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Chocolate Marble Muffins (Vegan & Sugar-Free)



Today, Day 30 of my 2014 Gratitude Challenge, I am grateful for a small little thing that made my day yesterday: I discovered our local Loblaws now sells these stevia-sweetened chocolate chips:

 

They are also gluten-free and nut-free, by the way.  There is no dairy listed in them either, but they don't say they are vegan or dairy-free on the package.

It was a crazy coincidence actually, as I had the day off and was trying to get a number of things done including making muffins for the girls' lunches.  I was out of my home-made, sugar-free chocolate chips and didn't have time to make more, and was trying to figure out what, besides chocolate, they would find appealing.  Our bananas weren't ripe enough to bake with, and Big A recently decided she hates blueberries.  I wanted to avoid dried fruit for the sake of their teeth (since they don't brush at school) and was grumpily meandering the aisles looking for inspiration.  I almost kissed the woman walking past me when I spied these chocolate chips.  Without even checking the price, I snatched up 2 bags.  I have never seen these before, even online!  I've bought other products from this company, but had no idea they make chocolate.  As it turns out, they were $6.79 per bag, which is definitely more than making them myself, but less than the ones I've seen online.  Awesome!

Little A, who can still be even pickier than her sister, loves doubling up on favorite flavours.  She often requests chocolate vanilla smoothies, which require me to make vanilla, leave some in the blender, and add chocolate, and then swirl them in the cup for her (she likes a bit of fancy...if you ask her what her favorite colour is, she'll tell you, "multicolour".  Thus, I decided to make chocolate marble muffins.  I didn't add any hidden vegetables to these because lately she's been searching for microscopic bits of produce in my baked goods and rejecting them, even if she was enjoying them before she found a 'bit' (Sidebar: She doesn't like bits in anything.  She won't even eat yogurt with 'bits' of fruit or anything with 'bits' of nuts in it).  I settled with just adding a vegan protein powder to give them some staying power.  These were definitely a triumph as everyone loved them!

Chocolate Marble Muffins

3/4 cup coconut oil, melted
4 tbls ground flax
3/4 cup boiling water
1 cup xylitol, erythritol or 3/4 cup powdered stevia
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 38g scoop vegan plain or stevia-sweetened vanilla protein powder
2 cups whole spelt flour, or other whole grain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup sugar-free chocolate chips

Whisk together wet ingredients in a large bowl.  Whisk dry ingredients in a smaller bowl and then stir into wet.  Add chips and gently fold until they start melting.  Quickly scoop into greased or parchment-lined muffin cups.*  Bake at 375F for 18 minutes.  Let cool completely before removing from pan.  Keep in an airtight container for up to 4 days, or freeze.  Makes 12 muffins.

*I found that chocolate on the bottom of the muffins stuck to the cups a bit, so next time I will use parchment liners so as not so lose any precious chocolate.
 
This recipe has been submitted to Wellness Weekend.

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