Lemons and poppy seeds marry so well together and sing spring to me; the idea of these Sunny Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins came to me naturally this time of year when the sun is shining and all things light and refreshing are calling my name. These muffins are incredibly light with a bold flavor of lemon from using lemon extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest with a nice balance of nutty flavors from the sunflower seeds and brazil nuts. I love to use ground nuts or seeds as a base for many of my baking recipes to make them effortlessly gluten free and packed with minerals, protein, fiber, and healthy fats.
“Poppy’s!” a quote taken from one of my favorite TV comedy shows, Seinfeld, the scenario where a character named Elaine finally realizes the reason behind her failed drug test for work because she ate a poppy seed muffin the morning of. Side note poppy seeds contain a natural opiate but you’d also have to eat heaps of poppy seed for it to have that result on a test. Anyways, besides loving poppy seed muffins for the sake of it reminding me of this hilarious episode, they’re found in one of my favorite recipes, lemon poppy seed bread, especially those made from family (Amy, you know I’m talking about yours).
What’s poppin’ poppy seedS? Poppy Seeds are one of the most beautiful seeds visually, they have a deep blue/grey color to them that’s very unique and also remind me of chia seeds with their similar size and shape. Most of us are familiar with eating poppy seeds in baked goods like muffins, breads, and cookies; rarely to I use them outside of these recipes tyes and it’s a shame I don’t as they’re loaded with healthy bone minerals! Poppy seeds are loaded with calcium and manganese especially followed by magnesium and phosphorus (all bone healthy minerals!). Theses little beauties also contain about 2 grams of protein, 4g of fat, and 2g of fiber per tablespoon. Not that I’m all about counting calories, because we need to focus on quality and the utter goodness of nutrients here on NS, but these muffins are super friendly to our waistlines, low sugar/carbohydrate and generally low calorie with 5g of protein per muffin. But wait there’s more, brazil nuts are used in here and pack a huge punch of selenium, more than 100% of your daily value per muffin!
Sunny Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins are perfect to make for brunch, breakfast with family and friends, bring to a picnic for a light sweet treat, or bring with you to work and school to share. I had the pleasure of my brother coming into town this past weekend and it was so much fun taking him around Nashville as I normally do, hitting my favorite coffee shops, vintage stores, walking the busy touristy streets of Broadway with good ole’ honky tonk music blasting from every open door, tequila testing (don’t ask, it was random…), and most of all sharing my love through food. I made a batch of these muffins prior to him coming into town so he could give them a taste test, mind you he’s a critic when it comes to food, and it passed his test with flying colors!
I love serving this muffins warm with a drizzle of sticky honey that melts beautifully on the warm muffins, or also enjoy at room temperature/cool with Sweet Cashew Cream. Another fun way to enjoy these is to purposefully crumble, I know sometimes it can be hard ruining a perfectly shaped muffin, but these crumbled muffins go great topped on oatmeal, yogurt, or dare I say… BanaNO Cream ice cream (so good!).
Vegan version // use flax eggs instead of farm fresh eggs by using 4 tablespoons ground flax seed + 8 tablespoons of filtered water, check my vegan egg replacer guide here. Note, the texture will be different than the main recipe, they’ll be a bit more dense and less fluffy, still delicious nonetheless!
Inspired recipe by La Tartine Gourmande Cookbook
- ½ cup sunflower seeds, shelled
- ⅔ cup (90g) brazil nuts
- 2 tablespoons coconut flour
- 4 egg whites
- 50 g coconut oil (may use vegan butter or grass fed butter)
- 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
- ¼ teaspoon sumac, ground
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
- In a medium hot skillet, gently roast the sunflower seeds and brazil nuts, only for about 2 minutes until fragrant.
- In a food processor, nut grinder, or high speed blender, grind the sunflower seeds and brazil nuts into a fine flour.
- Add baking powder and sea salt to this flour mixture and keep in a large mixing bowl on the side.
- In a microwave (less than 20 seconds or so) or by using gentle heat from running hot water, melt coconut oil. If using butter, melt.
- Add honey, vanilla and lemon extracts, lemon zest, and sumac to the melted coconut oil/butter.
- Stirring the honey together with the warmed/melted coconut will help the honey disperse throughout the dough rather than settling on the edges where it'll brown- take note of my pictures.
- Using the egg whites, beat until foamy- you may use a food processor, by hand, electric hand mixer, or blender.
- In the large mixing bowl with the nut/seed flour, pour melted coconut oil/butter, add poppy seeds, egg whites, and stir.
- Grease a muffin tin very well, I like using coconut oil for this.
- Divide the mixture and use about 2 tablespoons of dough per muffin tin cup.
- Sprinkle poppy seeds on the top as well (just a few for garnish).
- Bake for about 20 minutes (checking at 10) or until golden on the outside. Test the inside by sticking a toothpick or knife in the center until it comes out "clean"/dry.
- Note, don't over bake, they'll continue to cook as they cool and should become firm.
- Feel free to store leftovers in the freezer when making large batches.
EDGES: I don't use cupcake tins/liners, but you can to decrease the browning on the outside.
RISE: these aren't like "normal" muffins, they're not supposed to rise very high since the base is nuts they'll be a bit more dense.
I hope you all enjoy these just as much as I have as well as my brother and my sweet did this past weekend. I’d love to hear your take on them and if you love them, please do share- it’s always appreciated.
As always, you can save the recipe for later by clicking the save button on my recipe. Have a beautiful, sunny day everyone!