As far as I can tell, the gourmet cupcake craze is still in full swing. What then can a clean eating enthusiast substitute for a cupcake? Yep, you guessed it…muffins! And trust me, the recipe for chocolate chip muffins below can totally hold its own in the cupcake wars. Once you add the chocolate walnut spread, the war is won (wink).
The muffins are super easy to make too. So easy that my son can do it practically all by himself!
What is the difference between Chocolate Chip Cupcakes and Chocolate Chip Muffins?
Oh there’s a big difference, people! I decided to Google Chocolate Chip Cupcake and the first recipe that popped up had the following ingredients (minus the baking powder, pure vanilla extract and salt):
- Cake flour
- Egg whites
- Semisweet chocolate chips
Compare the above standard chocolate chip cupcake ingredients with the ingredients I use for the chocolate chip muffins (minus the baking powder, pure vanilla extract and salt):
- Biodynamic Whole Wheat Flour: Unlike the refined flour used in most cupcake recipes, whole wheat flour is not an empty calorie since it retains all of the antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and fiber found within the whole grain. Organic whole wheat flour is a better choice than conventional whole wheat flour, but the biodynamic flour (we like Isis brand) used in the chocolate chip muffins is better yet! Biodynamic farming takes organic to a whole new level. Biodynamic whole wheat flour is even easier to digest, especially for those with gluten sensitivity issues. Click HERE to learn more about the benefits of biodynamic farming.
- Raw Cacao Powder: A known superfood, raw cacao powder contains a hefty dose of two nutrients most people need more of: magnesium and iron. Plus, cacao powder is rich in phytonutrients, fiber and antioxidants.
- Maple Syrup: Believe it or not, succulent sweet maple syrup is actually not an empty calorie sweetener. Derived from the maple tree, real and unrefined maple syrup has phytonutrients and disease-fighting antioxidants, including polyphenols.
- Bananas: Thanks to their high percentage of a special “miracle fiber”, bananas are an excellent food for weight management (if you have our Clean Cuisine book be sure to read about the amazing benefits of the “miracle fiber” in bananas on pages 59-62.) Bananas are also a delicious source of prebiotics, potassium, fiber, vitamin C and vitamin B6. Packing a powerfully sweet nutritional punch, bananas not only sweeten the chocolate chip muffins, they also contribute a lovely moist texture.
- Coconut Milk: Easy to digest and a far cleaner and more nutritious choice than cow’s milk, coconut milk is one of my favorite ways to duplicate the creamy richness derived from dairy cream.
- Chia Seeds: A super easy food for any health-conscious baker to love, chia seeds not only contribute an omega-3 and fiber boost to the chocolate chip muffins, they also improve their texture.
- Pastured Eggs: There is a BIG difference between conventional eggs used in your typical cupcake recipe and the pastured eggs I use in the chocolate chip muffins. Be sure to read the health benefits of eating eggs raised on pasture HERE.
- Cacao Nibs: Since every other component of the recipe for the chocolate chip muffins is healthy, you can go ahead and use regular chocolate chips if you want (I recommend dairy-free dark chocolate chips from Enjoy Life), but cacao nibs are the superfood choice as they have the same impressive nutrition and antioxidant profile of cacao powder.
Ok, on with the recipe!Print
Chocolate Chip Muffins with Chocolate-Walnut Spread
- 1 cup plus 1/2 cup unrefined pure maple syrup (divided)
- 1/2 cup raw walnut butter
- 1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup raw cacao powder (divided)
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (divided)
- 3/4 teaspoon plus one pinch of unrefined sea salt (divided)
- 1 1/2 cups biodynamic whole wheat flour (such as Isis brand) or 1-for-1 gluten free flour
- 1/4 cup chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 banana (mashed)
- 1/2 cup water
- 3/4 cup coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 3 pastured egg whites
- 1 cup dairy-free dark chocolate chips (such as Enjoy Life brand or raw cacao nibs)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 10 muffin cups with paper liners.
- Combine 1/2 cup of the maple syrup, walnut butter, 1/2 cup of the cacao powder, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract and pinch of sea salt in a mixing bowl and whisk until ingredients are super smooth. Set chocolate-walnut spread aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, remaining 1/3 cup cacao powder, chia seeds, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon sea salt.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the remaining 1 cup of maple syrup, banana, water, coconut milk, lemon juice and remaining 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract. Fold the wet ingredients in with the dry.
- Beat egg whites to stiff peaks. Carefully fold the egg whites into the batter. Fold in the cacao nibs (or chocolate chips.) Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes clean. Set on a wire rack to cool. Serve with chocolate-walnut spread.
Chocolate-Walnut Spread can be made up to 4 days in advance and stored in a covered container in the fridge. Chocolate Chip Muffins can be stored in a zip-top bag in the freezer for up to 3 weeks.
P.S. If you make the chocolate chip muffins on a Sunday you’ll have a grab and go breakfast all week!