Tag Archives: chocolate chips

Double Chocolate Banana Quinoa Muffins.

Gluten-free | Dairy-free | Soy-free | Nut-free

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Look who joined us a week and a half ago!

BabyIsaac-15He’s just perfection. His big sisters are always asking to touch and kiss and look at him; I’ve never seen them so excited about washing their hands!

We’re in the midst of the sleep-deprived, nursing-round-the-clock newborn stage, and I don’t know how it is that I always forget with each kid just how ravenous I get when I’m nursing. Here’s what’s been getting me through the day (and night):

These banana muffins, made with gluten-free brown rice flour blend

These peanut butter balls – the oats and flaxseed are fantastic for milk supply!

My mom’s zucchini bread, in muffin form (recipe coming as soon as I get the gluten-free flours worked out!)

And of course, these new muffins. They’re inspired by this cake, which is quinoa-based and naturally gluten-free, and which we had for both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day this year because we loved it so much. Quinoa is rich in protein, fiber, and iron, making it awesome for perpetually starving nursing moms, so I wanted to see if I could find a recipe that put the chocolate quinoa cake deliciousness into slightly-healthier muffin form. This one adds bananas for more vitamins and minerals, and removes the dairy! Wins all around! I decided to employ the cake recipe’s method of blending the quinoa until smooth in order to give the muffins that same delicious texture.

This recipe makes 1 dozen. Let’s just say I wish I’d doubled it right off the bat; they became such a fast family favorite, I don’t think there’ll be any left for me to snack on at 3am tonight!

Double Chocolate Banana Quinoa Muffins

Adapted from here

  • 1/2 cup gluten-free flour blend of choice (I used King Arthur Measure for Measure–or use all-purpose flour if you don’t need gluten-free)
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup cooked and cooled quinoa
  • 2 large bananas
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and spray the wells of a muffin tin with soy-free cooking spray.
  2. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk in white and brown sugars.
  3. Place quinoa, bananas, eggs, and vanilla in a blender and blend until smooth.
  4. Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until well combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Use a 1/4 cup triggered ice cream scoop to scoop batter into the prepared muffin tin.
  6. Bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.
  7. Allow to cool several minutes, then remove from the muffin tin to finish cooling.
  8. Enjoy!

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My most favorite cookie: Classic Oatmeal Chocolate Chip.

Gluten-free option | Dairy-free option | Soy-free | Nut-free

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Oh, Classic Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways:

I love you before you ever get into the oven. I love you straight out of the oven. I love you 3 days later–though you rarely last that long.

I have loved you dairy-free.

I have loved you with a bit of flaxseed added to the dough when my milk supply was suffering.

I loved you in Switzerland with chopped-up Swiss chocolate bars when we were desperately homesick for something that tasted familiar.

And now, I love you gluten-free.

Suffice it to say, friends, these cookies are favorites around here. And I have made them SO many different ways during SO many different phases of our lives, and they’re always delicious. One of the many things I love about the recipe is how easy and straightforward  it is–almost everything is whole cups or teaspoons, so it dirties fewer utensils and I now have the recipe memorized–so I don’t want to make it too unnecessarily complex with lots of different measurements. I’ve been trying to think of how to best post this recipe with all of the variations we’ve done to accommodate various changes in diet over the years, and I hope that this is the best solution. Bear with me!

Classic Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Original recipe here

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 3/4 cups old-fashioned oats (if you live in a humid climate, like I do, where cookies are prone to spreading, I’ve found that 2 cups old-fashioned plus 3/4 cup quick oats help the cookies maintain their shape and thickness best)
  • 2 cups chocolate chips (we use half milk, half semisweet)

Nursing variation (has helped me and several friends boost breastmilk supply):
Substitute up to 1/4 cup flaxseed meal for up to 1/4 cup of the oats (quick oats, if using).

Dairy-free variation:
Substitute Earth Balance soy-free buttery stick for butter. Decrease salt by 1/4 tsp. Substitute 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cup Enjoy Life semisweet mini chips for the chocolate chips.

Whole-grain variations:
Substitute whole-wheat pastry flour for all of the all-purpose flour, or use 1 cup white whole-wheat flour and 1 cup all-purpose flour.

Gluten-free variation:
For the flour, substitute 2 1/4 cups (note the extra 1/4 cup) gluten-free baking blend and ensure that all remaining ingredients are gluten-free. Because we’re always trying to get more fiber into this new gluten-free diet, we use 1 1/2 cups Cup 4 Cup brand all-purpose flour (the blue bag) plus 3/4 cup Cup 4 Cup brand Wholesome Flour (the green bag) because it contains brown rice flour and flaxseed for more fiber.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line baking sheets with parchment.
  2. In your stand mixer, cream together butter and sugars. Beat in eggs and vanilla until light and fluffy.
  3. Mix in salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
  4. Add all remaining ingredients and mix until just combined.
  5. Spoon 2-Tbsp-sized balls of dough (I use a dough scoop) onto cookie sheet and bake 10 minutes or until golden around the edges and set in the middle. Cool on the cookie sheet a few minutes before transferring to cooling rack. Makes about 3 dozen.

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Hard-boiled egg chocolate chip cookies.

