I’ve noticed that most store bought lemon muffins have a lemon glaze on top. This, I’ve discovered, is the cheater way to make the lemons have that extra lemon kick. You just dump lemon sugar water on top of them at the end. Brilliant. This technique doubles the amount of calories in the muffin, all of them empty, useless calories. These muffins have just the right amount of lemon tang without resorting to pouring lemon sugar water over the top. Like my other recipes for low fat muffins, yogurt and applesauce provide extra moisture so that you don’t have to rely on canola oil. These taste just as good as other muffins that have a full cup of oil in a similar sized recipe (there’s only a quarter cup here). Enjoy.
Low Fat Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins (makes twelve ½ cup muffins)
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- zest of two lemons, grated and finely chopped (or use a microplaner if you have one)
- ½ cup unsweetened smooth applesauce
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons lemon extract
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup whole-wheat flour (I prefer White Whole Wheat Flour for muffins)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 2/3 cup sugar
- a dash salt
- ¼ cup poppy seeds
Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour ½ cup muffin tins (I find it easier to use baking spray – such a Pam, rather than greasing and flouring the pans. I use the “baking” version which includes flour in the vegetable spray).
In a medium-sized mixing bowl whisk together the yogurt, oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, applesauce, eggs, vanilla extract, and lemon extract. In a large bowl whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Mix until just blended. Gently stir in the poppy seeds. Pour the batter into the greased muffin tins. Place in the center of your pre-heated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until they are just cooked through and a tester inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Allow to rest 1-2 minutes in the muffin tins, and then remove and cool completely before storing – or consume warm!