Jazz up muffins with naturally sweetened Cherry Chia Jam – or any fruit spread to start the day on a healthy foot. Also perfect for snacks! ~ by Serena Ball, MS,RD
My little girls pointed out that if Santa really IS circumnavigating the globe the night of the 24th, “By the time he gets to our house, he will probably be hungry for breakfast. So we should make him some muffins.”
And since Santa is up on all the latest toys and gadgets, surely he’s up on the trend of using chia seeds and less sugar in jam making. Right? Or maybe that’s more Mrs. Claus’s department?
Well regardless, the kids and I had fun making these muffins which would be perfect for Christmas morning – or to snack on with a mug of hot cocoa after sledding. They are low in sugar – but the big 0l’ scoop of maple-syrup-sweetened Cherry Chia Jam in each muffin sweetens them up and packs them with nutrition. I’ll admit, I’ve been a little slow to embrace the chia seed trend – but this jam is by far the most yummy way I’ve eaten chia seeds which are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and calcium. Here’s more scoop from Cooking Light magazine on the power-packed seeds. Chia seeds are outstanding in a jam – since they plump when added to a liquid – so the jam stayed thick and sweet and in every bite of muffin – instead of slipping out.
These Santa’s Thumbprint Muffins – a riff on the popular cookie – also use whole wheat flour since we can all benefit from a bit more whole grains in these days of indulgence.
So Merry Christmas to all – and to all a good night – or a good morning to you…and to Santa! And here’s hoping you have some really good coffee if your kids are of the age where Christmas morning is extra early!
Santa Thumbprint Muffins with Cherry Chia Seed Jam
Jazz up muffins with naturally sweetened Cherry Chia Jam – or any fruit spread to start the day on a healthy foot. Also perfect for snacks!
- Yield: About 12 muffins 1x
- 2 cups frozen sweet cherries
- 2 tablespoons maple syurp
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour (or regular whole wheat flour)
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup canola or corn oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- For cherry jam, place cherries, syrup and 2 tablespoons water in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook cherries until thawed and softened, about 5 minutes. Add chia seeds and use an immersion blender to puree cherries and seeds together. (Alternately pour cherries and seed mixture into blender and puree.) Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place muffin papers in 12 muffin cups.
- For muffins, combine flours, baking powder, salt and sugar in a large bowl.
- In a small bowl, combine eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and using a wooden spoon, stir about 10-15 strokes until just blended. (Some flour will not be mixed in.)
- Using a medium scooper, scoop muffin batter into muffin cups until about 2/3-full.
- Place about 2 teaspoons of reserved cherry jam on top of each cup of batter.
- Bake 17-20 minutes until top is just beginning to get golden and springs back when touched lightly.
Cherry jam was adapted from this recipe via @HarmonyAlaCarte