Orange Almond Chia Muffins

When I was younger, the breakfast muffin that trumped all others was the orange muffin.  You know, the cream colored muffins with tiny flecks of orange and that sweet, buttery-orange flavor.  They were my favorite!

Not blueberry.  Not cinnamon streusel.  And definitely not lemon poppyseed.

This muffin was inspired by my mom who has been wanting to try chia seeds but isn’t really sure what all she can do with them.  I thought muffins would be a great place to start.

I haven’t done much baking with chia seeds and was excited for a new challenge.  With the recent lemon blueberry almond flour cupcakes, I was inspired to make another grain free recipe.

Almond flour and almond meal make outstanding baked goods.  They are incredibly moist and fluffy but also quite dense.  Fluffy and dense sound like opposites, but they definitely hold both of those attributes.

A quick refresher:

Almond Flour – ground into a fine flour from blanched almonds [almonds with no skin]

Almond Meal – ground into a fine flour from raw almonds

Trader Joe’s carries 1lb bags of almond meal for about $4.  Bob’s Red Mill carries both the flour and the meal, but they are quite pricey.  There are other places you can find both products online, but you can also make your own using a high power blender, large food processor, spice grinder, or coffee grinder.  It’s best ground in small batches until very fine.  Avoid over-grinding as it will turn into nut butter!  Once ground, let cool and store in a sealed container in the fridge.

Unfortunately, there is no real substitution for almond flour/meal.  Because almonds are a not a grain, baking with almond flour [and coconut flour] is quite unique.  More eggs are required to hold the flour together and liquid [like milk] is typically left out.  The texture is also extremely moist because of the high fat content from the almonds.  In comparison, almond flour is softer and a bit lighter, while almond meal is slightly more dense and textured.

I prefer using almond flour for cupcakes and almond meal for muffins.  The heartier texture from the meal works brilliantly for muffins.

Chia seeds soak up quite a bit of moisture, so I knew I would need to add some sort of liquid to the batter.  Since I already planned to zest an orange, I decided to use the juice as well and add an equal amount of milk.  I couldn’t be happier with the results!

orangechia (5 of 6)

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Orange Almond Chia Muffins

gluten-free, grain-free // yields 12 muffins adapted from Roost

  • 3 cups almond meal
  • 6 Tablespoons chia seeds
  • 3 eggs
  • 6 Tablespoons milk
  • 6 Tablespoons orange juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/2 cup raw honey
  • 5 Tablespoons coconut oil [butter/ghee], melted
  • 1.5 Tablespoons orange zest
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  1. Preheat your oven to 350* and line a muffin tin with 12 liners.
  2. Mix together all dry ingredients.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together all wet ingredients until smooth.
  4. Add the wet to dry and stir with a large spoon until just combined.
  5. Pour evenly into muffin liners and bake on the middle rack for 25-30min until a toothpick comes out clean and the muffins are golden brown.  Top with slivered almonds before baking, if desired.

notes:  I used unsweetened almond milk but feel free to substitute 1-2% milk, soy milk, hemp milk, etc.

These make an excellent breakfast alongside a bowl of yogurt topped with fresh berries.  They have a slight crunch from the chia seeds but are incredibly soft with that sweet orange flavor I’ve always loved.

I can’t wait to share these with my mom first thing in the morning.