Grain Free, Dairy Free Chunky Monkey Muffins

I am not a food expert, and I cannot create my own recipes from scratch, but I can easily follow most recipes out there.  I have no idea how flavors and ingredients work together to just experiment without some base recipe to start with.  What I tend to do a lot (this is a perfect example of just that) is that I make a recipe and rate it based on ease of preparing and cooking it, and the taste of the finished product.  If it tastes good and is fairly easy to make, I’ll probably make it again.  If it’s too time consuming or annoying to make, but tastes good…I probably won’t make it again.  If it’s easy to make and just tastes ok, then I might try to tweak it to make it taste better.  That’s what I’ve done in this case (as well as the Chocolate Cupcakes.)

Here is the recipe I started with Gluten Free Chunky Monkey Muffins.  When I first made this recipe, I thought it turned out pretty good.  However, I did not like the coconut flakes…I felt it threw off the texture for me.  Also, when I made them I didn’t have pecans on hand, so I just committed them.  I found that we didn’t eat all of these muffins, so I could tell they weren’t a big hit, but I knew that if I made a few changes they had the potential to be the new “treat” in my house.  A few days after making these I made Gluten Free Peanut Butter Banana Cake, and I really didn’t like it very much.  I think I may have undercooked it and the texture was a bit off for me, but it gave me the idea to add peanut butter to the Chunky Monkey Muffins (which I ended up doing…with a slight twist!)

So, without further ado…here is my Grain Free, Dairy Free* Chunky Monkey Muffin recipe, adapted from this recipe.

Grain Free, Dairy Free* Chunky Monkey Muffins

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup coconut palm sugar (or sugar of your choice)

6 eggs

2 tablespoons honey

1/3 cup ghee*, melted (or palm shortening or coconut oil) *See note at bottom

1 tablespoon vanilla

3-4 brown spotty banana, smashed

1/2 cup chopped pecans

1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips (I used Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value Semi-Sweet Vegan Chocolate Chips)

2 tablespoons Dark Chocolate Dreams (This is my secret ingredient! I love to eat this stuff out of the jar or on bananas! It’s gluten free, and vegan, so it’s dairy free too.  I have found it at Job Lot for $3.50, and they have it all the time! Feel free to use just regular peanut butter instead)

Preheat oven to 350 F and line or grease 12 muffin tins.

In a large bowl, mix together coconut flour, sea salt, baking soda, and sugar. Most recipes at this point would tell you to use a separate bowl for the other ingredients, but my laziness results in adding the rest to the same bowl…it’s your choice.  Mix in eggs, honey, ghee (or your fat choice), and vanilla and stir until thoroughly blended. Fold in mashed bananas, pecans, chocolate chips, and Chocolate Dreams (or peanut butter). (Don’t mix too much after adding the banana, as it can make the muffins gummy if it’s mixed too well)

Scoop batter (I use a 1/4 measuring cup to do this) into muffin tins and top with chopped pecans.

Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool for as long as you can…then eat!!  YUM!

*Note: I say this recipe is dairy free, but that depends on what you use for a fat.  If you don’t care about dairy, then butter should be fine.  There is controversy about whether or not ghee is dairy free…it is basically purified butter.  People say that when it’s purified the lactose, and other things that typically cause problem for people with sensitivities to dairy, are removed.  To be safe, if you want dairy free, go with coconut oil or palm shorting.  I don’t like the taste of coconut oil, so next time I will try palm shortening.

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