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Grain-Free Lemon Poppyseed Muffins for All-Day Energy

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As Food52 gets older (and wiser), and our archive of recipes grows, we’re making the effort to revisit some good-as-gold recipes. Today, we're highlighting these lemony, poppyseed-freckled muffins that just so happen to be gluten-free.


Here’s the thing about grain-free baked goods—it’s often so easy to tell they’re missing the gluten. And it’s ok to be different! Lots of people crave that unique texture. But I’ve yet to meet a grain-free cake or muffin that could fool anyone. Well, until now.

Made with canned chickpeas, these lemon poppyseed muffins from community member avantgurlnyc are ready to be everything for everyone. Not only are they low in sugar, but by blending the chickpeas with eggs, oil, and lemon, they expertly mimic the taste and feel of the traditional treat (without the grains).

“I think I came pretty close, and have gotten a lot of astonished reactions that these aren't made with flour,” she says. “I really like that these not only satisfy that lemon-poppyseed craving, but also have a lot of protein, fiber, fats, and complex carbs. Perfect for a satiating breakfast or post-workout snack.”

Who doesn't love a muffin with a secret or two?
Who doesn't love a muffin with a secret or two? Photo by Julia Gartland

Avantgurlnyc developed the recipe back in 2003 while experimenting with a low-glycemic, gluten-free diet, then shared it on our site in 2010.

“I devised this recipe after chocolate black-bean brownies became a thing,” she says. “I personally don't like the dense, mealy texture and that bean taste black beans give to desserts. Chickpeas are lighter in texture and have a less pronounced ‘bean’ taste when paired with lemon.”

For the best taste, avantgurlnyc recommends eating the muffins at room temperature. She also suggests that if you forego xanthan gum or guar gum to bind the ingredients, package them in a sturdy container. They’ll likely get a little crumbly. Finally, if you’d rather not use palm sugar, she says any 1:1 ratio of granular sugar (like coconut sugar or erythritol sweetener) will work—liquid sweeteners won’t provide the same muffiny mouthfeel.

As for a sweet topping, well, avantgurlnyc is still experimenting:

"I'm still developing a glaze to go along with it, one that uses a sweetener other than sucrose. Many alternative sweeteners don't set like sugar does, and stay wet and make for a sticky mess, or later separates. Stayed tuned for an update if I'm successful!"

Lemon Poppyseed Chickpea Muffins

Lemon Poppyseed Chickpea Muffins

avantgurlnyc avantgurlnyc
Serves 12 muffins
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons oil, a monounsaturated, neutral tasting one
  • 2 15-oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup palm sugar (you can use cane sugar, but it won't be low glycemic. i haven't tried agave nectar, as it messes with the liquid proportions)
  • 2 lemons, zested in one bowl and 1 squeezed in another
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoons xanthan gum or guar gum (optional, to help bind)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons poppyseeds
Go to Recipe

Have you made these gluten-free treats? Tell us what you think below!

Automagic Spring Menu Maker!
Automagic Spring Menu Maker!

Tags: Gluten-Free, Wellness