Posted on Jul 2, 2011 in All Recipe Posts, Breakfast, Chocolate, Fruit, Protein, Protein Muffins, Special Diet | 12 comments

Muscle muffins?  Really?  Well, hey, if I wrote Berry Chocolate Muffins they’d just sound delicious.  Oh wait.  They ARE delicious!  But they are also really good for you.  But they are seriously yum too.

I don’t believe in adjusting my palate to strange and off-putting flavours in the pursuit of health.

So I don’t.  It has to be good for me, but I want it to taste good too.  No.  I want it to taste awesometastic.

But they are good muscle-building muffins.  Based on the nutritional profile provided below, you get a nice kick of protein and a good dose of healthy carbs and fats.  I like these for my pre-workout breakfast, meal, or snack.  Call it what you will.  I’d say they were great Iron-Man food but I remember a sugar-laden breakfast cereal makes that claim and has trade-marked it soooo … ditch the cereal.  These muffins will give you longer lasting and better quality energy than certain, un-named breakfast cereals. ;-)

Coconut sugar features again.  Why?  It tastes unbelievable … like toffee and rich.  Yes, really.  Plus it’s really low GI (35) which is lower than agave and a whole host of other sugars.  It’s also a well-balanced sugar that doesn’t rely on an excess of fructose so better for your tummy and anyone on a low FODMAP diet.   Best of all it isn’t just empty calories either.  It has much more iron, zinc and trace minerals than most unrefined sugars.  You don’t need a lot of it to get a lovely sweetness that isn’t sickly.

I’ve also used walnuts as a change from almonds.  Lots of omega-3 type action plus they taste lovely and with the quinoa flour, these muffins are SUPER SUPER moist.  No added butters, oils etc.  Plus … strawberries … superfood.  Enough said.

I love them with a dollop of low-fat yoghurt.  More protein.  More calcium.  More yum.

Go for it.  Fuel up before that run or that gym workout.  Power on.  Muscle up.

Did I mention they taste wonderful?  There’s cacao involved.  Chocolate.  It makes everything AWESOMETASTIC.

Oh yeah, wheat and gluten-free yet again.  Aren’t I considerate???  :-D

Makes 12 muffins

125 grams walnuts
75 grams organic coconut sugar
125 grams quinoa or coconut flour
25 grams raw cacao powder
50 grams whey protein powder (chocolate or vanilla)
3 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder
2 large egg whites
200 millilitres skim milk
1 orange, juice and finely grated zest
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or extract
250 grams strawberries (optional)
12 strawberries, extra

Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC (190ºC if using a fan forced oven).   Line muffin tins with cupcake/muffin liners or use a silicon muffin sheet.

Place the walnuts and the coconut sugar into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the nuts are finely ground.  Mix together the walnut meal, coconut sugar, quinoa or coconut flour,  cacao, protein powder, and baking powder in a large bowl.  I use a fork to mix muffins as it allows me to have a light touch in mixing but also breaks up any lumps when mixing the dry ingredients together.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, egg whites, orange juice and zest,  and vanilla.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry mixture and mix lightly with a fork.   The batter will be mousse-like in texture.  Chocolate mousse-like.  It also tastes rather like chocolate mousse.   It already tastes fabulous and we haven’t even baked them yet!

If you want to add extra strawberries into the mix, hull and chop the 250 grams strawberries, and gently fold into the muffin batter.  Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tins or moulds, making sure to divide the mixture evenly.

Hull the extra strawberries and cut in half lengthwise.  Place two halves on each muffin and press lightly into the batter.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until risen and a skewer inserted in to the centre comes out clean with just a few crumbs attached.
Cool on a wire rack before turning out.

These are best served warm.  You can freeze them, stored in an airtight container.  Pop them into a microwave oven for about 30 – 45 seconds to defrost and warm up before serving.  Great topped with yoghurt if you want some extra protein and calcium!

Nutritional Profile
I’ve provided the nutritional profile for both the original and the extra berry versions below.

Note that the fat content is made up of over 90% heart healthy mono and poly unsaturated fats as well as Omega complex.   A little over 50% of the total carbohydrate count comes from complex carbohydrates.  The muffins are also low GI and packed with iron, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and a host of other trace elements.