lemon & poppy seed protein rich muffins

When you have to order all your groceries, you become rather careful about what you buy. Definitely no grabbing a tempting bar of chocolate along the aisle! Most times, it’s a week long process. Start a list on the fridge. Add to it over the week, type it up, email it to supermarket, wait for the next day’s flight from that community to ours. Wait a few more days because it got bumped.. By this time, the next list is full.

We have learnt how to buy in advance, but most importantly we have learnt to buy exactly what we need.


And determining what we need has been rather defining for us. Do we need crackers when I can make them fresh and not risk them going stale? Do we really need fresh milk? It’s likely to be off by the time it gets here and hey, milk powder’s not so bad. Is butter really necessary in our baking at $7.50 a block? Every tin can we import is going to add to the dump at the top of the hill, or be shipped back down to the nearest city for ‘recycling’.

What I’m getting at is that our food situation makes us think.


Just as we have been thinking about our nutritional needs. What will maximize our food intake when good food is comparatively difficult to source? What will keep our energy up during what may be a long winter? What will help ensure we don’t steadily gain weight through comforting ‘winter’ dishes?

I have been very much enjoying the increased protein in my diet. Averaging between 75 and 120 grams a day* has hugely upped my energy levels throughout the day and recovery speed after physical activity, and noticeably reduced that mid-afternoon slump. Golly I never would’ve thought it was protein that would do it! I’ve noticed we’ve reduced our refined sugar intake too. Not for any particular reason. I guess when you start thinking about what you eat, what you need and how it makes you feel – and the fact that every food item is carefully considered before buying – it just kinda happens. And this reduction in blood-sugar-spiking foods has definitely helped with these things!


Creating high protein snacks from natural forms of protein is definitely preferable. Using beans, legumes, dairy, chicken and fish. But boy, protein powder comes in handy for sweet goods. These muffins have been a mid morning staple. Barely sweet – I did use refined sugar rather than an artificial sweetener – with a crunch from the seeds and a tang from the citrus. They are uber filling, low in fat, high in protein and pretty darn tasty.

Lemon & Poppy Seed Protein Rich Muffins
Makes 16 Muffins
Recipe from Busy But Healthy

2 cups oats (ground in food processor to make flour)
3 scoops (30 grams) vanilla protein powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp brown sugar
zest of 1 lemon
2 Tbsp poppy seeds

5 egg whites (handy having cartoned eggwhites here, even sold at our little Northern store!)
1 cup milk
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
juice of a lemon

Preheat oven to 350˚F.  Mix the dry ingredients together (oat flour, protein powder, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, lemon zest, poppy seeds).  In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients together (egg whites, milk, applesauce, lemon juice).

Add wet ingredients to the dry and fold together until smooth (will be a lot more runny than your average muffin batter)

Pour into prepared muffin tin sprayed with cooking spray or lined with paper liners & sprayed.  Fill each 3/4 full.  Bake for 12-15 minutes just until firm to the touch.  Do not overbake as they can turn out dry.

They freeze wonderfully. Place in ziplock bags once cool and let defrost during the morning. Ready to enjoy with the mid morning cup of tea.

Nutrition (per muffin)
Cals: 84  Fat: 1g  Carbs: 12g  Fibre: 1g  Sugars: 2g  Protein: 6g


Great with a protein shake! Or that might just be getting silly…

* Want help tracking your protein? My Fitness Pal has been fantastic. I’ve used this over the last 6 months and although I’m not a huge fan of calorie counting, it’s great to get an idea of the nutritional content of things as well as of the balance within your daily intake.

5 thoughts

    • It’s true eh. And these aren’t any different really. Not your typical light and fluffy ‘cupcake’ style muffin. More a stodgy, fill me up and make me feel good, cakey muffin. So let that help decide whether you wanna make them or not!

  1. Your pictures are so beautiful, Christina. I’m a brand-new food blogger (and a newcomer to Canada as well), and it’s very inspiring for me to know that you take your lovely photographs with the same camera I use! I love reading about your adventures up North–but what a lot of things you must be learning to do without.

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