So, I’m really excited about these muffins. (!!!) Remember when I gave up sugar for a week? And then tried to switch over to only natural sweeteners?
Well, I’m finally back on track with these muffins. There’s no sugar in these—-not even a liquid natural sweeteners. No honey, agave, brown rice syrup, or maple syrup. The best part? The first bite made me want to dance around my kitchen. They are AMAZING.
These luscious little healthy chocolate muffins are sweetened solely with dates. DATES!
Speaking of dates, I need to go on one. Erik is finally done with his wretchedly difficult first year of grad school and it sounds like he killed his qualifying exams (fingerscrossed!). So we meant to celebrate with a nice dinner last Saturday. Um, instead we spent a lot of the day on the floor of my air-conditioned bedroom trying to work up the will to brave the hot air of the pool, then hauled out our rusty bikes and worked up ridiculous sweats biking approximately a mile to get fro yo as a pre-dinner snack…and then passed the new taco place in Rice Village…and caved to the siren call of shrimp tacos.
Which were delicious, but this man deserves steak. And I am a vegetarian. I don’t advocate meat. But I am willing to support the consumption of steak here—that’s how hard he’s worked. I welcome any other ideas of how to spoil the guy if you have any suggestions!
Now that I’ve distracted you with talk of steak, let’s muffin talk. You know those giant double chocolate muffins at Costco? These are better. My favorite combo of whole wheat flour and oat flour makes these irresistibly plush. You can puree your date paste for a smoother texture, but I left mine rustically chunky, which meant my muffins were threaded with warm, sugary chunks of dates. Heaven.
(I’ve really been feeling the mini muffins lately, though this is equally good in loaf form.)
Moist, not too sweet, and studded with melty chocolate chips, these muffins feel like the definition of decadence. They’re so easy. Just one extra step past a typical muffin recipe–making the date paste–is so worth the end result. Once you make your first date paste, you’ll be asking yourself where it’s been all your life (Erik thought it looked disgusting, but did agree that it’s delicious!) Get yo’self some healthy muffins. Right now!
Vegan double chocolate muffins are moist and tender from a combination of whole grain flours and healthy fats. Sweetened only with date paste, they're rich but not too sweet.
- 1.5 cups dates, chopped and pitted
- 1 cup water
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ cup whole wheat flour
- ½ cup oat flour
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch-process)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup almond milk
- 2 large, very ripe bananas, mashed
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1.5 tablespoons peanut butter (or other nut butter)
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips (optional <--this adds sugar.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a mini muffin tin or standard loaf pan with nonstick spray.
Place the dates and water in a small saucepan, uncovered, over high heat. As soon as the mixture comes to a boil, add the baking soda. Mixture will foam up; reduce the heat to medium or medium high if mixture starts to foam over. After a minute or two, the dates should begin to break down. Use a wooden spoon to stir/mash up the dates a little. Let simmer for another five minutes or so until the dates break down into a paste-like mixture. Add an additional splash of water if the mixture starts to look dry before the dates have completely broken down. Once dates are a stir-able mass, set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, combine the flours, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the date paste, vanilla, milk, bananas, oil and peanut butter and stir until well combined. Do not overmix. Fold in chocolate chips.
Place about a heaping tablespoon of batter into each mini muffin well or pour batter in prepared loaf pan. Bake for 12-13 minutes for mini muffins or about 40-45 minutes for a loaf. Muffins are done when the tops feel firm to the touch.
Adapted from The Muffin Myth.