When I was in high school my mom used to packed my lunch for me every day before I left for school. I know, I was totally spoiled. More on this fact here and here. But despite having a wholesome, homemade meal as mid-day fuel I always craved just a little something more. You know, something sweet. Something chocolate. Something like, an Otis Spunkmeyer chocolate chocolate muffin.
Don’t mind if I do, eat-it-cold-with-my-bare-hands while my friends watch in horror. #truestory
But here’s the deal. I don’t even want to know what was in those things. And I’m pretty sure each one had at least 400 calories and loads of fat and sugar. Knowing that now, I avoid them at all costs. But that doesn’t mean I don’t crave a moist, chocolate chocolate chip muffin once in a while.
My solution? Make them healthier.
This recipe starts with one seriously healthy ingredient: Beet puree! An entire cup of beet puree – equals out to about two whole beets – goes into a dozen, naturally-sweetened, whole grain muffins that also happen to be vegan. I didn’t even know such deliciousness was possible without butter, sugar and milk.
Despite their exotic appearance, these muffins are actually super simple once you get your beets pureed, requiring just one bowl and 30 minutes to prepare. And the ingredients are simple and wholesome:
salt & baking soda
whole wheat pastry flour
and dairy-free chocolate chips
If you have those things on hand, you’re in business. I mean, you’re in SERIOUS business. Look at these beauties!
I was so pleased with how they turned out. They’re:
And altogether satisfying
Way better than the muffin of my yesteryear, but with all of the satisfying, chocolatey taste I remember and love.
Another perk? Each muffin boasts just 170 calories! I’m not big on counting calories myself – I believe more in intuitive eating. But I couldn’t help but brag about how nutritionally dense yet calorically modest they are! That means you can eat at least 2-3 at any given moment, right? OK good, that’s what I thought.
Enjoy these muffins with breakfast, as a snack, or a late-night dessert. I personally chose to share mine with friends – a.k.a. in a safe environment where I wouldn’t inhale half the batch before I realized what just happened. Bake them, share them or keep them for yourself. Whatever you do, just make them! You’ll fall in hardcore vegan love with these little guys. Enjoy!
- 2 flax eggs (2 Tbsp flaxseed meal + 5 Tbsp water)
- 1 cup beet puree (or sub butternut squash, applesauce, or another hearty fruit puree)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup or agave nectar (sub honey if not vegan)
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1.5 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil or vegan butter (such as Earth Balance)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/3 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or unbleached all purpose)
- 1/3 cup dairy-free semisweet chocolate chips + more for topping
- See this post for instructions on roasting a beet. Otherwise, you could sub another fruit puree, such as butternut squash or applesauce.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line 12 muffins with paper liners, or lightly grease.
- Prepare flax eggs in a large mixing bowl and let rest for 5 minutes.
- Add beet puree, melted oil, maple syrup or agave, brown sugar, baking soda, salt and whisk for 45 seconds.
- Stir in the almond milk and whisk once more.
- Add cocoa powder and flours and stir with a spoon or spatula until just combined, being careful not to over-mix. If the batter appears too thick, add a touch more almond milk. But it should be quite thick and NOT pourable - rather, scoopable.
- Lastly, stir in chocolate chips. Then divide batter evenly between muffin tins (should be enough for between 11-12) and sprinkle with a few more chocolate chips (optional but recommended).
- Bake for 17-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for a few minutes in the pan, remove from tins and let cool on a cooling rack. Will keep covered for several days. Freezer for longer-term storage.