“Well, can you make it a junky, healthy snack, then?”
My son has a sweet tooth – there is no doubt about that – and every day he looks for a way to finagle a treat. For a mom who’s trying to feed her children healthy foods, it can become tiresome to always be “fighting” about what is good and what it isn’t. So, I’m always creating recipes which can be a compromise between what my son considers a treat and what I think is healthy.
The other day, my son really wanted something “junky” as he called it, and I advocated for something healthy. When he asked me for a “junky, healthy snack” I laughed, but then I got to work. After all, if I could create something he thought was “junky” but it really wasn’t, then we’d both be happy.
I asked my son what he wanted, and he replied that he wanted a chocolate chip muffin. He, of course, meant one of those monstrosities they sell at the store which is all white flour and butter and huge chocolate chips, a lot of them. I wasn’t going for that, but it did give me an idea, and the result was a low fat chocolate chip muffin which was full of potassium from bananas, antioxidants and fiber from dates, and protein (and fiber) from oat and garbanzo bean flour – plus the muffins were free of dairy, soy, gluten, eggs, nuts, and refined sugar. What more could a mother ask?
And my son plus my daughters, and later, my writing group, all enjoyed the muffins immensely.
Chocolate Chip Muffins
8 ounces of pitted, chopped dates
1 cup gluten free rolled whole oats
1 cup boiling water
2 tbsp ground golden flaxseed
6 tbsp water
1 cup gluten free oat flour
1 cup garbanzo bean flour
2/3 cup potato starch
1/3 cup arrowroot starch
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ginger
1 cup Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips
Four 6 inch bananas (comes to about 1 1/4 cups mashed)
1/4 cup safflower oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line 24 muffin cups with cupcake liners or grease them so the muffins won’t stick to your pan.
2. Use a food processor to finely chop your dates into tiny pieces. (This will distribute the dates throughout your batter.)
3. Mix the finely chopped dates with the oats in a bowl, and pour the boiling water over them, pushing the dates and oats down into the water so they are covered. Let sit.
4. Whisk together the flaxmeal with the water, and set aside.
5. Whisk together the oat flour, garbanzo bean flour, potato starch, arrowroot starch, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Stir in the chocolate chips and set aside.
6. Mash the bananas and mix with the oil and the dates and oatmeal mixture and the flaxmeal mixture.
7. Make a hole in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients along with the apple cider vinegar. Mix up quickly just until the dry ingredients are moist.
8. Evenly scoop the muffin batter among the 24 muffin cups and bake for 15 minutes or until the cupcakes are golden and puffed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
9. Remove the muffins to a wire rack and cool completely. These keep well in a tightly covered tupper ware container.