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February 25, 2010

Chocolate Avocado Muffins (with Raspberries)

Sounds a little weird, doesn't it?

But trust me, you are going to want to eat these muffins morning, noon, and night.


I got the original version of this recipe from a friend several months ago, and have been in love ever since. They are delicious enough to be called cupcakes, but I stand firm in my refusal to call them that because they're so darn healthy. Don't get me wrong, these aren't your typical "nuts and twigs" kind of healthy, more like "chock full of antioxidants and things that make you smile" kind of healthy.

Before writing me off as a complete loon, consider this:
-Chocolate, and the cocoa it contains, is an excellent source of flavonoids. Dark chocolate has nearly eight times more of this antioxidant than strawberries.
-Fat is an important part of a healthy diet, and the oleic acid that the avocado contributes to these muffins not only helps lower cholesterol, but it also makes you feel full faster and leaves you feeling more satiated than less healthy fats.
-Avocados are one of the most antioxidant rich foods there are. They contain several different kinds of carotenoids, including lutein, which is essential for eye health. They are also an excellent source of fibre (which improves digestion and keeps you feeling full longer), as well as folic acid, which prevents birth defects and helps maintain heart health.
-Mental health is just as important as physical health! Chocolate contains serotonin, which is an antidepressant, and it also stimulates endorphin production, which gives a feeling of pleasure and reduces the effects of pain and stress.

If that isn't enough to convince you to give this recipe a try, let me tell you that they are also unbelievably rich and moist. Your kids will think that you're spoiling them rotten, and they'll have no idea that they contain anything green. One of these muffins is just the thing when you're jonesing for something bad, so much so that I've considered calling them PMS muffins. That certainly doesn't mean you should hide them from the men in your life (although you may have to), or limit yourself to eating them only once a month!

Chocolate Avocado Muffins:

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Beat together until smooth:
-1 avocado (ripe)
-1 cup sugar

Add:
-3 large eggs

Followed by:
-3/4 cup melted unsalted butter or non-hydrogenated margarine
-1 tbsp vanilla extract
-3/4 cup milk
(It's a good idea to mix these ingredients together before adding them to the avocado/egg mixture so the heat from the butter doesn't cook the eggs).

Stir together and add to wet ingredients, mixing just until combined:
-2 2/3 unbleached flour (experiment with adding up to half whole wheat pastry flour if you like)
-1/2 cup cocoa powder (sifted)
-1 tbsp baking powder

-1/2 tsp salt

Fold in 2 cups frozen raspberries (optional).

Optional addition or substitution: 1/2 - 1 cup of chocolate chips.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cake tester or toothpick comes out clean when placed into the center.

Makes approximately 16 regular sized muffins, or 12 large ones.



I've made these without any additions, with only raspberries, only chocolate chips, and with both things. My kids prefer them with only raspberries.

I hope you'll give these a try and let me know what you think.


10 comments:

el said...

Goodness Cheryl those sound amazing!! I am sure the unctuous qualities of the avocados go far in these little treats. And: one should always find a way to put more dark chocolate in one's life, so, bravo!

Shawna said...

I am definitely giving these a try! Anything to replace the prepackaged store bought muffins my husband buys to go with his coffee each morning :-) And something wonderful to my son's classroom parties!

Cheryl said...

El - Ooh, I love the word unctuous! And yes, the avocados do lend those qualities to the muffins.

Shawna - I hope you'll try them, they're definitely better than store bought. He'll have a hard time going back to prepackaged!

Annie said...

Not weird at all and I'll definitely try them. I've been drooling over your mom's morning menus too.

angie said...

I had these at a friend's the other day and I had to get the link from her so I could make them myself! And my kids have already asked me a couple of times if I got the recipe yet! They are great. Thanks.

bijera@yahoo.ca said...

Hi,
what a awesome recipe.
do you still keep up with free range learning or has that blog been changed.
thanks...jenny

Silver Circle Magick said...

These were amazing. My son is a very picky eater, but I can always get him to eat sweets. Thank you for posting this one. :o)

Cheryl said...

Annie - Her food looks pretty amazing, doesn't it? Unfortunately, we didn't always eat like that when I was growing up. (Maybe that's for the best!).

Angie - I'm so glad that your family liked them!

Jenny - I've been meaning to post over there for ages. Lots to say about homeschooling a teen!

Silver Circle Magic - Happy to help! :)

Judy said...

Do you think they really need all that butter? Shouldn't the fat in the avocado be almost sufficient? I can hardly call these healthy with the fat content as it is.

Cheryl said...

Judy - You could certainly tinker with the recipe and see how low you can go with the fat. I've actually thought of trying it myself, but they're just so darn good the way they are that I haven't bothered.
The amount of fat isn't far off of what most muffin recipes call for, especially considering that it makes such a large batch. It's really just the avocado that bumps it up a bit, and that would be the case with nuts or any other higher fat addition. That being said, I do think fat is an important part of a healthy diet for most people, and it's not something that I go out of my way to avoid. However, you have inspired me to fiddle with the recipe next time I make them.
I hope you'll let me know how it goes if you experiment with it!

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