy eating, I thought I’d go the whole hog and produce something that was properly good for you.
One of my Christmas presents from CT was a packet of chia seeds. Chia seeds are said to be super healthy: they contain omega 3, vitamin B, complete protein, anti-oxidants and fibre. It’s also claimed they can replace half the conventional fat in any recipe with no discernible effects on taste and texture. This seemed like a good opportunity to put these claims to the test.
The secret is to soak the seeds in water for fifteen minutes before using. When they’ve soaked up all the water and go gelatinous. they’re ready for use. They don’t look terribly appealing, but don’t let that put you off.
Every year, I go vegan for the month of January. Although I eat a lot of plant based food, I rarely have an entire day where I don’t eat some sort of dairy or an egg. So it’s always a bit of a challenge to go for an entire month without any of these foods. But it’s a challenge I enjoy.
Each year I discover new foods and create interesting recipes that I’d probably never normally come up with. They then become so popular, they form a regular part of our diet. Vegan mayonnaise, I’m looking at you.
These chia seed muffins are another such recipe. They’re so delicious and so easy to make, that I’ve made them many times since writing this original recipe.
Chia Seed Muffins
Like most muffins, these chia seed ones are really simple to make. You need to soak the chia seeds first, but once that’s done, it’s just a simple process of stirring the dry ingredients into the wet, or vice versa.
Then all you need to do is divide the batter between twelve lined muffin holes. I use silicone moulds and line them with white muffin cases, but if you have a muffin tin, use that instead. Sprinkle with a few rolled oats, bake them for twenty minutes and they’re done.
In order to make these muffins super nutritious, I used 100% wholemeal spelt along with some rolled oats. Rapadura replaces normal sugar, there’s only a small amount of fat and of course, there are chia seeds.
Egg and Fat Replacers
I find vegan bakes don’t generally need an egg replacer, but I’ve used apple sauce in this recipe, both as an egg and fat replacer. As it happens, chia seeds themselves are often used in vegan bakes instead of eggs. One tablespoon of chia seeds mixed with three tablespoons of water equals one egg. So you’ve absolutely no need to worry about the muffin batter not binding properly here.
Instead of apple sauce, I have also used unsweetened pear sauce, which gives a lovely flavour to the muffins. I’ve also used my pumpkin butter on occasion. But as this has added sugar, it’s not really in the spirit of these healthy and nutritious chia seed muffins.
I add ground cardamom seeds to the recipe. As long as you don’t use too much, they give subtle yet delightful citrus and spicy notes to sweet bakes. They are entirely optional though, so either leave them out or replace them with a little spice of your choosing.
The first time I made these chia seed muffins, I added a blob of raw chocolate and almond spread in the middle. But although they were nice, I’ve not done it since. I don’t think the muffins need it and it’s an extra bit of faff I could do without.
What Do Chia Seed Muffins Taste Like?
The muffins have a lovely flavour and the rapadura gives them a rich aroma of molasses and a slight hit of caramel. They’re light, but chewy and substantial in texture. Nice.
How Long Will Chia Seed Muffins Keep?
Ordinarily, I’d say they keep well in a cool place and in an airtight container for up to a week. However, when I first made these chia seed muffins I found two hidden in one of my cake tins nearly a month after baking. Amazingly they were still not only edible, but really nice. I nearly named them indestructible muffins. How CT managed to miss them, I’ll never know.
Other Muffin Recipes You Might Like
- Blueberry & lemon muffins (vegan)
- Coconut cakes (gluten free)
- Jam doughnut muffins
- Peanut butter banana muffins (vegan)
- Rhubarb muffins
- Triple chocolate muffins
Keep in Touch
Thanks for visiting Tin and Thyme. If you make these vegan chia seed muffins, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. And do please rate the recipe. Have you any top tips? Do share photos on social media too and use the hashtag #tinandthyme, so I can spot them.
If you’d like more vegan recipes, follow the link and you’ll find I have quite a lot of them. All delicious, of course.
Vegan Chia Seed Muffins. PIN IT.
Chia Seed Muffins – The Recipe
Vegan Chia Seed Muffins
- 1 ½ tbsp chia seeds
- 100 ml water
- 50 ml sunflower oil or melted coconut oil
- 100 ml plant milk (I usually use cashew milk)
- 100 g (4 tbsp) unsweetened apple sauce
- 125 g rapadura or coconut sugar (can use light muscovado sugar instead)
- 8 cardamom pods (optional)
- 200 ml wholemeal spelt flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 50 g rolled oats + 1 tbsp for sprinkling
- Place the chia seeds into a jug or bowl and pour in the water. Give them a good stir and leave to soak for fifteen minutes. They should soak up the water and turn to gel.
- Meanwhile, turn the oven on to 190℃ (375℉, Gas 5).
- Line a twelve hole muffin tin or two six hole ones with cases.
- Split the cardamom pods, if using, so that you can extract the seeds. I do this in a pestle and porter. Remove the husks, then grind the seeds until they form a powder.
- In a bowl beat the rapadura, oil, cashew milk, apple sauce and ground cardamom seeds for a few minutes until well incorporated. Beat in the swollen chia seeds.
- Sift in the wholemeal spelt, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
- Fold into the chia seed mixture together with the rolled oats.
- Spoon the batter into the twelve muffin cases and scatter a few oats over the tops.
- Bake in the middle of the oven for twenty minutes or until the muffins are well risen and firm to the touch.
- Turn out of the tins and leave to cool on a wire rack.
I’m sharing my super easy recipe for vegan chia seed muffins with Cooking With My Kids for #CookBlogShare.