You are going to love these chocolate muffins with their moist mud cake texture. The addition of fresh avocados, not only helps with the texture, but gives your body lots of healthy heart fats and keeps you satisfied for longer, preventing cravings. I've topped them with macadamia nuts and raw cacao nibs. The perfect healthy treat, that's so easy to make!
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Preheat oven to 170c and line a 12 whole muffin tin with paper liners (I like to use 'If You Care' large baking cups, they're unbleached and they don't leave any muffin behind).
Add to a food processor, avocado flesh (use fresh avocados with no brown spots, older ones can be bitter), eggs, vanilla and apple cider vinegar. Process until you have a light and fluffy green mixture, approximately 8 - 10 seconds.
Add coconut cream and honey, process a few seconds to mix through. Scrape down sides of bowl with a spatula.
Add almond meal, cacao powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Process for 5 seconds or until well combined but don't over blend.
Divide mixture evenly between the prepared 12 whole muffin tin. Sprinkle macadamias and cacao nibs on top of each muffin.
Place muffin tin into oven and cook for approximately 35 minutes or until the muffins become firm to the touch. Allow to cool.
Serve at room temperature. (They freeze well, so keep some for later.)
It is often mistaken for a vegetable, the avocado is a fruit. It has a rich buttery flavour and smooth texture. Avocados are a good source of healthy fats, vitamin C, E and B6, potassium and dietary fibre, also useful amounts of iron magnesium and folate.
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.
Use an organic vanilla extract (not an essence) or vanilla powder. Vanilla makes a big difference to the flavour of a recipe, I recommend keeping to the quantities I have stated in a recipe. I prefer Madagascar pure vanilla extract manufactured by ‘Simply Organic’ and for powder, Vanillamax 100% pure, finely ground Madagascar vanilla beans produced by Bulletproof.
Apple Cider Vinegar is used extensively throughout my recipes due to its health benefits. When purchasing, look for raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar ‘with the mother’ it has a cloudy appearance. Avoid malt vinegars as they are made from barley and contain gluten.
I use this extensively throughout my recipes; from soups to dinners to desserts and cakes. I think it is the best dairy-free alternative. It gives so much flavour and creaminess to a wide variety of dishes. When purchasing in the can read your labels, even some organic brands contain gums and thickeners, choose full-fat not low-fat versions. I use Honest To Goodness organic cream 400ml and Ayam which isn't organic but has no additives or thickeners and is much creamier and thicker than other brands (that's why I love it), it comes in 400ml, 270ml and 140ml size cans.
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.
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. Almond meal/flour is rich in manganese which helps the body heal after injuries and also helps the body break down carbohydrates. Almond flour is also rich in magnesium, which can help control your blood sugar levels. It's rich in vitamin E and other antioxidants, which may help reduce the risk of serious health conditions like cancer, diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Almonds are also a good source of calcium.
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.
Raw cacao powder and cocoa are made from the same source but are so different. Cacao powder is raw, unsweetened and in it's natural state, it has a stronger flavour and you would use less than cocoa powder. It is so good for you; high in dietary fibre, iron and is a good source of magnesium and antioxidants. Cocoa has been heated and processed, the high heat when processing kills all the minerals and vitamins.
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.
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.
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.
Macadamia nuts are tree nuts that have a subtle, butter-like flavour and creamy texture. The Macadamia tree is indigenous to Australia. Macadamias are full of heart-healthy fats, they have more omega 3 fats than any other nut. They are also rich in vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants. There is no need to soak macadamias like many other nuts and they make a very creamy delicious dairy-free milk.
Organic cacao nibs are simply raw, crushed cacao beans with no added sweeteners or preservatives. Use them in place of dark chocolate chips, they are bitter but just a few goes a long way. Cacao nibs are a nutrient dense plant based whole food, containing very high amounts of antioxidants known to help fight free radicals and may assist in reducing inflammation, they are also high in, iron, magnesium and fibre.