It’s been a muffin-eating frenzy here lately.
We don’t normally eat muffins very often. Many years ago, I had a failed attempt at making them (imagine mini boulders) and was scarred by the outcome. Now suddenly these little babies saunter into our kitchen and have been utterly irresistible to all members of our household. Emma even requested them for her snack day at school.
Unbeknownst to her, these muffins are little fibre powerhouses. Between the whole wheat and spelt flours, ground flaxseed and cocoa nibs (which alone pack a whopping 9g of fibre in every 1/4 cup!), I’m only too happy to oblige when Emma and Katie request these for breakfast. Or as a snack. Or for dessert.
This was my first exposure to cocoa nibs and they nearly ended up in the trash rather than in the muffins. You see, it was after I tasted them straight from the bag that I learned cocoa nibs have absolutely no sweetness of their own (they are downright bitter). It’s only after being combined with lecithin and sugar, they become chocolate as we know it.
Thankfully, they did still end up in the muffins because together with the granola, the cocoa nibs offer a satisfying crunch, a flavourful nuttiness and help make these muffins a delectable treat. Now you’ll have to excuse me — I have to go clear the crumbs off of my keyboard.
Dark Chocolate Granola Muffins with Honey and Apricot
adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Granola Muffins
(makes 12 regular-sized or 40 mini muffins)
- 1 cup rice milk
- juice of 1/2 small lemon
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup spelt flour
- 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp ground kosher salt
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 3/4 cup honey
- 5 tbsp melted virgin coconut oil
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups granola (make your own and leave out the fruit or use purchased granola)
- 1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
- 1/4 cup cocoa nibs
Combine the rice milk and lemon juice in a cup and set aside.
Next, line a muffin tin with liners and preheat the oven to 375F.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, ground flaxseed, baking soda and salt. In a medium bowl, thoroughly beat together the rice milk and lemon juice mixture, egg, honey, coconut oil and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until everything is moistened. Gently fold in the granola, apricots and cocoa nibs.
Divide the batter across the prepared muffin tin, filling each liner no more than 3/4 full. For large muffins, bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tops are golden and a toothpick inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean. For the mini muffins, reduce the baking time to only 13-17 minutes. Remove from oven to cool slightly and serve.
Tips and Suggestions:
- If dairy is not a concern, feel free to substitute cow’s milk for the rice milk or buttermilk in place of the rice milk and lemon juice.
- If making these for school snacks, double check that the dried apricots do not have the “may contain peanuts or other nuts” warnings. Make your own granola or ensure there are no nuts in your purchased granola.
- Although these are absolutely irresistible when warm nearly straight out of the oven, they keep well for up to about a week. Reheat them slightly before eating.