Paleo Lemon Chia Seed Muffins

Lemon Chia Seed Muffins • paleo, low carb, nut-free, dairy-free, grain-free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free

Lemon poppy seed muffins are super delicious, but I wanted to create something a little different than the traditional recipe. After giving it some thought,  I came up with this recipe for lemon muffins and I decided to swap the poppy seeds for chia seeds. This added nutrients and texture to these muffin while retaining that great crunch I love from the poppy seeds.

On top of that, I wanted to make these muffins nut free for all my followers that have been requesting a nut free recipe due to their nut allergies. These muffins are super moist and have a great citrus flavor. Even though they are made with coconut flour, coconut milk and coconut oil, the citrus from the fresh lemon juice and lemon zest hides the coconut flavor beautifully. Enjoy.

Chia Seed Lemon Muffins • paleo, nut-free, dairy-free, grain-free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free

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5.0 from 7 reviews
Paleo Lemon Chia Seed Muffins • low carb, nut-free, dairy-free, grain-free, gluten-free, refined sugar-free
  • ⅓ cup coconut flour
  • ¼ cup tapioca flour
  • ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • ½ cup coconut milk, full fat
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. mix together the coconut flour, tapioca flour, baking soda, chia seeds and salt
  2. in a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, coconut milk, eggs, maple syrup, lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla extract
  3. using a rubber spatula, mix wet and dry ingredients together to form a batter
  4. pour batter into paper lined muffin pan cups and bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes or until tops turn golden brown
  5. set pan over a wire rack to cool

Recipe makes 6 muffins.


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  1. Chris January 18, 2014 at 3:44 am Reply

    I don’t have tapioca flour- would arrowroot flour/starch work?

    • adriana January 21, 2014 at 2:18 pm Reply

      Most likely yes, but I have not tried this. Please let me know if you do this substitution and how it turns out.

  2. Sue January 18, 2014 at 6:00 pm Reply

    This is great – I can’t wait to try it!
    I really appreciate a gluten-free AND nut-free recipe. I don’t have severe nut allergies but I don’t feel well if I include them in my diet too often. So I have to be careful.
    Please, please come up with more recipes that are nut-free.
    I’ve made some of your wonderful things that call for almond flour and have often wondered if another flour could be substituted for it. Is there a “rule of thumb” to follow concerning this? Like, can most types of flour be switched to a different kind and still work for the recipes?

    • adriana January 21, 2014 at 2:17 pm Reply

      Thanks Sue for the kind words. Unfortunately substituting almond flour for another flour is not that easy. Some people have successfully substituted almond flour for sunflower seed flour, but I have not tested this with my recipes. Substituting for coconut flour will not work for sure. Is there a recipe in particular on my website that you would like if it was made with a different flour? Thanks.

      • Sue January 23, 2014 at 1:24 pm Reply

        Yes, there are a LOT 🙂 on your site that I would love to make but hold back doing it because of the almond flour. I can handle some nuts like in a crust or something but to have the almond flour in it seems like it is too potent for me.
        The following are just a very few of the many recipes of yours that I would love to try if a different flour could be used:
        Chocolate, Date and Orange Bars
        Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cookies
        Coconut Orange Macaroons
        Homemade Nutri-Grain Cereal Bars

        I made your chocolate cake during the holidays and it was wonderful! Really wonderful actually! Hubby loved it too! That’s always a plus!:) But I wish I could make it with a different flour.
        I’m pretty new at this gluten-free thing — as of last year — but I feel so much better without wheat in my diet! I’ve been experimenting a lot and through that have found the sensitivity to nuts as well. Your blog has helped me so much to realize that there ARE good and healthy things available despite the things I’ve had to cut out of my diet. I think my most favorite thing that I have made of yours is the Coconut Mounds Bark! It is SO yummy! I have to keep it in my basement freezer so it is not readily available to me — other-wise it is difficult to keep my hands off of it!:)

        Anyway, anything/ideas you can help me out with would be great!
        Right now I’m in search of a good/easy bread recipe. One that I can make on a regular basis. I’m trying to get Hubby to go gluten-free as well and if I can find good bread to make I think he will do it.

        Thanks much for your continuous posts — I so enjoy seeing when a notification comes into my e-mail of a new one!

        • adriana January 24, 2014 at 5:02 pm Reply

          Thanks again Sue. I will develop more nut free recipes and try to post them more often. Currently, I only have a recipe for sandwich bread that is made with almond flour I will try to come up with a version of this recipe that is nut free. Thank you for your suggestions and support. Adriana

          • Sue January 24, 2014 at 8:06 pm

            Thanks so much, Adriana! I would be delighted if you could make a nut free version of the sandwich bread. It looks wonderful! I was happy when I saw that recipe sometime back — until I saw the almond flour in it. It would be great if I could enjoy a slice of bread or even a sandwich again!:)
            BTW, as of yesterday I now have all the ingredients to make the Lemon Chia Seed Muffins.So excited to try them and surprise Hubby with them when he gets home from work tonight! I’ll let you know how they turn out.

