As a mother of two young kids, I’ve got to admit that it is sometimes a struggle to get them to eat anything healthy, or even to eat anything at all. This is certainly the case with my oldest daughter at breakfast. She has never been a morning person, and getting up early for school has added to her morning aversion. She barely wakes up in time to walk through the classroom doorway, so getting her to eat any actual food for breakfast is a struggle. Until I learned a little secret – she will eat anything that has chocolate on it, even a little, tiny bit of chocolate. I first realized this when I sprinkled a few miniature chocolate chips on top of her oatmeal and it suddenly became her favorite breakfast! The same thing happened when I shaved some bittersweet chocolate on top of a yogurt parfait, and later when I topped some banana slices with natural peanut butter and a little chocolate chip.
I suppose chocolate feels like an indulgence to most of us, young or old and that’s the secret to making these whole-grain muffins feel a little bit like eating dessert. I won’t go so far as to say that these are “healthy” muffins, but they do pack quite a bit of fiber, use canola oil in place of butter, and have a minimum of sugar. They’re definitely healthier than the usual store bought or coffee shop chocolate muffin. Go ahead and indulge a little!
- 1 cup whole-wheat flour
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup golden flax meal
- 1/4 cup oat flour (or whole oats ground up very finely)
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
- 2 Tablespoons molasses
- 1/3 cup canola oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks or chips
- Preheat oven to 400º F and line a 12-cup muffin pan with muffin liners.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the dry ingredients (through salt) until well mixed. In a separate bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the wet ingredients (buttermilk through vanilla).
- Add the wet ingredients to the mixing bowl with the dry ingredients and stir them together until just combined. Fold in the chocolate gently. Divide the batter among the 12 muffin cups, filling them very full. The whole grains keep these muffins from rising very much, so you can fill the cups higher than with regular muffin batter.
- Bake muffins in the preheated oven for 20 - 25 minutes or until batter is set and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the muffins comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes then remove muffins to cool on a wire rack. These are best eaten fresh, but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container once completely cooled.