Friday, January 30, 2015

Skinny Chocolate Chia Muffins

The other day, I had a wild craving for a chocolate muffin. This may sound mundane but in our house it's an anomaly. Cravings are a rare occurrence, as my poor husband can vouch for whenever we try to pick a place to eat and my response is indifference. If the food is reasonably healthy and there is a form of vegetable on the menu, I'm good! Dessert can be a spoonful of peanut butter! 

A craving for a muffin though? Okay tummy, you're weird.

Naturally, a plain old chocolate muffin wouldn't suffice. Having worked at a chain coffee shop serving baked goods, I know muffins are essentially cupcakes in disguise. Don't let the absence of frosting fool you! It's a cupcake waiting to pounce. Run!

That's why a recipe for Skinny Double Chocolate Chip Muffins from Sally's Baking Addiction caught my eye. What makes it skinny? It goes easy on the sugar/oil and substitutes with honey, yogurt, and apple sauce. Sounds like a great way to start the day! All right muffin, you have my attention. 

As I started collecting ingredients, my mind began to wander and I couldn't resist the urge to tamper. The end result was a few changes to up the health properties while maintaining the delicious factor. All the chocolate you love is here! It's food with benefits!

In this version, the all-purpose flour is substituted with oat flour.  Oats are great for digestion and help to keep you full longer. Instead of granulated sugar, I used coconut palm sugar and reduced the amount by 25 grams. Nothing wild, just trying to find the line between sweet and bland. In the same vein, the amount of honey was reduced by half. Honey is great for your but it still is a sweetener. Make sure you use the real stuff too, nothing super processed or else all those benefits are extracted. You know those honey packets found at restaurants and coffee shops? Beware and read labels; those can be sweetened corn syrup to cut costs. Wow, I hope that didn't come off too nutrition conspiracy theorist!

Additionally, these muffins have a dash of omegas with two tablespoons of chia seeds. Honestly, if the texture doesn't bother your senses, you can easily add another tablespoon or sprinkle them on top right before baking. The more, the merrier!

Now in terms of the "double chocolate chip" aspect- the darker, the more health benefits. I am fiend for chocolates that are at least 70% cocoa but the hubby loves semi-sweet. My solution for this was to use half semi-sweet chips for him, and half carob chips for me! Carob chips can be wickedly bitter the first time you try them so fair warning! The advantage is that unlike chocolate, carob is naturally sweet, low in fat, high in fiber, and has calcium.

I said a little prayer and popped them in the oven, expecting flat, dense, hockey pucks.

Amazingly enough, these suckahs are good! They don't taste super healthy and have all the chocolatey goodness you could ask for! I love the soft and moist texture which only gets better if you store them in an air-tight container. I've made these three times now and use it as a bribe with one of the IT guys in the office to hook me up! Thanks Sally's Baking Addiction for a solid recipe!

The hubby likes to eat these with a slathering of peanut butter on top and a crown of bananas slices. It makes for one heck of a breakfast plate. In this post, I tried to go for a more "elegant" angle and use a peanut butter glaze. It's totally optional!

PS. Did you notice our guest kitty in today's post? More to come about Slade, the Daredevil foster kitten! 

Skinny Chocolate Chia Muffins

3/4 cup (133g) unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup (75g) coconut sugar
2 tablespoons (45g) honey
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 large egg (or 2 large egg whites)
3/4 cup (183g) yogurt (Greek or regular)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup (62g) whole wheat flour
1/2 cup (62g) oat flour
1/2 cup (42g) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup (90g) chocolate chips (I used half carob chips, half semi-sweet chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 375; grease 12 muffins tins.

Combine applesauce, coconut sugar, honey, chia seeds, egg, yogurt, and vanilla in a bowl. 

Combine flours, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and chocolate chips. I like to keep a few chips on the side, about a tablespoon, to sprinkle on top of the muffins before right before baking.

Add wet and dry ingredients, being careful not to over-mix. Using a icecream scoop, fill cupcake tins and sprinkle chocolate chips and chia seeds (optional) on top.

Bake for 15-20 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Allow to rest on cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before you pop them out. 

Basic Peanut Butter Glaze (optional)
4 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
1-2 tablespoon milk of your choosing, depending on how thick you like your glaze

Mix together until smooth, drizzle as you see fit!