Heather first introduced me to chia seed, which is considered to be one of those really healthy 'super foods'. Yes, this is essentially the seed used for chia pets. But it happens to also be a great addition to various meals. I don't find that it has a lot of flavour in and of itself, but it adds a bit of crunch to meals. Chia is very high in omega-3s and also happens to be gluten-free. It is an antioxidant and is high in both protein and fiber.
Chia can be added to all sorts of different foods - sprinkled into pancake or muffin batter, burger patties, onto salads, etc. Unlike flax seed, it doesn't need to be ground to derive its nutritional benefits. And I don't bother grinding it in the following recipe, even though it's recommended. You can find chia at your local health food store. The brand Salba is carried at our local health food store, the Health Tree. However, it is rather expensive. Another brand (the name of which is escaping me at the moment) can be found at Costco for a more reasonable price.
Chia Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
1/2 C maple syrup
1/2 C milk
6 tbsp. butter, melted (or coconut butter)
2/3 C ground chia seeds
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 3/4 C whole-wheat flour or brown rice flour
2/3 C chocolate chips (to avoid dairy, use dairy-free chocolate chips)
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Farenheit.
2. In bowl, beat egg. Add other wet ingredients. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir well.
3. In second bowl, mix dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir well. (I ran out of ground chia, so I finished it off with some regular chia).
4. Grease muffin tins with oil. Fill muffin cups with dough 2/3 C full. Bake for 30 minutes.
Makes about 18 muffins.
These muffins are very moist. However, because of that, they spoil quickly on the counter if covered. Either leave the lid off of the container, if you have used muffin liners, or freeze whatever hasn't been eaten after approximately 2 days.