Delicate Lemon Flavor with a Little Crunch
I’m not going to lie and say this recipe for Lemon Chia Oat Muffins is super quick to whip up, but I will say they’re worth the little bit of extra time. The result is healthy muffins that are crumbly but moist, with a delicate lemon flavor and a nice little crunch from the chia seeds — yum!
I didn’t create this delicious recipe myself. I found it on Pinterest and because I love oats and anything lemon, I knew right away I had to give it a try! Full credit for the recipe (linked below) goes to Chelsea on milehighmitts.com. Do you love searching recipes on Pinterest as much as I do?
Now let’s take a quick look at what you’ll need to make these:
List of Ingredients
Oat flour, baking soda, salt, sugar, applesauce, coconut oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, almond milk (or other milk of choice), vanilla extract, eggs and chia seeds.
Note: I share the substitutions I made below — based on what I had in my pantry.
You can make things easier for yourself by buying oat flour instead of making your own like I did — though directions are below if you’re interested in giving that a try.
A Look at the Health Benefits of Oat Flour
The main ingredient in this recipe is oat flour — which is full of antioxidants, healthy fats, protein, fiber and lots of other nutrients. Compared with all-purpose flour, oat flour has almost 4 times as much iron and nearly five times as much fiber. [See full nutrition comparison here.]
Maybe this has you wondering if you should substitute oat flour in everything instead of using all-purpose flour? I was wondering the same thing! So here’s the short answer, based on what I’ve learned:
- Oat flour is significantly lighter, less dense than all-purpose flour, which means your baked goods might not rise as high when you use it. [You can see from my photos these muffins have no “muffin top!”]
- You’ll need more oat flour than all-purpose flour when baking and will need to work out the ratios.
- It’s a good substitute in light and fluffy baked goods like pancakes or muffins, but not as good for denser cakes and breads.
Cookie and Kate has been my go-to website for learning how to make and work with oat flour. She has great directions for how to substitute it for all-purpose or whole wheat flour.
How to Make Oat Flour
It’s simple to make your own oat flour if you have a food processor or high-speed blender and some oats, of course. Any type of oats will do — old-fashioned (rolled), quick-cooking or steel cut. I used steel cut because that’s what I had available.
All you need to do is add the oats to your processor or blender and blend away until you get a flour consistency. Steel-cut oats tend to be harder and coarser than other types, so it did take a little bit of processing — maybe up to three minutes in the food processor, turning it off and on.
You want the blended oats to feel like powder with a very slight texture, not like sand.
Note: About one cup of oats equals one cup of oat flour — except when using steel cut. In that case, one cup oats will equal about two cups flour — although I found my yield to be a bit less.
You can learn a whole lot more about oat flour, how to make it, and how to substitute it in recipes on Cookie and Kate’s website.
Be sure to read my recipe notes below for a couple of tips, but now here’s the link to the original recipe:
Recipe Substitutions + Tips
When I first made this recipe, I wanted to avoid a grocery store run — so I worked with what I had on hand. Here’s a quick rundown of the substitutions I made, just to let you know there’s wiggle room.
- We were out of lemons, so I subbed bottled lemon juice for fresh lemon juice; also substituted orange zest for the lemon zest called for. The result was a delicate lemon-orange flavor. (Turns out we really liked the lemon-orange flavor.)
- The recipe calls for chia seeds, but I used a mix of chia, hemp and flax.
- I was out of almond milk, so subbed in skim milk. (It’s only two tablespoons.)
- And the most important tip: You might find the melted coconut oil starting to solidify before you add in the dry ingredients. I failed to read Chelsea’s tip on this and ended up having to pop the mix into the microwave for about 20 seconds to re-melt it. Her tip is to bring all your ingredients to room temperature before you start. If that doesn’t work, then use your microwave as I did.
One final note: The original recipe is called gluten-free, dairy-free and flourless — which it is, if you use certified gluten-free oat flour or oats and a non-dairy milk. Oat flour isn’t really a true flour, hence the word “flourless.” So maybe this ticks all the right boxes for you.
Aside from the yummy citrus flavor and satisfying crunch of these muffins, they keep you feeling fuller longer, thanks to the high fiber and protein. These are going into my recipe file to be made on repeat!
Now it’s time to hear from you! Did you try this recipe and if so, what did you think? Tell us about any substitutions you made or let me know if you have questions.
I am not a licensed nutritionist, medical professional or cosmetics expert. The information provided on Honest + Simple is for general informational purposes only. The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food + Drug Administration and are not intended to treat, prevent or cure any disease. Before making decisions about your health or other concerns, please consult a qualified professional and do not rely on this website for medical advice.