  3. Jean B. January 19, 2014 at 10:00 am Reply

    Hi, I really got my hopes up when I read that these were low-carb, but now I see that they contain tapioca starch and maple syrup. I will check where the latter falls on the glycemic index (although I normally think more in terms of net carbs), but I don’t think tapioca flour is low-carb or low-glycemic/ What would be a good low-carb substitute for the maple syrup?


    • adriana January 21, 2014 at 2:09 pm Reply

      Jean, you can substitute maple syrup with pure stevia. I recommend this brand:

  4. aeruynh January 20, 2014 at 12:43 am Reply

    I can’t get tapioca flour in my country – can I sub it with almond flour? I have no nut problems. Or just use only coconut flour? Maybe upping the egg to compensate? hmm… these sounds soo good! I’m feeling in the baking mood today.

    • adriana January 21, 2014 at 1:55 pm Reply

      I haven’t tried substituting the tapioca with almond flour, but I think it should be no problem. Taste and texture might be different though. Please let me know how it goes if you try this. Thanks.

      • kathrin January 22, 2014 at 1:13 am Reply

        i ve just made them with same amount almond flour instead of tapioca, they are quite moist, but hold together. Taste is good, a bit almondy 😉 unfortunately i dont know how they taste originally..

      • aeruynh January 24, 2014 at 10:27 am Reply

        Hey Adriana 🙂

        Like Kathrin I did try it with almond flour instead of tapioka. I also added Xanthan gum. They were really good, though a bit moist\eggy almost. So I might up the coconut flour with a tablespoon or two next time, but they were very good! Don’t even notice the almond flour, but that might be because I added extra lemon juice and zest 🙂 Oh I also subbed the maple syrup with erythritol for bloodsugar\GI\GL reasons. 🙂

        • adriana January 24, 2014 at 4:39 pm Reply

          🙂 Thank you for your feedback!

  5. angela January 20, 2014 at 6:14 am Reply

    made these, super good.

  6. crystal January 20, 2014 at 9:27 pm Reply

    can i use all coconut flour?

    • adriana January 21, 2014 at 1:51 pm Reply

      yes, although I have not tried this I suggest adding 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons of coconut flour.

      • Jenn February 24, 2016 at 6:28 pm Reply your website! Thanks for all the wonderful recipes.
        Before trying this with all coconut flour..just wanted to you mean total of 1/3C + 2 Tbsp coconut flour..meaning replace 1/4C of tapioca with 2 Tbsp of coconut flour?

        • adriana February 26, 2016 at 7:22 pm Reply

          Thanks Jenn 🙂
          Yes, that’s what I meant, replace the tapioca with 1/3C + 2 Tbsp of coconut flour. But I have not tried this and I am not sure it will work out and the texture will turn out well. If you try it, please let me know how it goes.

  7. Edel January 24, 2014 at 2:43 am Reply

    I read somewhere else that coconut and lemon don’t mix well together. You don’t find this the case?

    • adriana January 24, 2014 at 3:31 pm Reply

      The opposite, coconut and lemon together taste great! But you won’t taste much coconut in this recipe as it tastes like lemon.

  8. pennie rose February 16, 2014 at 10:37 am Reply

    Can you sign me up on your mailing list? Thanks. I enjoy your site and appreciate the time you take to share your healthy recipes.

    • adriana February 16, 2014 at 10:59 am Reply

      Thank you Pennie for the kind words! I added you to my list and you will receive my newsletter from now on. Thanks again, Adriana

  9. Sue February 22, 2014 at 9:16 pm Reply

    So sorry it took me so long to get back here and tell you how the muffins turned out. They absolutely get 2 thumbs up! We love them! They have “just the right everything” to make them perfectly tasteful & delicious!
    Now if I could figure out a way to peel the papers off without taking so much of the muffin with them………:)
    I also made your Coconut Choc. Chip cookies, but will go to that post to leave a comment! 🙂

    • adriana February 24, 2014 at 2:52 pm Reply

      Sue, you can try using a paper cup lined with foil or cook the muffins in a silicon pan. Thanks so much for the feedback!

  10. Sue February 24, 2014 at 4:49 pm Reply

    As I was on the road tonight — before I read your suggestions — I was trying to figure out how to solve the sticking paper cup problem and came up with an idea. Do you think this recipe would work to bake it in a loaf like banana bread?

  11. Amal March 12, 2014 at 1:32 pm Reply

    Can I use so delicious brand for coconut milk not the can one . I used it cold straight from the fridge and cold eggs when I put them on the coconut oil in the bowl the oil turned solid ! I had to blind it in the blender to liquify but the batter looks a bit runny for me . I am not sure what will be the result ? May be I used the wrong coconut milk ! Please let me know if I have to use the canned coconut milk ? I will keep u post it ;-(

    • adriana March 14, 2014 at 8:34 am Reply

      Amal, I never used So Delicious Coconut milk brand in my recipes. That brand seems to be lower in fat and contains a ton of added ingredients besides just coconut and water. I only use full fat coconut milk from can. How did your muffins turn out? If they turned out good, maybe allow the coconut milk to come to room temperature next time before mixing with the coconut oil.

