Choc Chip Hot Cross Muffins

Choc Chip Hot Cross Muffins

  • Serves: 12
  • Prep Time: 00:25
  • Cooking Time: 00:20
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These healthy Choc Chip Hot Cross muffins have a lovely soft texture. The dark chocolate chips and cinnamon give a yummy sweet flavour that you will find hard to resist.

Ingredients

* Please click on the green icon next to the ingredients listed below for extra details and helpful information.

  • 3 lge egg(s)
  • 1 med ripe banana(s)
  • 1/4 cup macadamia nut oil, or other mild flavoured oil of choice
  • 2 Tbsp honey (unprocessed)
  • 2 1/4 cups almond meal/flour
  • 1 cup arrowroot flour, or tapioca
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest, or 5 - 6 drops Wild Orange oil (I use Doterra)
  • 4 Medjool date(s), pitted
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 tsp baking powder (gluten free)
  • 1 tsp baking soda (bicarb)
  • 1/4 tsp fine pink Himalayan salt
  • 2/3 cup 70% dark chocolate (organic), chips or finely chopped chocolate block
  • CROSSES:
  • 3 Tbsp arrowroot flour, or tapioca
  • 2 Tbsp almond meal/flour
  • 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 Tbsp filtered water, or enough to make a thick paste

Directions

Preheat oven to 170c (fan-forced). Line a large 12 hole muffin tray with paper liners or use a good quality silicone muffin tray.

Add the eggs, banana, macadamia oil and honey to a food processor. Process for 10 seconds to mash the banana and mix well.

Add the almond meal, arrowroot, zest or orange oil, dates, spices, baking powder, soda and salt to the wet ingredients. Process for 5 seconds, scrape down sides of the bowl, then process for a further 15 - 18 seconds.

Remove the blade and stir in the chocolate chips using a spoon or spatula.

Spoon the mixture evenly between the 12 muffin holes making sure to smooth the tops.

Bake for 15 - 18 minutes or until just starting to brown and tops firm. Remove from the oven and pipe a cross on top of each muffin, then return back in the oven to cook for a further 5 minutes (see notes below for making the crosses). Allow the hot cross muffins to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove and place on a wire rack to finish cooling.

To make the crosses: You need to make a thick paste. Add the arrowroot and almond meal to a cup or small bowl and stir. Add 1 tablespoon of water, mix well, then add the remaining water 1 teaspoon at a time, watch carefully as it can go from a thick paste to a runny mess very quickly. Spoon into a piping bag or use a snack bag and snip a little hole in the corner. Pipe a cross on top of each muffin.

Serve warm or at room temperature, delicious with ghee or organic butter. Suitable to freeze. (I don't usually glaze these as they contain chocolate chips but if you would prefer to glaze them, use the glaze from these Hot Cross Buns).

egg(s)

I have used large free range or organic eggs from a 700g carton in my recipes. Eggs are one of the few foods considered to be a complete protein because they contain all 9 essential amino acids, also studies have shown that lutein (yellow colour) in egg yolks protects against the progress of early heart disease.

banana(s)

In a paleo diet it's best to eat bananas in moderation. They are excellent to use to naturally sweeten a recipe and then you can reduce or eliminate other sweeteners. Bananas are a very good source of vitamin B6, manganese, vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber potassium, copper, so you can see they are healthy but I find it's best just no in large qualities due to their high natural sugars.

macadamia nut oil

Macadamia nut oil is the non-volatile oil expressed from the nut meat of the macadamia tree, a native Australian nut. I avoid heating to very high temperatures but use it extensively for grain free baking at lower temperatures in the oven. Delicious over salads and it's also one of the healthier nuts, as it's higher in Omega 3 oils than other nuts.

honey (unprocessed)

Use unrefined or raw honey. It is the most common natural sweetener in my recipes. It's best to buy local unprocessed honey as it has wonderful health benefits and can help with allergies. Generally honey sold in supermarkets has been processed. Honey possesses antiseptic and antibacterial properties.

almond meal/flour

The most favoured gluten/grain free flour substitute in my kitchen is almond meal. It is finely ground blanched almonds and is also known as almond flour. It has a slightly sweet flavour so you don’t have to add as much sweetener when baking with it. All kinds of nuts can be ground down to make a meal and are excellent for raw cheesecake or pie bases. Nut meals/flours are best stored in airtight containers in the fridge or freezer to prevent them going rancid.

