Flourless Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins

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For my readers who have requested gluten-free recipes, I consider it my duty to muffinize™ the crumbly, dry baked goods they are generally stuck with.

Moist, rich, and decadent, these muffins satisfy the chocolate-peanut butter craving. The recipe is dairy-free, oil-free, and contains no refined sugar. So how could the muffins be good? Believe.

With the help of a blender, the batter is transformed in minutes. No gluten means no risk of over-mixing the batter, which could create tough muffins.

Thanks to the banana and honey, the taste is sweet but not too sweet, the texture fudgy but still cakey and springy like muffins. The peanut butter is there, but does not overwhelm. The chocolate flavor is enhanced by the ever-presence of mini chips.

These muffins are a wonderful way to justify having chocolate for breakfast.

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Flourless Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins (makes 6)

1 medium/large ripe banana, peeled
1 large egg
heaping ½ cup creamy peanut butter
1/3 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
3 tablespoons honey (agave, brown rice syrup, or maple syrup may be substituted)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt, optional and to taste
heaping 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 Tbsp mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (for sprinkling)

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray muffin pan with cooking spray.
2. To the canister of a blender, add banana, egg, peanut butter, cocoa powder, honey, vanilla extract, baking soda, and salt. Blend on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute.
3. Transfer batter to a mixing bowl. Fold in heaping 1/2 cup chocolate chips and stir.
4. Use an ice cream scoop to distribute batter into muffin cups to ¾ full.
5. Sprinkle each muffin with a generous pinch of chocolate chips.
6. Bake for 13 to 18 minutes*, or until the tops are set, domed, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter.
7. Allow muffins to cool in pan for 10 minutes until they’ve set.**

*Watch muffins closely and bake until done.
**These muffins will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 4 months.

 

 

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Chicken Pot Pie Muffins

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Chicken Pot Pie is an especially comforting comfort food in the form of a muffin. Even to those who did not grow up with the pot pie as a staple, these muffins are reminiscent of the moist buttery biscuit that generations of Americans have loved.

This recipe is full of nutrients in the form of chicken, cheese and vegetables. The possibilities of vegetables are endless. Go heavy on the peas if your kids love peas. At first, my kids questioned the blatant vegetables on top, but the buttery flavor of the muffins won them over and I’m not sure they even realized the muffin was made of…chicken.

As these muffins come right out of the oven, rub a small pat of butter over the tops. Serve these muffins warm from the oven with a pat of butter. Store leftovers in the refrigerator or freeze.

Enjoy!

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Chicken Pot Pie Muffins (makes 12)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg
2/3 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 cup rotisserie chicken, shredded
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables, thawed

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Grease muffin pan with cooking spray or line with paper liners.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper.
3. In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, and butter.
4. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
5. Fold in cheese, chicken, and vegetables (reserve about a tablespoon of vegetables for sprinkling on muffin tops). Do not over-mix batter or muffins will become hard.
6. Distribute chicken mixture into the muffin-pan cups.
7. Sprinkle about a tablespoon of vegetables on tops of batter.
8. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Cheeseburger Muffins

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I grew up eating McDonald’s, so I consider it a supreme culinary accomplishment to recreate the perfect nuances of the McDonald’s cheeseburger in a compact, succulent muffin.

This is the pinnacle. This muffin brings together the perfect combination of ketchup, mustard, cheddar, and a buttery-meat taste of what we all crave in a cheeseburger. You can substitute turkey for hamburger meat. Serve warm with a side of sliced pickles for a healthy version of a fast food childhood memory.

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Cheeseburger Muffins (makes 18)

1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, finely chopped
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup ketchup
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1 tsp mustard
2 cups (8 oz) shredded cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Grease muffin pan with cooking spray or line with paper liners.
2. In a large frying pan, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.
3. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
4. In a separate mixing bowl, combine the ketchup, milk, butter, eggs, and mustard; stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened.
5. Fold in beef mixture and cheese.
6. Distribute cheeseburger mixture into the muffin-pan cups, ¾ full.
7. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.
8. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

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Lemon Ricotta Muffins

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A wonderful way to start the day, these refreshing lemony ricotta muffins look fancy and taste delicious. Without the lemon, this recipe makes a great ricotta muffin. The almonds on top look great and add even more protein.

