I recently made and enjoyed some of your chia seed recipes. For quite a while I have been using another healthy ingredient in my morning oatmeal–flax meal. I was wondering, could you share some new recipes using this very nutritious food?
The reader who issued this recent request was absolutely right in mentioning the nutritional value of flax meal—the ground version of flax seeds. For something so tiny, those seeds lay claim to some big benefits. Flax is an excellent plant source of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants called lignans. It’s rich in most of the B vitamins, magnesium, manganese, and fiber. These are just some of the reasons why flax consumption is linked with reducing inflammation, improving heart and digestive health, lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and fending off some forms of cancer.
To reap the reported health benefits, a daily “dose” of two tablespoons of flax meal is recommended. I often stir that amount into a cup of yogurt. With a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts, it makes a quick and filling breakfast or lunch.
For a satisfying option that’s almost as speedy, the following muffin recipe is a favorite. The recipe is unique in its use of flax meal instead of flour, and with its novel method of preparation manages to make healthy eating rather fun, too.
One more important detail about flax: Eaten in seed form, flax delivers fiber but the hard outer shell prohibits absorption of the nutrients that lie within. To reap the full benefit of this super food, it should be consumed in its ground form. Both options are widely available—usually in the bulk and/or natural and organic aisle of the grocery store. For a longer shelf life and optimum freshness, buy the seeds and grind them in a coffee grinder. For convenience, seek out pre-ground flax meal.
Because this recipe uses an unusual approach to muffin making–microwaving them—I recruited many testers before sharing this recipe. My concern was that varying wattages would create inconsistencies, with some muffins akin to hockey pucks and others undercooked at the specified cooking time. Beyond that, the weirdness of this recipe didn’t escape me!
The feedback was uniformly excellent, and my testers enjoyed using the basic recipe as a framework that could be customized according to personal preference and tweaked over time. Without a doubt, I have made this muffin scores of different ways and only recently settled into my two favorite versions—one incorporating the optional almond butter, the other with mashed banana stirred in…both with a tablespoon each of nuts, raisins, and shredded coconut.
Yields 1 muffin.
- 1/4 cup (25 grams) golden flaxseed meal (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon honey (or sweetener of choice; see notes)
- 1 teaspoon oil (use what you prefer—I particularly enjoy melted coconut oil or a fruity olive oil)
- 1/16 teaspoon (a pinch) kosher or sea salt
- Optional add-ins: 2 tablespoons fruit puree*; 1 tablespoon nuts, raisins, chocolate chips, and/or shredded coconut; 1 tablespoon almond or peanut butter instead of the 1 teaspoon oil*; savory additions like cheese, dill, etc. (see notes)
Mix all of ingredients in a coffee mug—there is no need to grease it. (A smaller mug works better than a jumbo one, but any will work. When using a mug with a wide diameter, the muffin will be flatter and the cooking time will be slightly less.) Make sure all of the ingredients are well combined, and then wipe the edges of the mug with a small piece of paper towel.
Microwave for one minute on high. (The time may vary based on microwave and mug size. If you have an older microwave, it may take longer. After making the first one you will figure it out. You just don’t want to overcook the muffin, as it will dry out. As a test, I undercooked a muffin by 15 seconds and then popped it out of the mug to find it slightly uncooked in the center. I immediately returned it the mug, cooked for 15 seconds more, and the texture was fine. You may wish to try this method the first time.) The muffin will easily pop out of the mug with a gentle pry of a knife. It will be moist from the steam at first but will quickly dry as it cools. I like to cut the warm muffin in half and spread with a little butter.
- *I now almost always make these muffins with 3-4 tablespoons mashed, overripe banana and almond butter for the extra moisture and flavor, and I have reduced the honey (or maple syrup) by half. I also love the raisins and coconut for the added sweetness. Feel free to use this recipe as a framework and tailor it to suit your needs. If you prefer a savory muffin, omit the sweetener or reduce it to one teaspoon. If you’d like the muffin to be sweeter, increase the sweetener or add raisins, chocolate chips, etc. For those who cannot consume sugar or other natural sweeteners but desire some sweetness, you may wish to try 1/4 teaspoon of stevia, adjusting to personal preference.
