Dairy Free (and oh so delicious!) Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Dairy Free (and oh so delicious!) Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

It's our first installment of our series "Fun Recipe Friday".  I can't emphasize enough how important it is to cook from scratch for your children.  Only in our modern society has food been so conventionalized, where you simply peel away a cover or open a box and it's ready to go.  Food is overprocessed, lacking true flavor and nutrients.  When you cook from scratch, you are making more wholesome, nutritional foods.  You can control what goes in and make changes as necessary.

I first came across this recipe for Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins on my bag of Vitaspelt Flour.  So, the recipe was geared to be gluten free and was pretty healthy.  But it still called for butter and eggs.  My daughter has dairy intolerance.  I also commonly sub other ingredients for eggs to add more vitamins or natural sweeteners.  So, with some tweeking, I came up with a pretty great recipe.

Some of the ingredient highlights include:

Coconut Oil and Coconut Yogurt:  a recent article in the Huffington Post outlined the benefits of this oil, which included:

Nearly 50 percent of the fat in coconut oil is of a type rarely found in nature called lauric acid, a "miracle" compound because of its unique health promoting properties. Your body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, which has anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-protozoa properties. (6)
Coconut oil is also nature's richest source of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs), also called medium-chaintriglycerides or MCTs. By contrast, most common vegetable or seed oils are comprised of long chain fatty acids (LCFAs), also known as long-chain triglycerides or LCTs.
Flax Seed:  recent studies have shown that the benefits of this seed may help prevent heart disease, cancer, strokes, and diabetes.  It's main components are:
 
  • Omega-3 essential fatty acids, "good" fats that have been shown to have heart-healthy effects. Each tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains about 1.8 grams of plant omega-3s.
  • Lignans, which have both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities. Flaxseed contains 75-800 times more lignans than other plant foods.
  • Fiber. Flaxseed contains both the soluble and insoluble types.

Maple Syrup:  this great natural sweetener has "over 54 antioxidants and is rich in manganese and zinc".

 
Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

1/2 cup coconut oil (melted)                                                 1 tsp. cinnamon
2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry or spelt flour                      1/8 tsp. sea salt
1/3 cup maple syrup                                                            2 tbl. ground flaxseed
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce                                       1/3 cup quick cook oats or steel cut oats
14 cup plain coconut yogurt (or plain dairy yogurt)          3 ripe bananas
1 tsp. baking soda                                                              1/3 cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
1 tsp. vanilla

  1. Preheat over to 375 degrees.  Lightly oil a 12 slot muffin pan.
  2. In a mixer, blend coconut oil, maple syrup.  Add applesauce, yogurt, cinnamon, and vanilla.  Mash bananas a little before adding to the mixer and blend.  Mix until well-blended.  The mixture will be a little lumpy.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, ground flaxseed, and oats.  Slowly add this mixture to the mixer while on low speed.  Once blended, slowly add chocolate chips until just blended.
  4. Fill muffins cups all the way with the batter.  Cook for 20-22 minutes.  Remove from oven when the tops of muffins are still slightly soft to the touch.  Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove.  
I give these to my kids as a delicious side in the morning or as a healthy after school snack.  They are packed with calcium, vitamin C, fiber, omega-3's, and medium chain fatty acids.  I've also done these and subbed blueberries for the chocolate chips.  Your kids will love you!

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