Anyway, because I've had chocolate on the brain (I blame the grey weather), I decided to share with you a recipe I was playing around with this week.
To be completely honest, I spent a better number of my years skeptical about foods labeled "vegan" or "gluten free." Whenever I saw one of those words, I replaced it right away with "unfit for food." Embarrassing, I know, but you have to understand that I had some awful experiences leading to this association. It wasn't until the last few years I started to realize that plant-based foods could, in fact, be delicious!
What does this have to do with chocolate? Nothing. I'll get back to the point now...
This weekend, we have some friends over - one of whom is gluten free - so I spent all week trying to figure out what I could do to make sure she could eat. This was by no means a chore (I know you're reading this!), because I love experimenting! The one thing that I purposed in my head to make was some sort of muffin (probably because I was craving banana chocolate chip muffins that day.). I set to work trying to make something edible.
My first attempt was a disaster. I tried an oat flour. I kind of guessed by the batter that it was going to be fail. The silly things didn't rise much. They at least tasted okay-ish. I didn't really think so, but my husband has been nibbling on them for days. My second attempt....also not so great. Actually, they turned out worse than the first ones. I used coconut flour this time with the brilliant idea that I would make coconut wonderfulness. Nope. They turned out even worse than the first ones! I wasn't terribly discouraged since I had no clue what I was doing (though that coconut flour was $$$...). I finally decided to buy an all-purpose gluten free blend (bonus: it was on sale!).
The result was a delicious [chocolaty] muffin. Well, 12 of them. They didn't rise as much, but they were yummy. I still have plenty of intentions to keep experimenting, but for the love of my time, I just had to make something work. And this worked. Oh boy did it work! It worked so well that I downed like four as soon as they were cooled. Okay fine, I didn't wait till they cooled...you might not either!
The one downside was that they were a little dry the next day - which a few minutes in the oven remedied quickly.
Dark Chocolate Coconut Muffins (Vegan & Gluten Free)
Makes 12 muffins
Adapted from Baking Ginger
1/2 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup gluten-free flour
1/2 cup organic cane sugar
2 TB ground flax seed
5 TB water
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
dark chocolate chips (to top)
(optional) organic shredded coconut (to top)
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and lightly grease muffin tin.
2) Mix ground flax seed and water in mixing bowl. Let stand for five minutes
3) Add coconut oil and sugar. Mix well
4) Add the rest of the ingredients (except for the chocolate chips and coconut) and mix well.
5) Pour batter into muffin tin and top generously with chocolate chips or coconut...or both!
6) Bake for 20 minutes, or until muffins pass the toothpick test (toothpick comes out clean)
So there you have it. These babies are quick to whip up, delicious, and no one will even know they're vegan AND gluten free. What could be better? By the way, does anyone have any coconut flour tips?
PS: It may be a while before I write about chocolate again. But don't worry, it will be back.