Cocoa-Chia ‘Nana Nut Muffins

Posted on May 8, 2011

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After Dr. Oz said the word CHIA it’s ranked at least top 5 in my health food vocabulary. Chia seeds have most definitely earned the spot on our best selling “superfoods” of the year at Rainbow Blossom. What’s funny though is that upon buying the seeds very few know what they are actually going to do with them.

“Sooo, what do I do with these things??”

I made these muffins after my day of experimenting with chia seed gel. Please don’t be intimidated by the gel; once you master the super snappy process of prepping chia gel and having it as a staple item in your fridge, you feel as though super human wonder food powers are at your fingertips!

Cocoa-Chia ‘Nana Nut Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cups Whole Spelt Flour, or flour alternatives of your preference..an (almond flour ratio would be a great ingredient to experiment with here)
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 2 scoops Flax Seed Meal (optional, but ohhh, how I get off on utilizing flax seed meal in anything…)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Real Salt
  • 2 very Ripe Bananas, Mashed (3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) Unsalted Butter, Melted
  • 1/2 cup Chia Gel (see directions below)
  • 2/3 cup Raw Honey (to replace granulated sugar)
  • 1 Large Free Range Egg
  • 1 teaspoonVanilla Extract (preferably organic and Pure, not imitated)
  • 3/4 cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut, 1/2 cup for mix, 1/4 cup for topping muffins (find at your local health food store)
  • Chia Gel

Chia Gel

  • Add 1/3 cup chia seeds to 2 cups water (filtered). This makes a 6:1 ratio (water to seed), which is an ideal ratio for a basic chia gel. (1) Refrigerate overnight for optimum gel-iness.

Besides looking super trippy, here’s why chia gel is super fun: Chia gel provides essential fatty acids (EFA’s), protein, complex carbs, soluble fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, poly-saccharides and more (1).

The primary reason chia gel is so popular these days is for its ability to stabilize blood sugar. It’s reported to slow the conversion of carbohydrates into sugars, which in turn assists in curbing sugary cravings, improving energy and mood, and supporting insulin function.

Chia seeds can also be used to displace calories and fats in foods without compromising flavor because of its hydropholic (water attracting) structure (1). I used chia gel in this recipe to replace HALF of the butter usually called for in banana bread/muffins. AWESOME.

Optional (to sprinkle/place into individual muffin tins prior to baking)

  • Crushed Dark Chocolate (I love the xocolatl kind by Dagoba-it’s so pure and it has cocao nibs and a sweet chile infusion)
  • Dried Tart Cherries (HIGH in antioxidants and aid in reducing inflammation)
  • Raw Walnuts (yay for brain food!)

Instructions

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. The bigger the muffin pan, the faster the results (not that utilizing a little patience is ever a bad thing…), so I used a 12 muffin pan and oiled the whole thing up with about a teaspoon of coconut oil; finger paint style.
Throw in sliced bananas, butter, honey, egg, vanilla, chia seed gel, and 1/2 cup coconut in a food processor (or any ole’ mixer) until combined well, then fold in flour/salt/baking powder/flax seed meal mixture until flour is just moistened.
Divvy up batter into muffin tins and finish off by sprinkling in ingredients of your choice (this is where suggested optional ingredients come in to play) and for a pretty toasted coconut touch, sprinkle each tin full of batter with remaining 1/4 cup of shredded coconut.

I'm not going to pretend like I didn't eat a muffins worth of batter prior to taking this picture

Bake until muffins are puffed up and golden, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and share the love with family and friends! : )

OH SO TASTY...p.s, I painted this wooden jewelry box I got @ Hobby Lobby over winter break with super cheap acrylic paints and brushes : D SO EASY AND FUN!

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