  12. Mara F. September 5, 2014 at 6:25 am Reply

    Delicious! I used a whole lemons worth of zest, I love lemon flavor. Aside from that followed recipie exactly. They are moist, flavorful, and better than ANY lemon poppy seed muffin I have had in recent memory, gluten free or not.

    • adriana September 5, 2014 at 2:55 pm Reply

      🙂 Thanks for your feedback Mara.

  13. Sara September 28, 2014 at 11:37 am Reply

    A little wary…my batter is super wet and has little chunks of flour floating around in it. I’m doubling the recipe, and I am afraid that I forgot to double the coconut flour. Is it meant to be this soupy?

  14. Sara September 28, 2014 at 12:30 pm Reply

    …yeah never mind what I just said. They look AMAZING.

  15. Eva March 27, 2015 at 10:30 pm Reply

    These are lovely and moist, it’s so hard to find a good grain free muffin and I’ll be making these again and again, than you!

    • adriana April 1, 2015 at 10:33 am Reply

      Eva, thank you so much for your feedback and for sharing your photo. Your muffins look so good!! Thanks again!!

  16. julie July 2, 2015 at 8:38 am Reply

    Can I sub all almond flour or whole wheat for the original flours? And would I need to lower the amount of liquid in the recipe?

    • adriana July 2, 2015 at 10:23 am Reply

      Julie, the short answer is yes, however, it’s not simple and you may need to do a few tests. To start, I would substitute the coconut flour with almond flour, about 1 1/4 cup. Then I would try adding just 1 egg, and I would leave everything else the same. Please let me know how it goes.

  17. Priscilla July 11, 2015 at 4:45 pm Reply

    For everyone looking for liners that don’t stick, try parchment ones! I love paper chef, they will come right off and not take half your cupcake/muffin. Can’t wait to try these, Adriana. Love the simplicity of your recipes.

    • adriana July 11, 2015 at 5:07 pm Reply

      Priscilla thank you! You are right and there are some great non-stick paper cups available. Here are a few options:

  18. Victoria July 15, 2015 at 5:01 pm Reply

    love these lemon muffins, they’ve become a real family favourite, just gorgeous. thanks for all your amazing recipes. x

  19. Kim Hewitt October 31, 2015 at 11:19 am Reply

    Absolutely delicious!!

    • adriana October 31, 2015 at 11:26 am Reply

      Thank you so much Kim! Looks delicious 🙂

  20. Korina November 13, 2015 at 6:42 am Reply

    Just tried this recipe, wondering if the batter is supposed to be super runny? It’s a liquid, not sure how this will turn out! Thanks!

    • adriana November 13, 2015 at 8:34 am Reply

      How did the muffins turn out after baked?

  21. Jolene December 28, 2015 at 5:20 am Reply

    So far I have not baked non-chocolate muffins. I baked a batch of the lemon muffins and these tasted so good. Thanks for sharing the recipe!!
    P.S.: I topped the muffins with sunflower seeds

    • adriana December 28, 2015 at 9:13 am Reply

      Jolene, your muffins look delicious!! I love it that you added the sunflower seed on top. Thank you for sharing your feedback and photo with me 🙂

  22. Natalia April 22, 2016 at 4:28 pm Reply

    Hi Adriana! Do you have a receipt for full fat coconut milk?
    Here in Brazil the one we have at the market is horrible! Very artificial.

    • adriana April 23, 2016 at 8:04 am Reply

      Oh, I didn’t know that! I’ll ask my mom which one she uses there. Anyhow, making the milk at home is really easy.
      Let 1 cup of thick coconut meat soak in 2 cups of hot water for 10 minutes. Then blend those two together and strain the milk into a bowl using a cheesecloth, t-shirt or a fine mash strainer. The more coconut you use in proportion to how much water you add, the ticker, more fatty your milk will be. So adjust how much water and coconut you add to your preference. You can make a large batch too and freeze some for later. Oh, and you can also use unsweetened dried shredded coconut if you can’t find the fresh coconut meat. Hope this helps 🙂

  23. Natália April 27, 2016 at 8:31 am Reply

    Thanks, helped a lot!
    Can you help me with another thing? Which vanilla extract would you recommend? Can be one option that I can by in Amazon.
    Thanks again!

    • adriana April 27, 2016 at 8:57 am Reply

      This one here is one of my favorites. But I make my own because it’s a lot cheaper and super easy. I buy the vanilla bean and I add that to a bottle of vodka. This makes a lot and lasts forever. So get your beans (about 6) and cut the middle open. Place the beans in a bottle of vodka and store it somewhere dark and cool for a couple of month before using. Shake the bottle once in a while. Eu nunca fiz com cachaça, was deve ficar mom tambem 😉

  24. Natalia May 30, 2016 at 5:56 am Reply

    I did it! I let you know 2 months from now 😉

    • adriana June 2, 2016 at 9:32 am Reply

      👍 Looking forward to hearing back from you!

  25. Adriana Blake May 31, 2016 at 11:52 am Reply

    Hey! My name is Adriana too! 🙂

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