Flourless Fudgy Chocolate (and Chickpea and Spinach) Muffins

I'm not on board with the trend of "guilt-free!" recipes. No. If I want to eat a chocolate muffin, I'm going to eat a damn chocolate muffin and not feel guilty about it. This recipe is not an attempt to make anyone feel like the food they eat is bad or good. Food has no moral value. This recipe is an attempt to trick my picky kid into eating nutritious food without him knowing. (No regrets.)

A friend posted a recipe for chickpea chocolate muffins and I've played around with the recipe to add more good stuff (spinach) and make it a little more my style (butter instead of melted coconut oil, etc.).

Grady loves these muffins. He thinks they're dessert (which yeah, added sugar) (but also protein! And spinach!). They can be a bit crumbly because they've got a delicate, fine texture, but he's quite happy to clean up all the crumbs after he's done because chocolate.

I love these muffins because they're made completely in a blender, no mixing bowls required. I don't even have a fancy high-speed blender. If your blender is strong enough to make a smoothie, it's strong enough to make these muffins lump-free.

Ingredients

1 - 540mL can chickpeas, drained and rinsed well
3 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup milk or buttermilk (I've used both and can't tell the difference)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large handfuls (approximately 2 cups) baby spinach leaves
chocolate chips for topping

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F.

Line muffin pan with paper liners.

Buzz all ingredients except for chocolate chips in blender until smooth. Batter will be thick.

Spoon batter into muffin pan. Top with chocolate chips.

Bake 18-20 minutes until toothpick inserted into centre comes out clean.

Makes 12 muffins.

Disclaimer: these muffins don't taste like a regular muffin made with flour. They don't taste like chickpeas or spinach, though. The texture is a little lighter and maybe spongier than a traditional muffin but they pass the picky eater taste test in our house so I'm calling it a win.

Do you bake with legumes? Hit me with your favourite recipe!

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Quick and Easy Chocolate Cake

Chocolate cake is my love language. I'm not even ashamed. I love chocolate cake. If I love you, chances are I've made you a chocolate cake at some point. (And if I haven't? Well, try harder to be loveable.) (I'm kidding.)

I found this chocolate cake recipe last year and after tweaking it to my personal preferences, I will never make another. It's ridiculously fast to make (I can throw it together more quickly than my oven preheats) and always comes out moist and delicious.

Ingredients

2 cups granulated sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup hot coffee or boiling water

Chocolate Ganache Topping

1 cup whipping cream
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 9x13 baking pan.

In bowl of stand mixer, stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Mix on medium speed for two minutes.

Mix in coffee (batter will be thin).

Pour into pan and bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.

Cool at least half an hour before topping. The cake doesn't need to be cold but it shouldn't be hot to the touch.

Chocolate Ganache Topping

Heat whipping cream in saucepan over medium-high heat until steaming. Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate chips and vanilla until smooth. Cool approximately 30 minutes and then pour over cooled cake. Top with berries or sprinkles and then bring it to me.

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Monster Muffins

The food battle-that-isn't-a-battle wages on with no end in sight. Grady isn't too keen on eating red meat (or any meat apart from bacon and cheeseburgers) so we suspect his iron is low. I am not above hiding sneaky ingredients in foods he accepts it turns out, so the idea of monster muffins was born. The muffins are satisfyingly green when you bite into them, and packed full of chocolate chips to keep kids interested. I admit I may be losing the food battle-that-isn't-a-battle but I don't know what else to do. 

Ingredients

3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 medium-sized overripe bananas
2 cups (packed) baby spinach
1 egg
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips (or other mix-ins like chopped nuts or dried fruit)

Directions

Preheat oven to 375F. Line muffin tin with paper liners.

In large mixing bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, baking soda, and salt.

In blender, buzz bananas and spinach until smooth, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides to make sure there are no rogue pieces of spinach. Add egg, oil, and vanilla and blend until mixed.

Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir gently until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips. Batter will be thick.

Spoon into muffin tin and bake 20-23 minutes until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.

Makes 12 regular-sized muffins.

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Fresh Blueberry Pie

The BC blueberry crop has stretched into September, reminding us that summer isn't over just yet. This pie is easy to throw together and tastes great topped with a healthy dollop of whipped cream.

Ingredients

1 9-inch pie crust, baked and cooled (a graham cracker crust also works well with this pie)
4 cups fresh blueberries, separated (2 cups + 2 cups)
1 cup water
juice of 1 lemon
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon butter

Directions

Place 2 cups blueberries in bottom of pre-baked pie crust.

Mix remaining 2 cups blueberries with water and lemon juice in medium-sized saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil gently, adjusting heat as needed, stirring occasionally, 3 - 5 minutes, until berries burst.

Mix sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and salt together in small bowl.

Add sugar mixture to cooked blueberry mixture, lower heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring constantly, until thick and translucent (just a minute or two).

Remove from heat and stir in butter until it melts.

Pour mixture gently over fresh berries in pie crust. Chill until set.

Enjoy!

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