I feel so grateful for the cool mornings in Colorado so that despite the summer heat I can still bake (without my whole house feeling like an oven) if I wake up early enough. Temperatures on the front range can easily change 30-40 degrees in a matter of hours – wake up to 50-60 degree temps and by noon it could be 90. The best of both worlds all in one day!
A lot of recipes have been coming out lately featuring Chia Seeds, the new super-food du jour. Most Lemon Chia recipes fall into the muffin category, like a trendy riff on Lemon Poppyseed muffins. That got me thinking…What about my all-time-favorite breakfast item? Mmmm….scones!
Yes, you guessed it! These are the selfsame seeds as those made famous by the wondrous Chia Pets (TM, I’m sure). What’s so great about chia? Calcium, omega-3s, fiber, antioxidants, and protein among other beneficial nutrients. Read more at Mind Body Green here and here. OMG & LOL – there is even a YouTube video by the Chia Pets people promoting chia seeds. I buy them in the bulk food section at our local natural foods store. And personally I don’t use them very often – I find the way they plump up in contact with liquid to be too boba-y. I like them dry and crunchy – hence the scones…
Recipe-readers will notice that I use (and recommend using) a food processor when making scones rather than cutting butter in by hand. I always thought of this as cheating, my dirty little scone secret. Mega-redemption on the food processor scone front – I recently discovered that the illustrious and irrefutable Cooks Illustrated totally backs me up on this: “The discovery that the food processor did a great job of cutting the butter into the flour was a boon, making it even easier to make these treats.” So I no longer process in shame, and can instead proudly share this easy scone-making tip with you!
So you’re saying to yourself…”but Emily, the market is full of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries! Shouldn’t I/we/you be making scones with fresh seasonal fruit? I can get lemons in January, ya know?” I felt a little bad about posting a recipe for a winter-fruit, winter-scone at a time when 20 different kinds of fresh produce are at market…but to be honest with you fresh-fruit scones don’t really do it for me. They always look fabulous in a magazine, and I fall for it every time – but in the end I find that the find they get funky and soggy and just generally disappointing over time. So I’ve stopped (so I say…we’ll see if I can stick to my guns the next time a too-good-to-be-true photo of a blueberry scone comes into my line of sight). I bake fresh fruit scones if I know for certain they’ll all be eaten the same day, but for the daily breakfast treat needs of our small family dried fruit, chocolate chip, or citrus-flavored scones are the go-to. Even in summer.
If you’re desperate for something to do with fresh fruit I will say I do LOVE a good blueberry coffee cake – and for some reason somehow the fresh berries hold up in these two recipes: Alton Brown’s Blueberry Buckle (my old stand-by) and Blueberry Coffeecake with Almond Streusel (my new fave).
Have thoughts, feelings, questions about Chia seeds? Scone-making? Summer baking? Baking with fresh fruit? I know I do! Share below and let’s talk!