*Note: Omit almonds for young children.

Lemon Ricotta Muffins (makes 12)

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar (plus more for sprinkling)
1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup), melted and cooled to room temperature
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1 Tbsp lemon zest, finely grated (from 2 lemons)
1 egg
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/3 cup sliced almonds

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin cups with cooking spray or line with paper liners.
2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
3. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the ricotta cheese and lemon zest. Add the egg, lemon juice, and almond extract.
4. Add the flour mixture to the ricotta mixture and stir until just blended. This is a thick batter.
5. Using and ice cream scooper, divide the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle the almonds and extra sugar on top. Prod almonds into batter, slightly.
6. Bake for 20 minutes or until the muffins are a pale golden color.

Green Monster Smoothie Muffins

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My kids won’t touch spinach, but in a muffin, anything goes. I personally never got into the smoothie rage. I don’t like drinking my food and my kids are scared of monsters.

These super green muffins are sweet-like-cake and packed with protein and vegetables. Plus, calling anything “monster” piques a child’s interest.

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Green Monster Smoothie Muffins (makes 12)

3 ripe bananas
2 cups baby spinach
1 6oz container greek yogurt
1 Tbsp peanut butter
1 Tbsp honey
¾ cups flour
6 Tbsp sugar
1 egg
1/8 cup canola oil
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin cups with cooking spray or line with paper liners.
2. In a blender, puree the bananas, spinach, yogurt, peanut butter and honey.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, egg, oil, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
4. Pour the smoothie mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well.
5. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
6. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean.
7. Allow muffins to cool before removing them from the pan.

 

Crustless Quiche Muffins

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In an attempt to tempt Michael to try spinach, I decided to mix the “loathed” vegetable with one of his favorite foods: eggs. Not only did he approve, but he gobbled down two! This recipe is also great for serving to last-minute company.

These individual, crustless quiches are perfect on-the-go meals. Whip up a batch (or two) on Sunday evening, and you have an easy go-to breakfast for busy weekday mornings. They’re also really versatile – this version features spinach and a combination of cheddar and mozzarella, but cooked broccoli and cheddar or crispy bacon can easily be substituted or added!

Note: Crustless quiches can be placed in a large ziplock bag or individually wrapped and frozen.

Crustless Quiche Muffins (makes 12)

4 large eggs
1 cup (or 1 10oz box) frozen chopped spinach or other vegetable
3/4 cup shredded cheese (I use a combination of mozzarella and Cheddar)
1/4 tsp salt
onion powder (to taste)
garlic powder (to taste)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin pans with cooking spray or line with paper liners.
2. Thaw spinach in microwave and squeeze out extra juice.
3. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl.
4. Spoon mixture into the cupcake liners until 3/4 full.
5. Bake for about 25-30 minutes.

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Thai Turkey Meatloaf Muffins

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My husband requested a more adult muffin for a sophisticated evening with friends (sans kids). Not that there’s anything unsophisticated about peanut butter and jelly muffins…

Here is something else to do with ground turkey that is oh so flavorful! These healthy muffins are super moist and have a special Thai kick. TheThai flavors are delicious and the muffins are perfect for reheating at lunchtime.

Although my kids were doubtful at first, after the first bites, they approved. My husband had seconds and asked for a “doggy bag” to bring to work the next day.
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Thai Turkey Meatloaf Muffins (makes 12)
1.25 Lb ground turkey (preferably  a mix of half dark meat and half light meat)
3/4 cup rice, cooked
1/4 tsp cilantro
1/4 tsp lemon grass
1/4 tsp scallions
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp basil
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup Thai peanut sauce
2 tsp sesame oil (or peanut oil)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat 12 muffin-pan cups with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
2. Combine turkey, rice, seasoning, coconut milk, peanut sauce, and sesame oil, and mix thoroughly with hands.
3. Distribute turkey mixture into the muffin-pan cups and press into mixture with back of spoon.
4. Bake for 30 minutes.
5. Serve with peanut sauce.