Healthy One-Bowl Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
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Yields: 12 muffins
 
These muffins are supremely moist and soft with lots of bright citrus flavor! They’re great for meal prepping, quick grab-and-go snacks, and even lazy weekend brunches. While they’re delicious fresh from the oven, I love mine cold and straight from the refrigerator, and I’ve found that they taste sweeter with a stronger lemon flavor on Day 2 after being chilled overnight! (My family loves reheating their muffins to eat them warm, split in half, and with little pats of butter that melt into the nooks and crannies!) Leftover muffins will keep for at least one week if stored in an airtight container, and they freeze really well too!
  • ½ tbsp (7g) unsalted butter or coconut oil, melted
  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ tsp liquid stevia (see Notes!)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ tbsp (13g) poppy seeds
  • 3 tbsp (19g) Meyer lemon zest (about 3 large — see Notes!)
  • ½ cup (120g) plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup + 2 tbsp (150mL) freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice (see Notes!)
  • ¾ cup (180mL) nonfat milk
  • 2 ½ cups (300g) white whole wheat flour or gluten-free* flour (measured like this)
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat 12 muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray. (If using liners, then line 12 muffin cups with paper liners, and coat the liners with cooking spray.)
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the butter and egg whites. Whisk in the vanilla extract and liquid stevia. Whisk in the salt, poppy seeds, and lemon zest. Add in the Greek yogurt, stirring until no lumps remain. Stir in the lemon juice until just incorporated. Stir in the milk until just incorporated. Add the flour, pouring it evenly over the top of the bowl. Sprinkle the baking powder and baking soda on top of the flour (to avoid clumps and make sure the muffins bake evenly!). Stir until just incorporated.
  3. Divide the batter between the prepared paper liners. Bake at 350°F for 22-26 minutes or until the centers feel firm to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with a few crumbs attached. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Notes: Do NOT use a hand-held mixer or stand mixer to make this batter! Those tend to overmix this batter, which yields muffins that are tough, gummy, or dense. Use a whisk where explicitly instructed, and use a fork for everything else. (See Nerd Alert #1 above for more info!)

I highly recommend using the liquid stevia! It’s one of my favorite ingredients (you’ll use it in all of these recipes of mine!), and I buy it online here because that’s the cheapest price I’ve found. For sweeter muffins, increase the liquid stevia by an additional ¼ to ½ teaspoon.

If you prefer not to use stevia, substitute ¾ cup (180mL) of agave, honey, or pure maple syrup for the liquid stevia. Omit the milk if using any of those liquid sweeteners. Alternatively, substitute 1 cup (192g) of coconut sugar, brown sugar, or granulated sugar in place of the liquid stevia, and reduce the milk to ¼ cup (60mL). (The batter should be fairly thick. With these substitution alternatives, your muffins won’t taste quite as sweet as the original recipe version above, but they’ll still be delicious!)

Any milk may be substituted for the nonfat milk.

Whole wheat pastry flour, regular whole wheat flour or all-purpose flour may be substituted for the white whole wheat flour.

Remember to measure the flour correctly, using this method or a kitchen scale. (← That’s the one I own and love!) Too much flour in the batter will make your muffins dry and crumbly, rather than moist and fluffy.

IMPORTANT LEMON NOTES: This recipe was specifically designed for Meyer Lemons. When made with Meyer lemons, these muffins have a lovely moist and soft texture. When made with regular lemons, these muffins can often turn out denser, gummy, and appear raw on the inside (even though they’re not actually raw — it just looks like that!). I’m still trying to figure out the science of why that might be, but it’s likely related to the lower pH level (and therefore higher acidity) of regular lemons. (See Nerd Alert #7 above for more info!)

GLUTEN-FREE VERSION: For the gluten-free flour, use the following blend: 1 ½ cups (180g) millet flour, ½ cup (60g) tapioca flour, ½ cup (60g) brown rice flour, and 1 ¾ teaspoons xanthan gum. Most store-bought gluten-free flour blends (like this one!) should work as well, if measured like this.

VEGAN + DAIRY-FREE OPTION: Use coconut oil, melted vegan butter (this is my favorite!), or any other oil in place of the melted butter. Use your favorite non-dairy yogurt (ie soy-based, almond-based, coconut-based, etc) in place of the Greek yogurt. Use non-dairy milk in place of the nonfat milk. Use 1 tablespoon of Ener-G mixed with ¼ cup of warm water in place of the egg whites. (Certain family members of mine have egg allergies, and this is my all-time favorite egg replacer! It’s shelf-stable, flavorless, and works perfectly as an egg replacer in nearly all of my recipes!)

TIPS FOR FREEZING: If you used paper or foil liners, remove those before freezing! They don’t peel away as easily after thawing. To freeze, place the muffins on a foil-lined baking sheet, and freeze for 2-3 hours or until they feel solid. Transfer to a zip-topped bag, and squeeze out as much air as possible. To thaw, place individual muffins in the microwave on 30% power until warmed all the way through. (I think they almost taste freshly baked when thawed like that!)

FOR MORE TIPS AND INFORMATION, SEE NERD ALERTS #1-11 IN MY BLOG POST ABOVE!

{gluten-free, clean eating, low fat, low sugar, sugar-free, dairy-free option, egg-free option, vegan option}
Recipe by Amy's Healthy Baking at https://amyshealthybaking.com/blog/2020/07/20/healthy-one-bowl-lemon-poppy-seed-muffins/