They say, “Chocolate is always a good idea”. And although I do love chocolate, I don’t think it is! But it sure can be, with these delicious and healthy chocolate muffins.
Bake them for yourself, surprise your loved one with these delicious heart-shaped chocolate muffins for breakfast, or give them to work as a romantic treat!
Read on to find out how I combined the great idea of chocolate with many health benefits:
For the base, I used my standard healthy muffin ingredients oats, almond flour, butter, eggs, stevia extract, baking soda, cream of tartar, just a little bit of coconut sugar, and vanilla extract. You can read more about those ingredients in my pumpkin muffin recipe. The extra ingredients I added here are (almond) milk, cacao powder, red beets, dried sweet cherries, and if you like some dark chocolate chunks.
- Whether you choose almond, oat, rice, or regular milk here doesn’t really matter. You could probably even use water. When you choose regular milk, make sure you buy organic, pastured, and whole milk to gain the most nutrients and the least additives. If you choose a plant-based milk, make sure it has no additives such as sugar or sun flower oil (too much omega 6), or worse, ingredients you can’t even pronounce!
- Cacao powder gives the great chocolate flavor that we all love that much, the flavor is even more intense than when you would use chocolate! Cacao has high antioxidant activity (more than cocoa, which is more processed) and many nutrients such as magnesium and copper, which stabilize blood pressure. It’s also a good source of iron, zinc, manganese, and calcium.
- In Chinese dietetics, beets belong to the fire element, the element of the heart! And while I love to use vegetables in my baking, there are few heathier choices than (red) beets. Boron and calcium work together to strengthen the bones, and the nitrate can enhance physical performance. If you can’t wait to taste the chocolate muffins right after you baked them, you might slightly taste the beets, but once they have cooled down, you won’t taste them anymore!
- Dried sweet cherries were added because they complement the chocolate taste so well, and they lift the chocolate muffins to the next level! Cherries are also very nutritious: they are full of antioxidants and can calm inflammation. And luckily, they retain a large amount of the antioxidants when dried. Always choose organic, as you don’t want to eat the many pesticides that are used for conventional cherries.
- If you want to make these chocolate muffins extra chocolaty, you can use chopped dark chocolate (75% cacao or more). Chocolate this dark has a low glycemic index and won’t cause huge spikes in your blood sugar levels.
For valentine’s day or another romantic occasion, the muffins should look accordingly. Because I didn’t want to use frosting for breakfast or to-go muffins, I decided to use coconut flakes which I rubbed over a slice of beet. Super easy, pretty, and the coconut goes well with the chocolate! You will not taste the beets at all.
- 1 cup oats
- ½ cup almond flour
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 eggs
- 1-2 red beets
- 3 tbsp coconut sugar
- ½ tsp stevia extract
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 tsp cream of tartar
- 4-6 tbsp cacao powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup dried sweet cherries
- ¼ cup almond milk
- ½ cup chopped dark chocolate optional
- 2 tbsp coconut flakes optional
Wash the beet(s).
If you want to make the pink coconut flakes, slice one or two pieces from a beet and rub onto the coconut flakes until they turn pink. Set the coconut flakes aside.
Steam the beets in 20-25 minutes. You can also cook or roast them, or buy them precooked.
Let the beets cool down for a little bit and peel them.
Preheat the oven at 350 ℉.
Line a muffin pan with parchment paper, muffin liners, or grease with coconut oil or butter.
Combine all ingredients except for the dark chocolate and coconut flakes in the food processor and process on high until it has a rough batter consistency.
Add dark chocolate chunks and pulse a few times.
Scoop batter into muffin pan, just below the edge (if you want to create heart-shaped muffins, use 1 or 3 marbles or self-made parchment paper balls between the muffin pan and the muffin liners).
Put the muffin pan into the oven and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 5 minutes before you remove them from the muffin pan. Put the muffins on a wire rack to let them cool off completely.
Sprinkle with the pink coconut flakes.