CACAO QUINOA MUFFINS AND ACAI BERRIES

I like to create healthy snacks that you can eat anytime of the day. I try to avoid buying shop brought snacks as much as possible. These are experimental muffins my first attempt were not so good I did not get the quantities in the right proportions. However my 2nd batch were a lot more tasty not to sweet rich and moist muffins perfect with a  Red bush tea. healthy tasting and .These muffins are incredibly moist and rich, and who would’ve thought they were healthy? Made with healthy fats from the avocado, virgin coconut oil, banana and honey (or maple syrup) as the natural sweeteners.

 Vegan,  Gluten and Dairy free

INGREDIENTS: (makes approximately 14 good sized muffins (depending on your muffin pan)

TIME: 15-20 minutes

  • Bake time: 20-30 minutes
  • Dry INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 1/2 cups   rice flour  (gluten free)
  • 1/2 cup TJ’s unsweetened cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (I used gluten/sodium-free)
  • 30g of dried acai3 berries  or goji berries

Wet INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup cooked and cooled TJ’s organic quinoa or use quinoa flakes
  • 3/4-1 small cup honey or maple syrup (use TJ’s maple syrup to make this vegan)
  • 1/2 cup TJ’s unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 medium-sized ripe avocado
  • 1 large, very ripe banana
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp TJ’s flax seeds, ground( vegan substitute for eggs) with water as a binder
  • 3 tbsp water

 HOW TO:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, or  do as I do..wait until after preparing all the ingredients to save electricity!).
  2. Add a tablespoon of freshly ground flax seeds into a small bowl, then add 3 tbsp of water. Whisk thoroughly and let sit in the fridge for at least 15 or so minutes, until the consistency thickens. This is your vegan binder, a substitute for eggs.
  3. Combine all the dry ingredients into a medium sized bowl and mix together.
  4. Puree or mash by hand the avocado and banana. I used a magic bullet and had to add a few splashes of almond milk to get it going, but you most certainly can use the old-fashioned way of mashing the two manually. Just make sure to thoroughly mash the avocado or you may get pieces of it in your muffin, unless you are ok with that!
  5. Once mashed, combine with the rest of the wet ingredients in a separate bowl. I only used 3/4 cup sweetener but feel free to use a cup if you prefer it sweeter! I just am not a fan of sugar overload.
  6. Combine the thickened flax egg to the wet and mix all together. Then add the wet ingredients to the dry.Don’t over mix!!! I stress this so much with any baked good. Just mix until all is combined, it’s ok to have a few lumps.
  7. I usually preheat now, and then grease the muffin pan/wash the dishes in the mean time. If you’re like me, preheat to 350 degrees now and spray a muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray or some sort of heat-sustainable baking/cooking oil (sunflower, safflower, coconut oil, etc).
  8. Bake for approximately 20-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. The insides may seem a bit undercooked but that’s ok!!! Once they cool, they become super fudge-y and dense. Even after being placed in the refrigerator overnight they become so moist and dense. These muffins truly remind me of brownies, I was contemplating a name change but overall muffins suited these babies best.
  9. I cooked one batch for around 25 minutes, in the end they turned out the most moist. The second batch was 30 minutes and then the third was 35 minutes, still definitely all devour-able, but I’d recommend not cooking over 30 minutes. If you keep trying to cook them, the outsides will become a little overdone. Remember folks, there is no egg in this batter so need to worry about salmonella.
  10. Once baked, transfer to a cooling rack and try not to eat them all.