Soy-free | Nut-free

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We have reason to celebrate! My almost-18-month-old has finally outgrown her MSPI (milk- and soy-protein intolerance)! So for the first time in ages, I wrote the word “butter” on the grocery list.

I don’t know how I found this recipe for hard-boiled egg chocolate chip cookies, but it simultaneously weirded me out and intrigued me, so I saved it for a time when, hypothetically, I might possibly have a dozen or so different-colored hard-boiled eggs sitting in my fridge that no one in my family will eat.

So one rainy afternoon earlier this week, we tried it. My 1st-grade mini scientist was excited at the prospect of an experiment. My preschooler and toddler just like eating cookie dough. My husband? Well, I didn’t tell him a thing.

We were all blown away! Aside from the fact that these taste amazing, one of the (other) best things about these is that the dough is safe for eating! And it’s the only butter-containing chocolate-chip cookie recipe I’ve ever tried that doesn’t spread in the oven here in Florida. I made them again this afternoon, but with only yolks, for an even better texture and mouthfeel, especially on Day 2 (yes, sometimes they do last that long!). I think these are going to be a new post-Easter tradition!

Hard-boiled Egg (Yolk) Chocolate-chip Cookies

Adapted from here

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 hard-boiled egg yolks, finely chopped (or use 2 whole peeled hard-boiled eggs)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
  2. In your stand mixer, cream together butter and brown sugar 2 minutes or until light and fluffy.
  3. Add vanilla and eggs; beat until well mixed. (You may see pieces of yolk in the dough; this is fine.)
  4. Add salt, soda, and flour; mix until just combined. The dough will be a little drier than other dough recipes. Stir in chocolate chips.
  5. Spoon onto prepared cookie sheets using a 2 Tbsp. dough scoop or other large spoon.
  6. Bake 9-10 minutes or until edges are just beginning to turn golden. If in doubt, under-bake. (Remember the eggs are already pre-cooked!)
  7. Let cool a few minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a wire rack.

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Double-chocolate avocado whole-wheat muffins.

That’s quite a mouthful of a title, isn’t it? Let’s give them a tastier (i.e. not healthy-sounding) nickname: Happy Chocolate Muffins. Or something.

muffinsWho else has a picky eater in their house? My 15-month-old is ours. She won’t drink milk, so we’re still nursing (even at night – woo-hoo!), & though she’s consistently at around the 90th percentile for height, over the past 6 months we’ve seen her weight drop from 50th… to 30th… to 14th. One month we learned she lost a pound. Yikes! So under doctor’s orders I’ve been trying to find creative ways to incorporate the healthy fats she’s not getting from whole milk or the many foods she won’t eat into foods she will eat. I plan to post some of the tips & tricks I’ve been learning in the near future, but in the meantime, here’s my latest discovery:

Using avocado instead of butter or oil in baked goods.

Huge revelation!

Avocados are amazing. According to WebMD, “Avocados are a good source of fiber, potassium, and vitamins C,K, folate, and B6. Half an avocado has 160 calories, 15 grams of heart-healthy unsaturated fat, and only 2 grams saturated fat. One globe contains more than one-third daily value of vitamin C, and more than half the day’s requirements of vitamin K.”

So after one particularly scary weight check at the doctor’s office, I bought an avocado on sale & then asked my friends on Facebook for ways to sneak it into a picky toddler’s diet. I got tons of great ideas! Smoothies, mashed with bananas (that worked, like, once), & baked into stuff. One friend sent me the recipe below.

On the first try, these were tasty… if a little dense. The original recipe called for using all whole-wheat flour. The girls didn’t seem to mind, but, my husband said it tasted like a “chocolate bran muffin.” I remade them last night with half whole-wheat, half all-purpose, & they were an even bigger hit! If you’re concerned that your kids (or your husband!) will suspect & thus not eat the “healthy” muffins, start with the proportions below; then, if you want to make it healthier, gradually increase the proportion of whole-wheat. And don’t say anything about the avocado; you can’t taste it, & it’ll just give them a reason to turn up their noses at these. There’s no point if they won’t eat them, right? I also added flaxseed for more healthy fats, omega-3s, lignans, & fiber.

The original recipe was for mini-muffins, but since I don’t have a mini-muffin tin (what?!), mine are regular-sized. Mini-muffins are a perfect size to put in your little one’s lunchbox when school starts next month.

  • 2 Tbsp. flaxseed meal (pour into 1-cup measuring cup before adding the flour & then fill the rest with the flour)
  • 1 1/3 cup (minus 2 Tbsp.) all-purpose flour*
  • 1 1/3 cup whole-wheat flour*
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 large, ripe Hass avocado
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (if making mini-muffins, use mini chocolate chips)

* The original recipe calls for all whole-wheat flour, but my family is more likely to eat them this way.

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Spray wells of muffin tin generously with cooking spray. (I tried using papers, but they stuck like crazy. So don’t be like me.)
  2. Sift together dry ingredients.
  3. Beat the avocado & sugar together around 3 minutes, or until smooth. Isn’t that beautiful?avocado
  4. Beat in liquid ingredients. Slowly add dry ingredients, stirring until incorporated.
  5. Fold in chocolate chips.
  6. Spoon into wells of muffin tin. Bake for 18 minutes for regular muffins, or 15 minutes for mini-muffins. Makes 2 dozen regular muffins or 4 dozen mini-muffins.

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