arrowroot flour

Arrowroot is a herb, the roots are cultivated for its starch properties. It is used in my recipes as a thickener and I also like combining it with almond meal to produce a much lighter texture, more like a gluten flour. I find the starch helps to bind the ingredients together. You can substitute tapioca flour, which is made from the dried roots of the cassava plant. Tapioca can be used in baking, it has a slightly sweet flavour. However, I do not recommend thickening with tapioca, as it has a stretchy, gummy texture. Supermarkets only sell in very small containers, which is not cost effective. Purchase from baking specialty stores, health food stores or online. ( When substituting for cornflour in recipes, 2 teaspoons arrowroot = 1 tablespoon cornflour/starch).

orange zest

The orange is a fruit from the citrus family. Orange zest is the finely grated skin from the outside of the orange but doesn't include the white pith which is bitter. The skin contains the orange oil which gives a stronger flavour when added to cooking. Use organic and locally grown if possible, scrub orange skin before using.

Medjool date(s)

I use Medjool dates in my recipes, I like the flavour and softness of these dates. A bonus, there are no preservatives used with these dates. They blend easy when adding to recipes and give a slight caramel flavour.

Medjool dates are an excellent source of dietary fiber, rich in potassium, copper, manganese, magnesium and vitamin B6.

cinnamon

I am sure you will notice as you read my recipes that cinnamon appears quite frequently. It lends itself to savoury and sweet dishes. I have used ground cinnamon in my recipes if not stated otherwise. The best cinnamon to use is Ceylon (Verum). It has huge health benefits in regulating blood sugar levels. Cinnamon has antifungal properties and candida (yeast overgrowth) cannot live in a cinnamon environment. Added to food it inhibits bacterial growth, making it a natural food preservative and these are just a few of the benefits.

mixed spice

Mixed spice is a blend of sweet spices. Cinnamon is the dominant flavour, with nutmeg and allspice, some brands may also contain cardamom. It is called pumpkin spice in the USA. It is often used in the baking of sweet foods and fruits.

baking powder (gluten free)

Baking Powder is a rising agent for baked goods. If substituting for baking soda you will need 4 times the quantity. Ensure you purchase a gluten free, no aluminum brand. Alternatively, you can make your own baking powder; 1 teaspoon of baking powder is equal to 1⁄4 teaspoon of baking soda and 1⁄2 teaspoon of cream of tartar. Note, that they should only be combined when preparing your recipe.

baking soda (bicarb)

Also known as Bicarbonate of Soda or Sodium Bicarbonate and is used as a rising agent in baking, it contains no gluten or grains. I use Bob's Red Mill baking soda as I find it rises better than other brands I've tried.

pink Himalayan salt

Raw pink Himalayan salt crystals is unlike common table salt which can be a highly refined industrial byproduct, otherwise know as sodium chloride. Himalayan salt is completely pure and may naturally balance the body's alkaline/acidity and regulate water content. In addition Himalayan salt helps in the absorption of nutrients from food and contains many trace minerals for healthy cell structure. I purchase fine pink Himalayan crystal salt so I can use it in my shaker and for cooking.

dark chocolate (organic)

In some of my recipes I have used Paleo approved dark chocolate chips, they are dairy, soy, and gluten-free (the brands I like are 'Absolute Organics' 70% chips or ‘Enjoy Life’ (48%), purchased online or at health food stores). I also used 70 - 85% organic dark chocolate blocks broken into pieces or I make my own chocolate from: coconut oil or cacao butter, raw cacao powder and sweetened with 100% maple syrup, pinch of sea salt and vanilla extract.

arrowroot flour

Arrowroot is a herb, the roots are cultivated for its starch properties. It is used in my recipes as a thickener and I also like combining it with almond meal to produce a much lighter texture, more like a gluten flour. I find the starch helps to bind the ingredients together. You can substitute tapioca flour, which is made from the dried roots of the cassava plant. Tapioca can be used in baking, it has a slightly sweet flavour. However, I do not recommend thickening with tapioca, as it has a stretchy, gummy texture. Supermarkets only sell in very small containers, which is not cost effective. Purchase from baking specialty stores, health food stores or online. ( When substituting for cornflour in recipes, 2 teaspoons arrowroot = 1 tablespoon cornflour/starch).

almond meal/flour

The most favoured gluten/grain free flour substitute in my kitchen is almond meal. It is finely ground blanched almonds and is also known as almond flour. It has a slightly sweet flavour so you don’t have to add as much sweetener when baking with it. All kinds of nuts can be ground down to make a meal and are excellent for raw cheesecake or pie bases. Nut meals/flours are best stored in airtight containers in the fridge or freezer to prevent them going rancid.

filtered water

I feel it's much better for our health if we filter our water. Our tap water contains disinfectants, chlorine and chloramine. Also floride is add which I believe is toxin to our bodies.

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