January 15, 2016

The chia seed has stolen the limelight lately on the nutrition red carpet. Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, dietary fiber, antioxidants, and calcium, these tiny black and white seeds provide a boost of energy and regulate blood sugar to help you feel full longer. Reap the benefits of this nutritional powerhouse by discovering new ways to add its mild, nutty flavor to your diet.

Sneaking extra fiber and protein into baked goods for your children has never been easier. Chia and poppy seeds are so similar in appearance, kids won't know the difference. Olive oil and ricotta add a tender touch to these moist, delicious, and addictive muffins. Freeze half a batch and thaw on busy mornings when you and your family need a bite to grab-and-go.

Lemon-Poppy Seed Muffins

Ingredients1 cup whole-wheat flour3/4 cup all-purpose flour3/4 cup granulated sugar2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder1/4 teaspoon salt3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese1/2 cup water1/4 cup olive oil4 tablespoons poppy seeds4 tablespoons chia seeds1 1/2 tablespoon grated lemon rind2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice1 large egg, lightly beatenCooking spray2 tablespoons turbinado sugar

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 375°.

2. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients (through salt); make a well in center. Combine ricotta and next 5 ingredients (through egg). Add ricotta mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.

3. Place 12 muffin-cup liners in muffin cups; coat with cooking spray. Divide batter among muffin cups. Sprinkle turbinado sugar over batter. Bake at 375° for 16 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pan on a wire rack.

Serves 12 (serving size: 1 muffin)CALORIES 230; FAT 9.2g (sat 1.9g, mono 3.9g, poly 1.6g); PROTEIN 6g; CARB 32g; FIBER 3mg; CHOL 20mg; IRON 2mg; SODIUM 159mg; CALCIUM 168mg

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