Recipe for Health: Lemon Chickpea Muffins

By Sandy Todd Webster
Oct 21, 2013

The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) has been working with the Harvard School of Public Health to remake many of our favorite foods, and they’ve recently taken on the task of making over their muffin recipes. Developed by the CIA for a Harvard-CIA “Muffin Makeover” project, this recipe for Lemon Chickpea Muffins incorporates healthy fats and whole grains to create a better-for-you version of the massively oversized, calorie-laden muffin found in most restaurants and bakeries.

“Lemon and cardamom is a classic flavor pairing that makes these muffins fragrant and delicious,” says CIA chef Melissa Fritz. “Using puréed, canned chickpeas creates a very moist, tender muffin because the chickpea starch holds water so well. The addition of ground almonds to the batter contributes a hearty nuttiness as well as healthy fats.”

Try these as a healthy start to Thanksgiving or Christmas morning, or make and freeze a batch to have on hand for busy mornings.

To enjoy a brief step-by-step demonstration of CIA chef Melissa Fritz preparing Lemon Chickpea Muffins, go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=45ZgzGCl6h0&feature=youtu.be.

  • 1 3/4 C chickpeas (1 15 oz. can), drained and rinsed
  • zest from two lemons
  • zest from one orange
  • 2 T freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 T freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 C extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2/3 C whole-wheat flour, sifted
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t ground cardamom
  • 1/3 C ground almonds
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 T ground almonds
  • 1 1/2 t granulated sugar
  • 1/4 t ground cardamom

Recipe Key: C = Cup – T = Tablespoon – t = teaspoon – g = gram

Preheat oven to 325°F. Line muffin tin with paper liners. Purée chickpeas in food processor until smooth. Add lemon and orange zest and juice, olive oil, sugar and egg yolks. Purée until smooth.

Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and cardamom. Stir in chickpea mixture, then add ground almonds.

Whisk egg whites until they hold semisoft peaks. Fold egg whites into batter.

In small bowl, combine ground almonds, sugar and cardamom. Set aside.

Scoop batter into muffin tin. You can use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to do this, but you’ll only need to add a generous 1/4 cup of batter to each muffin cup. Sprinkle muffin batter with some of almond-sugar-cardamom mixture.

Bake 12-13 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of muffin comes out clean. Makes 12 muffins.

Per serving: 170 calories; 4 g protein; 23 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 230 milligrams sodium; 1 g saturated fat; 1 g polyunsaturated fat; 5 g monounsaturated fat; 0 g trans fat; 31 mg cholesterol.

Source: Recipe by CIA Chef Scott Samuel. Reprinted with permission from the Culinary Institute of America.

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Sandy Todd Webster

Sandy Todd Webster is the editor in chief of IDEA’s award-winning publications. She is Precision Nutrition Level 1 certified and is a Rouxbe Certified Plant-Based Professional cook.

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