Chia Seed Muffins à la Pain Quotidien

7 Mar

I could wax rhapsodic about the nutritional wonder of chia seeds, but I won’t bore you again. Bottom line is I dig them.


These little beauties are inspired by the chia seed muffins at Le Pain Quotidien. Theirs are freaking delicious and I can barely stop myself from getting one every time I pass a store while walking around NYC.  Armed with the basic ingredients, I tinkered around until I found a recipe I could make at home, saving money and satisfying my cravings while in the far dinkier city of New Haven.

The result was awesome and I’m pretty positive they are healthier than their counterpart; I limited the fat by subbing in apple sauce and ended up making them gluten free.  I experimented both with a 50/50 wheat/white flour blend and this gluten free version.  Surprisingly, the gluten free muffins were far tastier and much closer to the ones I knew and loved.

They aren’t super pretty, but these muffins are definitely a “super” food.


5 large dates, pitted
3 dried figs
1 cup+ water
1/4 cup apple sauce
1 egg + 1 egg white
1/4 cup chia seeds (50g) plus more for topping
1/4 c brown rice flour
14 c millet flour
3 tbsp arrowroot
3 tbsp sorghum
2 tbsp potato starch
1/2 tsp xantham gum
1.5 tsp cacao powder (you can add more if you are a serious chocolate lover)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/4 cup agave
1/2 mashed ripe banana
1/2 cup yogurt (I use nonfat greek)
1 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover pitted dates and figs with water in a small saucepan over med low heat and cook until dates get mushy, about 15 minutes. Drain but reserve 4 tablespoons of date/fig water. Mash or puree fruit in food processor.

Mix applesauce, 2 tablespoons of date water, and chia seeds together.  Let sit for 15 minutes, until chia seeds begin to gel. Meanwhile, whisk dry ingredients together and set aside.

Add banana, oil, agave and chia seed mixture to the dates and puree until smooth. Then add eggs and vanilla and pulse to combine.

Fold in the yogurt. Sift in dry ingredients and stir until just combined.  If needed, add last 2 tablespoons of fig/date water to moisten.

Spoon into muffin tins greased or lined with paper and sprinkle with chia seeds. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean from the center, about 26 minutes, turning half way through.


Bon appetit!
Store in air-tight container at room temp for a day and refrigerate after that.


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