Flourless Chocolate-Peanut Butter-Banana Muffins

IMG_0388First of all…Happy 2nd Anniversary to Emma’s Baking Addiction! I can’t believe that two years ago I sat down and created a WordPress account with no idea what I was doing. Sometimes I still feel like I have no idea what I’m doing, but it’s been fun ūüôā

These muffins were made with my mother in mind. My poor gluten-free, dairy-free mother, who has to watch as piles of cookies, ice cream, brownies and other taboo treats fill our kitchen, knowing she can’t have them. She never complains, not once, but I try to make sure that I create a fair share¬†of gluten-free, dairy-free baked goods as well.

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The last mom-friendly treats I made were these awesome little energy balls, but they were eaten up in approximately 12 seconds, give or take a couple days. The problem with gluten-free treats is that they are¬†also¬†accessible and perfectly acceptable to the gluten-eaters in the house, and unless I clearly label treats as being “FOR MOM” (or hide them), they disappear way too quickly. Which is why, after the last three blog posts centered around cookies and ice cream, it was time to make these muffins.

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What these muffins do have: peanut butter, chocolate, &¬†banana (one of the ULTIMATE flavor trios), heart-healthy flaxseed, and a handful of other healthy ingredients. What these muffins do not have: FLOUR,¬†gluten, dairy, or more than two tablespoons of refined sugar. What these muffins require: a bowl, a spoon, a muffin tin, and some measuring cups. That’s it! They don’t require worrying about over-mixing (which can create¬†tough muffins, but ONLY if there’s gluten involved) or dirtying up a million little bowls and spoons. Easy as cake muffins!

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The best part is that, despite their considerably healthy list¬†of ingredients and their lack of flour, these muffins are¬†not¬†lacking in flavor or texture! They have a wonderful soft, dense-yet-springy texture and are smooth and rich. The peanut butter/chocolate/banana flavors really shine through, and the muffins are full of flavor but not overly sweet. They were a huge hit in our house for both the gluten-free eater (my mom) and all the other eaters. They were so popular, in fact, that I had to take my mother aside and let her in on my little secret: I had snatched a few muffins from the communal container and hidden them away in a tupperware in the freezer. That way she could snack on them whenever she saw fit, safe from all other muffin-eaters. If you feel the need to hide away a few of these muffins for yourself, you won’t see me judging you!!

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Flourless Chocolate-Peanut Butter-Banana Muffins

1 cup mashed banana (from about 2 medium-large bananas)

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1/4 cup honey or agave nectar

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon ground flaxseed (optional)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Grease or line a 12-cup muffin tin.

Mix together all of the ingredients in a large bowl until well-combined. Divide evenly among muffin cups, filling about 3/4 of the way. Bake for 5 minutes, then decrease oven temperature to 350 degrees. Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the muffin tops spring back when lightly touched and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Cool in the muffin tins for 15 minutes, then run a knife around the edges of each muffin and carefully remove to a cooling rack. Store the muffins in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

(Recipe inspired by Averie Cooks and Detoxinista)

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Healthy Oatmeal Cookies

I know that everyone has a different definition of “healthy,” but these delicious cookies are about as close to healthy as they come. ¬†Whole wheat flour, oats, no sugar, no butter, very little oil. ¬†But the best part is, you’d never know it! ¬†They’re super soft, moist, and sweet even though they have NO sugar. ¬†Not to mention that this is another super adaptable recipe. ¬†My version calls for a mixture of agave nectar and pure maple syrup as the sweeteners, but you could totally swap those out for honey, molasses, whatever floats your boat! ¬†And the mixture of applesauce and oil could be changed into all applesauce, all oil, pumpkin puree, etc. ¬†Not into dried cranberries? ¬†Use nuts, raisins, chocolate chips…the list is endless! ¬†You don’t have to be an artist to get those creative juices flowing when it comes to cooking! ¬†Take it from someone who has never ever not once won a game of Pictionary and can’t even slice an apple let alone draw a picture. ¬†I’ve always preferred to let my artistic side shine in the kitchen rather than the art room, where I may have possibly been asked questions such as, “Is that a dog or a cat?” ¬†It was a cow.

Seriously though, these cookies are really, really good. ¬†Not good considering they’re healthy,¬†they’re just good. ¬†And I would know, since I’ve eaten about three throughout the duration of writing this post. ¬†Enjoy, friends!

Healthy Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup whole-wheat flour

1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 Tbs cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg (optional)

1/4 cup agave nectar (or honey)

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce (or pumpkin puree)

1/4 cup oil (vegetable, canola, grape-seed, or olive)

1 Tbs molasses

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions:

In a large bowl, whisk together the whole-wheat flour, oats, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Set aside.

In a smaller bowl, whisk together the agave nectar (or honey), maple syrup, applesauce or pumpkin, oil, molasses, egg, and vanilla extract until smooth.  Stir the wet ingredients into the flour mixture.  Fold in the dried cranberries, and chill the dough for 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Form the refrigerated dough into balls and place on a lightly greased or lined cookie sheet.  If desired, lightly press down the balls with a fork.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until edges are golden-brown.

Let cool for 5 minutes on cookie sheets before removing to a wire cooling rack.  Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature.

(Recipe adapted from Whole Grain Gourmet)