Hi all! Sorry for the little hiatus. I didn’t intend to take a month off from blogging, honest! But the important thing is, I’m back. With muffins. I am, however, a little out of practice. So out of practice, in fact, that I forgot to photograph most of the steps in this recipe. Oops. Luckily, these muffins are so easy, you won’t even need step-by-step photos.
These muffins started with a lemon and a couple of lonely tangerines waiting to be used. I took this Tuscan Lemon Muffin recipe from Cooking Light and started messing with it until I figured out exactly what I wanted to do. What I wanted to do was poppy seeds. I am weak in the presence of an almond poppy seed muffin. Possibly—definitely—my favorite muffin flavor. However, I had all this citrus to use. Why doesn’t anybody ever combine almond and citrus flavors in a poppy seed muffin? I thought the combination could be delightful: light, nutty, and bright. Thus, these muffins were born.
The beauty of these muffins—besides the fact that they’re crazy delicious—is that they’re muffins. For real. They’re not naked cupcakes masquerading as breakfast food. I cut down the sugar and substituted agave so that you can feel good about eating one of these babies for breakfast. Of course, it’s still sugar, but it won’t give your blood sugar a spike and crash like Frosted Flakes will.
After working hard to break my addiction to sugar since New Year’s (I’ve been doing well!), I’ve realized that sugary breakfasts aren’t as awesome as I once believed. They don’t fill you up, they don’t energize, and they just kind of make you feel like a slug. These muffins definitely won’t weigh you down. They have a nice hint of sweetness, but it’s subtle enough to allow the citrus and almond flavors to shine. The ricotta cheese and olive oil base creates a dense, yet light crumb that stays moist. They’re easy to make, and you don’t even need a mixer. Follow the jump for the recipe.
Citrus Almond Poppy Seed Muffins
Adapted from Cooking Light
Yield: 12 muffins
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup agave nectar (or honey)
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
- 2 teaspoons grated orange or tangerine rind
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange or tangerine juice
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
- 1/4 cup blanched, slivered almonds
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- Combine flour and next 3 ingredients (through salt); make a well in center. Combine ricotta and next 7 ingredients (through egg). Add ricotta mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Stir in poppy seeds.
- Place 12 muffin-cup liners in muffin cups. Divide batter among muffin cups. Sprinkle almonds evenly over batter. Bake at 375° for 16 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pan on a wire rack.