Ring in the holidays with these healthy chocolate gingerbread muffins that are gluten-free and vegan! They’re full of rich chocolately flavors plus a spicy gingerbread kick.
I was chatting with my cousin the other week, while these muffins were baking. She was interviewing me for a school project and asked me where my inspiration comes from for recipes. As with anyone who asks me this, my answer is always the same: In my dreams.
Okay, I’m kidding. They usually come to me out of the blue and almost always at the most inconvenient times. Also apparently I’m not the only one who gets the best ideas while working out!
I keep a running list on my phone and computer so when inspiration strikes I rush to write it down. Except when I’m in a Barre3 class, because that would be challenging…
I was equally as fascinated with the questions she had for me as she did with the answers. I loved when she asked me about how I come up with different flavor options and how I know they’ll work. This required me to evaluate my creative process in a way I never had before, even if once again the answer is that they really just come to me.
I have no explanation for it. I just have a good sense of flavors. I’ve always loved combining foods and seeing what would happen. When I was little I would test spices on different foods to see how they would taste. I’m pretty sure I was the only 8 year old sprinkling cinnamon and nutmeg on their Cheerios.
I don’t know if it’s all of the years of practice or if I was just born with an innate sense of taste, but I’ve always been able to discern when a dish is lacking something or pick out a flavor when no one else can taste it.
I don’t think Chocolate + Gingerbread is a particularly innovative combo, but for some it may be a little out there or different. But for me, it just makes sense. I’m of the opinion that chocolate should always have a kick. It’s probably why I’m the only person who adds chili powder to most of their chocolatey goods.
But these chocolate muffins were begging for some gingerbread action, because ’tis the season! And because my tastebuds dictate all of the recipes that end up on this space. One day you’ll learn to trust them as much as I have. Or you can just think I’m crazy. Both may be accurate.
- 1 flax egg (1 T ground flax, mixed with 3 T warm water)
- 2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour*
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tsp dried ground ginger
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
- pinch of sea salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 T blackstrap molasses
- 1/2-3/4 cup non-dairy milk (I use unsweetened almond milk-how much you use will depend on type of gluten-free flour)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Make flax egg and set aside.
- Spray a muffin tin with coconut oil or line with muffin liners.
- In a large bowl combine flour, cocoa powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, baking powder and salt.
- Warm up applesauce in microwave for 30 seconds (or on stovetop until warm but not scalding).
- Stir in baking soda. Mixture should foam. If not, try again until it does.
- In a separate bowl combine applesauce mixture, coconut oil, maple syrup, molasses 1/2 cup milk and flax egg until well-combined.
- Slowly add dry ingredients to wet. Mixture will be thick but if too thick to stir add in another 1/4 cup of milk (this is due to the amount of xanthan gum in the flour which varies by brand)
- Scoop batter into muffin cups until 3/4 full.
- Bake for 15-18 minutes.
- Muffins are ready when a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days on counter or longer in fridge.
Are you good at predicting and detecting flavor combos? Bloggers, when do your best ideas come to you?
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