- It doesn’t matter if you add the wet or the dry ingredients to the mug first. Just make sure to stir well to fully incorporate all of the ingredients, especially the egg. I often mix the ingredients the night before, cover the mug with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until morning. In this case, I add 5 seconds to the cooking time. (Also, adding mashed banana or other fruit will lengthen the cook time by 15-30 seconds, give or take.) Everyone in my family is happy to have one for breakfast, so I often make four at a time–assembly line-style. For another timesaver, you can measure the dry ingredients into several small jars or containers. That way, all you have to do is stir in a few wet ingredients for a speedy muffin whenever desired.
- The fruit puree is excellent for adding moisture as well as natural sweetness and flavor to these muffins. My favorite is mashed, very ripe banana, although pumpkin puree and apple butter are very good options. For easy access to a small amount of banana, simply peel and freeze overripe bananas. When needed, break off a small piece and thaw at room temperature or microwave in 15-second increments or until the banana can be mashed with a fork.
I am delighted to share this recipe as an ambassador for Bob’s Red Mill. Their Golden Flaxseed Meal is freshly milled to preserve the natural oils and nutrients.
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Healthy No-Bake Energy Bites taste somewhere between chocolate chip cookie dough and a chewy granola bar.
2-Ingredient Breakfast Cookies…with options
We love this recipe SO much and wonder if there is a way to adapt it to make a larger batch at once. Any ideas?
I’m so happy you love this, Elizabeth! The short answer to your question is that I have thought about adapting the recipe for a larger batch but haven’t yet. If I did, I would probably start with 6x the ingredients and bake it in either an 8-inch square or 9×5 loaf pan – you could scale up further and use a 9×13 pan once you know the right amount for the pan size and that you’re happy with the outcome. I’d start with an oven temp of 375℉, which should encourage a good rise. Timing for a square pan may be in the 25- to 30-minute range, plus or minus. A loaf pan could be 45 to 60 minutes, so you’d have to monitor it until you know. If you have an instant read thermometer, the temperature in the center should read between 200 and 210℉. If you get that far and have questions, I will totally jump in with the troubleshooting. I love this recipe too!
Thank you so much! I will definitely let you know how it goes.
It worked! I used:
2 cups ground flax seed
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups mashed bananas
6 tbsp almond butter
3 tbsp honey
Baked for ~20 min at 350F in a glass 9×13 pan
Tasted very much like the individual mug muffin! I will likely use a mini muffin tin next time And I’m not sure all 6 eggs are really needed.
Thanks for your tips! I usually stick to recipes exactly so this was out of my comfort zone and your tips gave me just enough guidance to try it!
I’m so happy you gave it a go and that it worked! Great job! Thank you for the follow up and good point about the eggs. The rise is slower in the oven as compared to the microwave, so I’m guessing it may have seemed a little dense? The original idea in the mug muffin was to add filling protein, and I have made the mug muffins with just an egg white, which works well. Depending on the amount of liquid needed to achieve a batter-like consistency, you could probably go down to three eggs (for sure four) and add a little milk as needed.
I loved it…simple easy n yummy!!
Fantastic, Saras. Thank you commenting!
Can I make this without an egg. I’m allergic.
I’d try it with a flax egg or your favorite egg replacer, Tamara. I’ve used the neat egg in other recipes with great success.
Easy, fast and tasty. I look forward to making this again, and using more add-ins. Thanks for posting this recipe!
You are most welcome, Debbie. I’m so happy you think it’s a keeper. (I have made this muffin countless times－and haven’t tired of it yet!)
I made one of these today for breakfast for the first time, exactly as written, before going to the gym. It was perfect, and delicious! And so easy. I think It would also be good for a mid afternoon snack.
Great news, Marcia! I’m delighted you tried and liked, and I agree — one of these is equally perfect for an afternoon snack!
Just tried this recipe and it was a big success… yippeee!!
Awesome! Thanks for your comment!
My friend shared this recipe with me and I am copying it and laminating it to put in my kitchen. Such a yummy treat and so easy. My husband normally turns up his nose when I try to sneak a little flax seed into his diet, but he absolutely LOVES these cakes. They have quickly become a staple in our diet! Thank you so much!
I love it, Kathy…especially the lamination! I’ve made countless of these muffins over the years as they are well-liked here. So glad they’re a hit at your house, too!
