I think we all need some good news right about now, so how about this:
Eat more chocolate–it’s good for you.
You can start with my double chocolate mini muffins. They are ready, from start to finish, in about 15 minutes and have a measly 39 calories apiece.
And yet the taste and texture? Devil’s food chocolate birthday cake. Really and truly.
The glad tidings continue. These bites require no more than 4 primary ingredients, all of which you likely have on hand:
*1 cup rolled oats (quick-cooking or old-fashioned, either will work)
*3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
*1/4 cup of raw nuts or seeds (I used sunflower seeds)
*2 tablespoons miniature chocolate chips
Even these basics are flexible. You can use fancy raw cacao powder or store brand cocoa powder, they will be grand either way. Only have roasted nuts or seeds? Yes, those will work, too. No mini chocolate chips? Give bigger chips a chop (for greater dispersion) or scavenge for any chocolate you can find and chop it into wee bits.
The remaining ingredients are super-staples: baking soda, salt (regular salt works fine, too), sweetener (I used coconut sugar, but see my recipe notes; pretty much any sweetener you like will do), vanilla (you can nix this if you do not have it) and water. That’s it!
If you are in a pre-coffee, semi-conscious state when you set out to make these, no worries! You can still master this prep: toss everything except the chocolate chips in the blender and blend until smooth. Divide among sprayed mini muffin cups, sprinkle with chips and bake for 10 minutes. Done.
I’ve raved about the taste, texture, and ease, but for a final tidbit of joy, let’s talk nutrition. In addition to heart-healthy, high-fiber oats, these tender bites of chocolate bliss are rich in antioxidants from the cocoa powder, especially flavonols. Flavonols have a host of health benefits including overall heart health, possible protection against cancer, stress reduction, as well as instant energy, to name a few. The scientific data on the subject are extensive and compelling (i.e., not fake news, dear readers).
So go ahead, enjoy these for breakfast. Pack them in your lunch. Munch a few pre- or post-workout. Delight in several for dessert. One batch yields twenty, so all of the above are possible with one round of baking. Friends, children, co-workers and partners will clamor for these once they’ve had samples, so plan accordingly; you don’t want to leave yourself high and dry, so make two batches as warranted.
Happy, healthy baking, friends!
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup water
- ¼ cup raw sunflower seeds
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons coconut palm sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoons miniature semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Spray or grease 20 cups of a miniature muffin tin.
- Place all of the ingredients EXCEPT the chocolate chips in a blender; blend until smooth. Scoop batter into prepared cups. Sprinkle tops with the chocolate chips.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Cool, in the tin, on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Remove from tin and cool completely on rack.
Gluten-free tip: Be sure to use certified gluten-free oats and chocolate chips if you need the muffins to be 100% gluten-free.
Sweetener: Other varieties of sweetener, including packed brown sugar, maple syrup, or honey can be used in place of the coconut palm sugar. Feel free to sweeten to taste (since it is safe to taste the raw batter).