As the world’s premier culinary college, The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) is trying to help everyone understand why food matters and how to make smarter choices about the foods we eat. The CIA has been working with the Harvard School of Public Health to remake many of our favorite foods, and we’ve recently taken on the task of of making over our muffins.
People often think that in order to eat better, they need to remove all fats completely from their diet, but this is far from the truth. We need fats in our diets, but we need to make smarter choices about the types of fats we consume. Healthier, non-saturated fats like those found in nuts and olive oil are important for our bodies, and learning how to enjoy them in moderation is an important step towards eating better.
This recipe for Lemon Chickpea Muffins was developed by the CIA for a Harvard-CIA “Muffin Makeover” project and incorporates healthy fats and whole grains to create a better-for-you version of the massively oversized, calorie-laden muffin found in most restaurants and bakeries.
“Lemon and cardamom is a classic flavor pairing that makes these muffins fragrant and delicious,” says CIA Chef Melissa Fritz. “Using puréed, canned chickpeas creates a very moist, tender muffin because the chickpea starch holds water so well. The addition of ground almonds to the batter contributes a hearty nuttiness as well as healthy fats.”
You can create more healthful versions of many baked goods using simple substitutions. If a recipe calls for butter, start by replacing half of the butter with a healthful oil, such as canola. Then see if you can replace half of the refined, all-purpose flour with whole grain flour.
Pair these muffins with fresh fruit and yogurt for a quick and satisfying breakfast. They are also perfect for packing into a school lunch or enjoying as an easy afternoon snack.
To enjoy a brief step-by-step demonstration of CIA Chef Melissa Fritz preparing Lemon Chickpea Muffins, watch the video now.