Poppy seeds, which come from the opium poppy plant, are widely used in European, Indian and Jewish cuisines (source). A very good source of calcium and manganese, and a good source of copper, dietary fiber, iron, magnesium, phosphorus and thiamin, these tiny seeds help provide healthy bones, heart and nervous system (source).
Fun fact: though opium is harvested from seed pods and not the seeds themselves, poppy seeds do contain small amounts of opium alkaloids, therefore can sometimes cause a false positive reading for opiates in drug tests (source).
Lemon and poppy seed are two foods commonly combined. Not only do they compliment each other flavor-wise, the vitamin C in lemons assists poppy seeds with iron absorption (source).
As you may have noticed, I’ve been dabbling in gluten-free baking and seem to have found my ideal ratio of gluten-free flours and starches. The addition of xanthan gum provides a slightly chewy feel, which mimics that of gluten. Check out this recipe for moist, Gluten-Free Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins:
Gluten-Free Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
Yields 12 muffins
zest and juice from 1/2 organic lemon (approximately 1-1/2 tablespoons juice)
1 cup regular unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup sweet white sorghum flour
1/2 cup gluten-free oat flour
1/2 cup potato starch (NOT flour)
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1-1/2 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract
Preheat oven to 375º F. Lightly grease a muffin pan or line with paper/silicone baking cups. Set aside.
Place lemon juice in a 1-cup measuring glass and add coconut milk until level reaches the 1 cup mark. Stir and set aside.
Combine all dry ingredients (including lemon zest) in the bowl of a stand mixture and mix until combined. Add oil, lemon extract and coconut milk mixture and stir until combined. Beat for approximately 1 minute to incorporate air into the mixture.
Divide mixture evenly among muffin cups and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick when inserted near the center of a muffin comes out clean or with a few crumbs.