Waking up to an obnoxious alarm becomes slightly more bearable with dangerously fudgy muffins waiting in the kitchen. Dark chocolate, ripe banana, and pecans meld together perfectly to create rich, surprisingly healthy muffins that are perfect for a lazy weekend breakfast or take-along snack. Dana Shultz, author of Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking, believes this chocolate lover’s dream gluten-free recipe couldn’t be any more perfect in terms of flavor combination. (Truth.) They’re so soft and chewy, this may quickly become your go-to muffin method.
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon organic brown sugar, packed
¼ cup maple syrup or agave nectar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ cup melted coconut oil or melted vegan butter
1 cup gluten-free flour blend (If you aren’t gluten-free, whole-wheat pastry flour or unbleached all-purpose flour will work)
½ cup almond meal
½ cup gluten-free rolled oats
⅓ cup vegan dark chocolate (70 percent cacao or higher is best) roughly chopped, plus more for topping
⅓ cup raw pecans (or substitute walnuts)
1 tablespoon coconut sugar or organic cane sugar for topping (optional)
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease standard-size muffin tin.
Combine the flaxseed meal and water in large mixing bowl and stir to create the flax eggs. Let set for 5 minutes.
Add banana and baking soda and mash, leaving just a bit of texture.
Add brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, and salt. Whisk for one minute.
Add vanilla and oil and whisk again.
Add flour, almond meal, and oats. Stir with wooden spoon until just combined. Fold in dark chocolate.
Divide batter evenly among 10 to 11 muffin molds, filling practically full. Top with pecans (or walnuts) and a few sprinkles of extra chopped dark chocolate, as well as a little coconut sugar or cane sugar for a crusty top if you like.
Bake for 17 to 22 minutes or until tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes in muffin tin, then gently remove and let cool completely on cooling rack.
Once completely cooled, store in covered container at room temperature for several days. Freeze for longer term storage.
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