I love this one minute muffin and I have it 5 out of 7 days a week. What I would like to know is do you know what the nutritional values are for this receipt?
Hi Brenda, I eat several of these each week, too, and I never calculated the nutritional values until today. Given all of the options, I calculated based on the basic recipe. (From there, I typically add 3-4 tablespoons mashed banana, 1 tablespoon of raisins, reduce the honey by half–and I often use maple syrup–and use the almond butter option instead of the oil. You can tell I’ve made a lot of these and tweaked along the way!) If you have any questions, let me know. I’m so glad you enjoy these!
Per Serving % Daily Value*
Total Fat 16.8g — 21%
Saturated Fat 6.4g — 32%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 164mg — 60%
Sodium 186mg — 8%
Potassium 268mg — 6%
Total Carb 16.1g — 5%
Dietary Fiber 6.8g — 24%
Sugars 9.3g (based on the 1/2 T option)
Vitamin A 7% · Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 2% · Iron 44%
Thank you very much!
Just made this with mashed banana & a few mini choc chips! So quick & easy. I added 15 sec since I used 1/2 mashed banana. It was perfect!
So glad you liked…and good point about the banana. The added fruit does require a slightly longer cooking time. 🙂
Do you think the I minute mug muffins could be cooked in a small mason jar? I was thinking that mixing ingredients ahead of time and storing in the mason jar would be easier and very simple to just pop that in the microwave.
I think as long as you use a canning grade jar like Mason, you should be fine. (I’d be concerned that some of the jars sold at craft stores might crack.) Mason even has a short, wide option that might work really well.
Just made my first muffin in a mug. I loved it! I used some of my favorite all-fruit spread and felt so healthy!!
That’s awesome, Jamie!
So I was either really hungry or this muffin is seriously delicious! Just made this, came out perfect, used coconut as my add in! Really, really good. My microwave took exactly 1:00 in a 12-ounce mug.
Such great feedback…thank you!
Could you provide the nutritional info for the flax meal muffin recipe? My mom and I just made them this morning and they were delicious!!!
So glad you and your mom enjoyed, Tracy! I haven’t calculated the nutritional profile for these muffins and it will vary slightly based on which add-ins are chosen. Many people like to use caloriecount.about.com or myfitnesspal.com to get the information. I hope that helps.
I followed the basic recipe to get a feel for it the first time around. It was a good basic muffin, perfect with a little butter. The second time, I followed your favorite suggestion in the comment above and it was so moist and absolutely delicious. Thank you for this wonderful, healthy muffin recipe!
I’m glad you’ve been experimenting with the recipe and that we enjoy the same combinations!
Oh Ann! This looks amazing and I can’t wait to try! I think I have flaxseed meal in my fridge.. I will have to get some if I don’t.
I am going to try it this week for sure.
I think you’re going to like, Mary Lou: ) For my most recent muffin, I added the optional mashed banana and swapped out the oil for the almond butter (plus a tablespoon each of shredded coconut and raisins!) and it was my favorite yet. I had to add an extra 10 seconds or so, but oh so good! It’s a fun recipe to play around with. xo
As a rule I follow recipes, I don’t tinker too much with them. Oh, I’ve done the vinegar in milk to substitute for buttermilk, and the cocoa and oil to substitute for chocolate bits but that’s about it. but I wanted to make this so much that I just pretty much used what I had. I used oat flour for the flaxseed, molasses for the honey (plus a tablespoon of raw sugar – molasses isn’t as sweet). And since I was using molasses, I threw in some ground ginger and ground clove with the cinnamon. I have the greatest gingerbread muffin made in less than 5 minutes! YUM!
Thanks so much for sharing your adaptations, Catherine. I love the idea of a gingerbread version!
I have yet to make a mug cake or muffin. I have to try this right now!
I hope you enjoy it, Christie!
I made one this morning. It was so easy and delicious!
So happy it was a success, Pat!
Could I use oatmeal in place of the flax??
If you’d like to use oats, I recommend this recipe: https://fountainavenuekitchen.com/4-ingredient-instant-baked-oatmeal/. It can also be tweaked in many ways, includes a whole egg, but uses a half cup of instant oats compared to the quarter cup of flax meal in this recipe. Regular oats would work, too. The texture would just be slightly different.