Fall Into Running With Candied Yam Chia Muffins

Charles River In FallIs anyone else in hibernation mode already? Once fall hits, I may as well just hang up my running shoes and strap on a bib. No. Not a race bib.

As the leaves turn, so my thoughts turn to the bounty of the harvest. The good news is that squash, pumpkin, and yams (yams, as it turns out, are actually all sweet potatoes in the United States) are both good and good for you.

High in fiber and packed with nutrients, you can enjoy all the great food fall has to offer without affecting your running plans. That’s good news since, as one runner put it, “fall weather brings fall races“.

With Thanksgiving races right around the corner, I’m sure we could all use a bit of good running fuel. So, to that end…

Book ‘em, Danno!

As you know, I’ve been hard at work putting together a full-fledged chia seed cookbook.

Originally, the book was going to be exclusively about performance foods – variations on my chia gels and chews. However, I’ve since changed my tune.

You see, chia is quite the superfood but if all we could do with it was make our own GUs, it wouldn’t really be that useful as a food source. However, chia is extremely versatile and I intend to prove it.

Take for an example this preview of a moist, vitamin rich muffin recipe that may sneak its way into the book. It’s the power of chia, with the rich, sweet flavors of fall.

Candied Yam Chia Muffins

1 medium garnet yam (approximately 1 cup baked and mashed)
1 1/4 cup ground oats
1 1/4 cup whole-wheat flourThese delicious chia seed muffins are perfect for a pre-run breakfast or post-run recovery snack.
1/4 cup chia seed, whole
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg


  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F (190° C). Lightly grease your muffin cups.
  2. Wash the yam briefly under warm water. Puncture the yam in several spots, then microwave on high for 5 minutes. Remove skin and mash thoroughly.
  3. Sift the ground oats and whole wheat flour into a large mixing bowl. Add the chia seed, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. Stir until the ingredients are well mixed, then create a small well in the center for the wet ingredients.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the buttermilk, melted butter and coconut oil, brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, and egg. Once combined, mix in the mashed yam. Pour the yam mixture into the well you created in the dry ingredients, then blend just until the ingredients combine. Do not overblend (unless you like your muffins… firm).
  5. Scoop the batter into the muffin cups. Cups should be about 3/4 full. (Baker’s Trick: Use an ice cream scoop for perfectly measured muffins every time). Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
  6. Yields approximately 2 dozen muffins

While they work well as a pre-run breakfast or a post-run snack, these muffins wouldn’t be out of place on the Thanksgiving table. If you bring them along this year, please let me know what you think.

Find Ingredients And Additional Recipes

NMA Pinole RecipesIf you’re having trouble finding chia seeds, I typically order my supply through iHerb.com. First time shoppers can use the coupon code RUF029 to knock $5.00 off your first order. And, as a bonus, orders made using the coupon code help support articles like this one.

Finally, if you’re looking for additional recipes to help you fuel your runs, you should check out No Meat Athlete’s recipe book: Fuel Your Run The Tarahumara Way! Matt’s vegetarian-friendly pinole recipes will definitely become some of your favorite running fuel. The pinole buckwheat pancakes alone are reason enough for me to affiliate this one.

What are your favorite fall recipes? Have any big fall race plans? Leave me a comment below.

  7 Responses to Fall Into Running With Candied Yam Chia Muffins
  1. Kira

    Great post! What a tasty idea for Thanksgiving! ;-)

    • Tim Woodbury

      Thanks, Kira! I’m sure you’ll be hearing about a lot more tasty chia recipes soon.

  2. Pumpkin steel cut oats. Just cook the oats (I like Bob’s Red Mill) and just before it’s finished cooking add a can of pumpkin. Spice to taste with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, all spice, clove (you get the idea) and sweeten with brown sugar, molasses or agave syrup. Raisins, cranberries, pecans or walnuts can be added too. Keeps well and reheats easy for a quick, hearty breakfast on those chilly mornings.

    • Tim Woodbury

      Sounds delicious, James. Days have definitely been getting colder. This will make a great meal after a cold run.

      Is that a can of pumpkin to a serving of oats, or do you cook for a few days?

    • 1 can of pumpkin per 4 servings of oats. It keeps well in the fridge for several days.
      Made the muffins today. I thought they were pretty good, kids liked them too. Served them up warm after dinner with a pat of butter and a swizzle of honey.

  3. Coreyanne Armstrong

    Hi! Thanks for the recipe! I made them today and LOVE them! I ground my flour the night before and soaked it in buttermilk for about 20 hours before I completed the recipe. I also had no maple syrup so I subbed honey, and then I used sucanat (straight up evaporated cane juice – hard to find even in health food stores, but I buy through a coop) instead of the brown sugar. I made a quick cinnamon glaze that I googled, just to spread on top warm out of the oven to give the kids a little bit more fun :) (I liked the glaze, too, but I only glazed a few tonight and for breakfast for them tomorrow – all the rest are for my runs, so I didn’t glaze those :) ) Anyway, I think next time I’d use more chia seeds because they wouldn’t be bad with more I think, and they’re so good for you :) Thanks again!!

    • Tim Woodbury

      Mmm… Sounds delicious, Coreyanne. I’ve used palm sugar before, but never sucanat. I’ll have to check that out. And more chia seeds? Got it. I may have to modify the recipe. :)

Leave a Reply to Tim Woodbury

Trackback URL http://midpackrunner.com/candied-yam-chia-muffin-recipe/trackback/