Tuesday, June 4, 2013

CHOCOLATE CHIP SUPER MUFFINS! Better for you and just better!



















I love muffins. But not just any muffins -- chocolate chip muffins. If I never ate another blueberry muffin I would have no regrets. I love chocolate chip muffins because they are satisfying, not overly sweet and amazingly comforting. 

There is an art to the chocolate chip muffin. 

It needs to have a firm crust on the outside, while remaining soft and warm inside. The worst chocolate chip muffins have sugar on top and are way too sweet. The best are almost like freshly baked bread, only slightly sweet, with little bursts of rich and sweet dark chocolate chips. My idea of heaven on a plate.

My intense love for muffins aside, I think I have made muffins twice in my entire life. The first time was in my demented grade seven home-economics class -- I think they were apple-cinnamon, and from what I can recall, delicious. The second time was this past Sunday. 


Sundays are unofficially my experimental kitchen day. I go for a long walk when I wake up and then camp out in my kitchen, attempting all kinds of bizarre recipes, hoping that at least one will be a success. Force-feeding my amazing husband all of them, good and bad. 

Novice muffin-baking skill aside, I know my muffins. I used to eat chocolate chip muffins every Saturday morning religiously until the end of highschool. I would devour them while watching early morning cartoons and then take a huge nap. 

After eating half the batch of the amazing chocolate chip muffins I made on a whim this Sunday, I decided that I need to take up that old habit!

I`m not suggesting that eating half a batch of muffins is a good idea...not half a batch  of ordinary muffins anyway. But these muffins are no ordinary muffins.



These are SUPER muffins!

What makes these muffins so super? SUPERFOODS!

The base for these muffins is almost exclusively superfoods. Quinoa, amaranth, millet, chia, maca, dates and bananas make these muffins more than a great snack -- they are a force to be reckoned with! Full of protein, essential vitamins and minerals, good fats, energy and strength-boosting ingredients and anti-inflammatory foods -- these muffins are a great choice any day you want to indulge.


These healthy little gems are absolutely delicious. They will make a great healthy treat or weekend breakfast, and would be a perfect and portable pre or post-workout snack. Best of all they`re GLUTEN-FREE and VEGAN too! The base is low in fat and is refined-sugar-free. If you choose to replace the chocolate chips with stevia-sweetened cacao nibs then the recipe will be totally refined-sugar free.

The recipe for these muffins (below) makes 8 cupcake-sized muffins.



Super(food) Muffin Base
Makes 8 cupcake-sized muffins





Part I: WET MIX

  • 1 very large frozen banana
  • 3 tbsp pear sauce (I use unsweetened, you can substitute unsweetened apple sauce)
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 6 small pitted dates (40g) (I use Sayer dates, if you use Medjool use 3 not 6)
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup filtered water
  • 1 tsp brown rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp raw maca powder
  • 2 tbsp soy-free vegenaise

Preheat oven to 360F. Pulse then blend all above ingredients until very smooth in food processor. Stop occasionally to scrape down sides and continue to blend.

Part II: DRY MIX

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup millet flour
  • 1/3 cup amaranth flour
  • Dash coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 cup quinoa flakes

Mix dry ingredients in small bowl. Add to food processor. Pulse a few times to incorporate, stopping to scrape sides.



Part III: CHOCOLATE ACCENT
  • 1/2 cup vegan dark chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life brand)
    *These chocolate chips contain brown sugar. To make this recipe refined-sugar free, substitute equal amounts Sweet Cacao Nibs (stevia-sweetened)*
Add chocolate chips and pulse to distribute evenly.
Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners. Scoop 1-2 tbsp of batter into each muffin cup, making sure to fill the cup 75% full. 


Bake in the preheated oven in the center of the oven until golden and slightly firm to touch, about 20 minutes. 

If greedy, devour immediately while still hot (like I did). If patient, these muffins are also delightful after some time to cool down.