Happy Valentine’s Day and Avoiding the Sugar Binge!

Let’s face it, food is celebratory.  It’s our touchstone to so many occasions.  Valentine’s is chocolate and conversation hearts and perhaps these days, champagne and wine and big dinners as well.  Below is a recipe for something that might satisfy that chocolate craving and bring a bit of a nutrition your way as well.

That said, when I work with a client who is truly suffering from a sugar addiction, the best cure is cold turkey – cut it out.  If you have sugar well under strong control, then enjoy the recipe below or adapt it to your own liking!  If you stop into the studio on Valentine’s Day you can try one of my muffins that will be available for you there!

Enjoy!

This is a recipe I found and adapted a bit from “The Minimalist Baker.”  Feel free to adapt it to your dietary preferences, for example use real eggs if you don’t need a vegan recipe.  Also, you can of course use full sized muffin tins, just triple the nutrition info below.

Chocolatey Beet Vegan Muffins

Ingredients
2 flax eggs (1 Tbsp of flax meal combined with 2 1/2 Tbsp of water per flax egg, combine this for 5 minutes before using.)
1 cup beet puree (or sub butternut squash, applesauce, or another hearty fruit puree)  *Tips on beet puree: Heat oven to 375*, trim beets and scrub all dirt off, lightly coat with oil, olive or canola, wrap in foil and roast for one hour until soft.  Unwrap and place in refrigerator in a bowl to catch all juice.  Once room temperature puree or finely chop.  This will require 2 – 3 beets depending on the size.
1/4 cup maple syrup or agave nectar (sub honey if not vegan)
1/3 cup brown sugar (You could use other sugar substitutes)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1.5 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup melted coconut oil or vegan butter (such as Earth Balance)
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/3 cups whole wheat pastry flour (or unbleached all purpose)
1/3 cup dairy-free semisweet chocolate chips + more for topping

Instructions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line 36 mini muffins with paper liners, or lightly grease.
Prepare flax eggs in a large mixing bowl and let rest for 5 minutes.
Add beet puree, melted oil, maple syrup or agave, brown sugar, baking soda, salt and whisk for 45 seconds.
Stir in the almond milk and whisk once more.
Add cocoa powder and flours and stir with a spoon or spatula until just combined, being careful not to over-mix. If the batter appears too thick, add a touch more almond milk. But it should be quite thick and NOT pourable – rather, scoopable.
Lastly, stir in chocolate chips. Then divide batter evenly between muffin tins (should be enough for between 34-38) and sprinkle with a few more chocolate chips (optional but recommended).
Bake for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out nearly clean. Let cool for a few minutes in the pan, remove from tins and let cool on a cooling rack. Will keep covered for several days. Freezer for longer-term storage.

Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 mini muffin Calories: 60 Fat: 2g Saturated fat: 1.5g Carbohydrates: 9g Sugar: 4g Sodium: 78mg Fiber: 1g Protein: 1g

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