Vegan Raspberry Muffins with Chia Seeds

Vegan Raspberry Muffins with Chia Seeds

These vegan raspberry muffins with chia seeds are healthful, hearty muffins that don’t taste like “health food.” Using whole grains, seeds, and fruit–these make a satisfying breakfast treat or mid-day snack. Leftover muffins can be stored in a sealed plastic bag in the fridge or even longer in the freezer.

Finally, a decent recipe for vegan raspberry muffins with chia seeds. After scouring the internet and every cookbook in my vast collection, I was left with 48 muffins–24 of which were edible. Needless to say, I tucked myself into bed with a preoccupation with raspberry muffins of all things.

When I woke up this morning, I dressed myself in bell bottomed workout pants (why did I still own these?) and clipped half of my curly hair on top of my head. And since I looked like I was 12 going on 30, I decided why not add the hooded sweatshirt I took from my mom for good measure?

 

Vegan Raspberry Muffins with Chia Seeds
Whole grains, seeds, and berries make these muffins a fiber-rich breakfast.

 

I strolled to the corner bodega to buy steel cut oats and decided to restock the essentials–baking soda, baking powder, and apple cider vinegar. In the end, I ended up using the baking powder only for this recipe. After consulting over 20 resources, this recipe ended up being entirely my own creation. What began as a shot in the dark became (after some minor tweaking) a vegan raspberry chia seed muffin recipe that I’m proud of.

The thing with baking is, when a recipe turns out, you feel extra special because it can only be due to your technique, but when a recipe doesn’t turn out, you can’t help but question yourself. While I definitely don’t consider myself a perfectionist, I can be tenacious when I want to figure something out. Just ask my husband.

 

Vegan Raspberry Muffins with Chia Seeds

 

Along the way, I learned several lessons which I will gladly share:

  1. Steel cut oats only take 12 minutes to make. Simply measure 1/2 cup oats, 1 1/2 cups water, and a pinch of salt. Cover and simmer for 12 minutes on low heat. Better yet, double the recipe and you’ll have an instant breakfast later in the week.
  2. Always check your oven temperature. I use an oven thermometer on the middle rack and have discovered that I must adjust my oven temperature by 25 degrees as it runs low. Any temperature you see in one of my recipes will be accurate according to my oven thermometer.
  3. Sometimes less fruit is more. I usually feel cheated when I only get a couple berries in my muffins, but too much fruit can cause your muffins to seriously deflate–there’s just too much moisture. This is why I’d rather place my berries by hand in each muffin individually than fold them into the entire batter.
  4. Use cooked oatmeal–don’t just use dry oats. When I tried using dry, old-fashioned oats in one of my batches, I ended up with raw, unpleasant bites of what appeared to be flour clumps. I realized this was the oats.
  5. When a recipe tells you to fill your muffins 3/4 way. Actually listen. Apparently the reason for this is that your muffins will appear flat and won’t be able to rise if you over-fill them.
  6. Don’t trust a baking recipe that uses phrases like, “a heaping teaspoon” or “scant 1/2 cup”. Proper baking involves measuring an ingredient then leveling it off using the back of a knife. While I’m all about flexibility in cooking, baking is a different story; it’s about scientific precision people.
  7. Put the lid on the chia seeds asap or else you could be sweeping them off your kitchen floor for weeks. Yes, this happened to me.

 

Vegan Raspberry Muffins with Chia Seeds
The chia seeds add a bit of crunch and extra fiber.

 

Now let me tell you about these muffins so you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. They’re soft, but not overly moist. They have a nice crumb. They’re not very sweet so there’s no way these muffins can be considered “glorified cupcakes;” with all the whole grains, fruit, and seeds–they are healthy and the oatmeal provides a little bit of chewy texture within each bite.

I calculated 34 grams of dietary fiber for the whole batch, so that’s about 3 grams of fiber per muffin. Fiber is such an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Women need about 25 grams per day while men need 38. Yet, so many people don’t even come close to those numbers.

I like the idea of using left over oatmeal for these muffins, but in my case, I just made the oatmeal in order to make these muffins–then ended up with left-over oatmeal. Either way, it’s a win-win. Please make this recipe exactly as recommended first, then feel free to try any substitutions. For example, I could easily see ground flax seeds working here instead of the chia powder, blueberries or cranberries instead of raspberries, or adding some walnuts to the batter. I even could see adding a scoop of jam then topping with batter for a gooey, jam-filled surprise.

 

Vegan Raspberry Muffins with Chia Seeds

 

Vegan Raspberry Muffins with Chia Seeds

Vegan Raspberry Muffins with Chia Seeds

Yield:  12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon ground chia seeds
  • 3 tablespoons hot water
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour, leveled (not packed), then sifted
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons unrefined cane sugar or maple crystals
  • 1 cup cooked oatmeal, preferably steel –cut
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup oat milk or other non-dairy milk
  • 1/4 cup organic canola oil
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen raspberries (4 per muffin)*
  • 2 teaspoons chia seeds, for sprinkling on top

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 400º F. Line a muffin tin with muffin liners. In a small bowl, combine the ground chia seeds with 3 tablespoons hot water. Whisk vigorously to form a thick gel. This will act as a binder.
  2. In a separate medium bowl, sift the flour, salt, and baking powder. Whisk to combine. To the chia gel, add the remaining wet ingredients (sugar, oatmeal, vanilla, oat milk, and oil). Whisk to combine.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and gently mix together with a rubber spatula using a folding motion. Mix just until the flour is incorporated. Do not over-mix. Fill the muffin papers ½ way with batter. Add 2 raspberries per muffin and top with more batter. Fill the muffin liners ¾ way to the top. Top with 2 more raspberries per muffin and sprinkle with chia seeds.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes in the middle shelf of the oven–a toothpick inserted will come out somewhat clean and the tops will spring back when lightly pushed with your finger. Allow to cool before eating.

Note: If using frozen raspberries, do not allow to thaw. Since berries are often heavily sprayed, I recommend using organic berries whenever possible. Feel free to substitute cane sugar or brown sugar in this recipe. These muffins will keep for about 3 days in a sealed bag in the refrigerator but tend to dry out a bit. You may also freeze these muffins then thaw when you are ready to eat.

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