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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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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Banana Chocolate Muffins

Grady's tummy troubles are continuing so I've resorted to desperate measures. I'm using his favourite food (chocolate) against him by making chocolate muffins that are full of fibre. These aren't health food but they're healthy enough and seem to be helping his stomach issue. I'm calling it a win.

Ingredients

1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats, buzzed in a food processor until dust-like otherwise your child might reject an entire batch of muffins for "having nuts in them"
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
3 medium overripe bananas, mashed
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat oven to 375F. Grease muffin tin or line with papers.

In large bowl, mix together oats, sugar, flours, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and chocolate chips.

In another bowl, whisk together bananas, egg, oil, and vanilla.

Gently mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened.

Spoon into prepared muffin tin, sprinkle a few chocolate chips on top of each muffin enticingly (I am shameless), and bake 20 - 22 minutes until toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Makes 12 regular-sized muffins.
 

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Weighty

I currently weigh twenty pounds more than I did two years ago. That statement isn't hyperbole. I literally weigh twenty pounds more than I did two years ago. 

I would like to be able to shrug it off. Twenty pounds is not the end of the world. Twenty extra pounds doesn't make me a bad person or a bad wife or a bad mother. Twenty extra pounds doesn't affect my ability to be kind or loving or generous. It doesn't prevent me from doing my job or enjoying my hobbies. Twenty extra pounds is just twenty extra pounds. 

But it bothers me.  

My body has not felt like my own for a long time. First pregnancy, then cancer, then pregnancy again, followed by miscarriage. I struggle to not hate my body. I feel betrayed and let down by my body.  

It's silly, I know it's silly, to be upset over twenty pounds when my body has been through so much. But I can't help it. I feel uncomfortable in my body. I don't know how to dress this body. I want to hide it. 

I started a workout program back in January which I've maintained to varying degrees over the last six months. I lift weights and I sweat and I have seen positive changes in my body. I have seen muscle definition grow and I have felt strong. I try to eat relatively healthy and I struggle with my sweet tooth. Maybe this Hillary + 20lbs is the new normal.

It's not terribly unique to be a 30-something woman concerned with body image, is it? I'm being woefully banal, I know. I guess I'm just hoping that someone has the magic answer. So please, tell me: how do you love the skin you're in when your outsides don't match the image you have in your head?