Happy Friday, Bulls!

Last weekend, I got some major recipe inspiration from one of my favorite food blogs, Minimalist Baker.  The weather is finally perfect, and lemon poppy seed muffins scream springtime. I knew I needed to make some. (Not to mention this was USF Week and nothing screams Green & Gold pride like tasty, golden muffins made with bright yellow lemons).

I wasn’t planning on adding anything to the recipe, but I was drawn to strawberries at the grocery store. Strawberries are a great source of vitamins and antioxidants. They are also still in season, so you can get a fresh and local bunch at a good price.Update the recipe by substituting different in season produce or other citrus flavors, like grapefruit or orange!

Bake the strawberries in an aluminum foil dish before adding them to the mixture to enhance their flavor. The strawberries will also form a syrup as they cook. Pour the syrup directly from the dish into the mixture or coat the muffins after they are done baking. 

Add a little bit of lemon, strawberries, and USF spirit together, and voila! A light and delicious muffin recipe is born. 

Want to know what you’re eating? Here are the healthiest ingredients in this recipe:

Strawberries:This popular berry is one of the greatest sources of vitamin C, which can help boost your immune system, lesson cold symptoms and promote iron absorption. Strawberries are also packed with magnesium, folate, potassium and phytonutrients that may reduce your risk of heart disease and some cancers.  

Almond meal:Almond meal is simply ground whole almonds. Almonds are packed with vegetarian protein, non-dairy calcium, potassium, magnesium and iron. Additionally, their dietary fiber content promotes digestive health and keeps you feeling fuller longer. 

Oats: Rolled oats are rich in protein and their high fiber content can improve digestion, metabolism, and cholesterol levels. They are very low in calories and fat, and non-contaminated oats do not contain gluten and are safe to eat for celiac disease. Look for specifically gluten-free oats.

Whole-wheat white flour: Don’t let the name mislead you! White whole wheat is still a whole grain, and the nutrients are the same as traditional whole wheat. The taste is much milder and is a great substitute for baked goods. Swap refined flour with whole wheat and add fiber, healthy fats and several b vitamins. 

Lemon & Strawberry Muffin Recipe: 


2 eggs (If vegan, use 2 flax eggs or other egg substitutes.) 

1/4 cup melted coconut oil

1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/4 cup maple syrup

3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/3 cup lemon juice

1/3 cup natural cane sugar

1 Tbsp chia seeds

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup almond meal

1 cup whole white wheat flour

½ cup chopped strawberries

Note: Make homemade almond meal by grinding whole almonds in a food processor, coffee grinder or blender.


  1.      Preheat oven to 375°F. Line or grease a twelve-muffin pan.
  2.      Place strawberries in a small baking pan or a makeshift foil pan. Bake in preheating oven for about 15 minutes.
  3.      Add eggs, applesauce, lemon juice, oil, almond milk, maple syrup, sugar and baking soda. Whisk for about a minute. The mixture will foam and bubble as the acidic lemon juice reacts with the baking soda.
  4.      Add flour, almond meal and oats and stir until evenly combined. Fold in chia seeds. Do not over mix.
  5.      Pour batter evenly into the twelve muffin tins.
  6.      Bake for 19-22 minutes. Learn how to tell if a cake or muffin is done, here.
  7.      Store for several days in a covered container. Keep in freezer for longer storage.


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