Hands up who loves chocolate chip muffins? But how can these be healthy? By using a few crafty substitutes to conventional recipes, you can rustle up these sugar-free & almost fat-free muffins within an hour (If you want these completely fat-free, just add an extra banana for more moisture). A case of having your cake & eating it!
These muffins have widespread appeal as they are so tasty, you wouldn’t even know that they are healthy; a great way of encouraging children & the less health-conscious to eat more healthily! The recipe as it stands is suited for vegetarians & coeliacs, but can easily be adapted for vegans too (details below).
They are highly portable, making them great for breakfast-on-the-go, lunchbox snacks, picnics & as pre-work out energy boosts. They also make super healthy (& cute) alternatives at afternoon tea.
So what are the substitutes? The sweetness is provided by ripe bananas & dried dates & apple-sauce replaces fat ( which also adds moisture). By using a Pulsin’s sugar-free chocolate drops, the sugar-free status is maintained. These chocolate drops are 72% cocoa, vegan, gluten-free & dairy-free too! They taste like dark chocolate but are not as bitter as cacao nibs, making it more palatable for children.
An optional topping for these muffins, (which I love), are Pulsin’s vegetarian whey protein crispies..they look a little like snow in snowglobes! They are reminiscent of crunchy sugar granules sometimes found on the top of cakes, but these are healthy & not sweet. They are gluten-free, sugar-free, low fat & make a terrific protein-boosting crunchy topping, adding a lovely textural dimension to these muffins. Vegans can opt for puffed rice, toasted almonds or sunflower seeds instead.
These mini muffins are now a firm family favourite; they are moist, with a satisfying bite from the sunflower seeds, walnuts & whey protein crispies & packed with banana, fibre, ground flaxseed, with creamy-richness coming from the cocoa in the chocolate drops. These are much tastier & sustaining than conventional sugar-laden muffins.
The muffins can be made gluten-free by using gluten-free flour & whilst I have used eggs, flax or chia eggs also work (use a tablespoon of ground chia seeds or ground flaxseed soaked in 1/4 cup of water for 10 mins per egg).
Tip: The riper the bananas the better! This is a great way of using up those bananas in the fruit bowl that have turned scarily spotty & or even uniform brown.
Preparation time: 20-25 mins
Baking time: 25 mins
Makes 24-26 mini muffins
4-5 large ripe bananas (the riper the better)
65g (1/4 cup) of sugar-free apple sauce
180g (1.5 cups) wholemeal self-raising flour or gluten-free flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup or 80g ground flaxseed
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
140g (1 cup) of chopped dates (prunes and figs work well too!)
60g (1/2 cup) chopped walnuts (pecans work well too)
35g (1/4 cup) sunflower seeds
60g (3/8 cup) Pulsin’ sugarfree chocolate drops
Preheat the oven to 170ºC. Lightly grease 2 X 12 hole mini-muffin tins with spray coconut oil. (I have silicone non-stick ones).
Gradually mix the flour mix in with the banana mix.
Fold in chopped dates, chopped nuts, sunflower seeds & sugarfree chocolate drops.
(See how cute they look already!)
Bake in the preheated oven for 25 mins, or until a skewer inserted into the muffin comes out clean. Allow to cool in the silicone tray for about 10 mins before removing & allow to cool on a wire rack.
Don’t forget you can find my favourite recipes in my FREE eBook here.
Pecans, almonds, macadamia nuts, brazils, sunflower & pumpkin seeds also work well instead of the walnuts
Find my favourite recipes in my FREE eBook here.