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Paleo Chocolate Banana Muffins

For those of us dear souls who have embarked on a restrictive diet in the name of health, whether it be sugar free, low carb, a Candida diet, ketogenic, etc., you know what I mean when I say, “I just want to have a tasty moist fluffy muffin to sink my teeth into!”  The freshly baked muffins at the grocery store often seem to jeer within their display cases saying, “neener neener,” making them all the more tempting. Oh how life can be so unfair sometimes…

So lets say that you are one of those people who would like to find a good chocolate muffin recipe that is moist and satisfying without all the sugar, unhealthy fats, and grains. I can absolutely relate! Many paleo muffin recipes have been tested in our kitchen without success, as they were either too dry, too dense, lacking in flavor, or a complete fail. But here is the good news, my recipe testing has lead me to creating this amazing chocolate banana muffin recipe that will not disappoint! So let me tell you a little about it and why I chose to incorporate specific ingredients.

For starters, the base of the muffins needed to be something that would retain its moisture after baking, while not leading to a mushy mess. Bananas and coconut oil are a great choice. Bananas naturally will lead to a tender product due to their water content and will add natural sweetness; a one-two punch! 😊 Next, I chose to use coconut oil over butter because muffins that use oil tend to be more moist than those that use butter as the base. Moving on to the sweetener, I chose to use birch xylitol because it provides the desired sweetness without feeding bad bacteria in the gut. Sweeteners are controversial in most diets, but sweetness is a major part of many recipes. It becomes a balancing act to find the sweetener that works for you and your diet. You can read more about the benefits and drawbacks of birch xylitol here.

A couple things to consider before using xylitol:

  1. It is poisonous to dogs and cats, so keep it out of their reach!
  2. If you are someone with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), irritable bowel disease, Crohn’s, small bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), or malabsorption, xylitol is probably not the best option. Xylitol is composed of fermentable carbohydrates that can lead to worse symptoms for people with gut dysfunction.
  3. Xylitol should be consumed in relatively small quantities.
  4. Birch xylitol is superior to xylitol made from corn, which has the possibility of being contaminated with GMOs and chemicals from the extraction process. Here is the brand I recommend.

Now let’s move on to the dry ingredients. This is where grain free recipes can get tricky. The goal is to produce a product with a texture similar to its gluten-containing counterparts, which is no easy task! Oh how I miss gluten some days! With some trial and error I have figured out that if a recipe calls for large amounts of coconut flour, odds are that the baked good will be dense and suck all of the saliva from your mouth… Not what I would like to happen when I’m trying to enjoy a treat! I’m smiling as I write this because I can remember my dad tasting some of my more disastrous creations and trying to not laugh, choke, or spit out the muffin I had made. 😬 Poor Daddy!    On the bright side, I now can produce a muffin that won’t leave my family with a dry mouth! The key is to use more almond flour than coconut flour, but just enough coconut flour to absorb some of the excess liquid in the recipe. If there is someone in your family who is allergic to almonds, cassava flour or tiger nut flour would make a great substitute.

Lastly, what makes this recipe so special is the use of sour cream. Our family has the holy grail of banana bread recipes (that I will be sharing in the near future) which has sour cream in it. I think that it is the sour cream that takes that recipe over the top, so why not incorporate it here?

I hope that you enjoy this grain free muffin recipe as much as my family does! Happy baking!

Moist Paleo Chocolate Banana Muffins (click on the title for a printable recipe)

Prep Time: 15 minutes Prep Time; 18 minutes Cook Time; 33 minutes Total

Yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium super ripe bananas, mashed with a fork (if frozen, defrost in microwave)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3 cup xylitol (preferably birch xylitol, not corn)
  • 2 organic eggs, room temperature (if eggs are cold, run them under warm water for a minute to bring to room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup organic cocoa powder
  • 2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 3 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup organic sour cream, room temperature
  • optional: 1/4 cup paleo friendly chocolate chips (Enjoy Life, Lilly’s, Bulletproof)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line a muffin tin with twelve muffin liners.
  2. In a large glass bowl, mash the bananas until most of the lumps are gone (if bananas are frozen, microwave for 30 seconds before).
  3. In a small glass bowl, melt the coconut oil until completely melted and clear. Pour into the large bowl with the bananas. Stir with a spoon.
  4. Add the xylitol to the large bowl and mix.
  5. Crack two eggs, that are at room temperature, into the large bowl and mix.
  6. Add vanilla extract and stir.
  7. In a medium bowl, mix together the almond flour, coconut flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together until no clumps remain.
  8. Add the dry ingredients to the large bowl with the wet ingredients and mix well (do not worry about over-mixing because there is no gluten in this recipe).
  9. Mix in the sour cream until combined and add in chocolate chips, if desired.
  10. Bake for 18 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean. If using chocolate chips, be careful not to confuse the melted chocolate with underdone batter.
  11. Cool the muffins in the pan for 10 minutes and then remove the muffins from the pan and finish cooling on a wire rack.
  12. Place into an airtight container and store in the fridge up to five days, or in the freezer up to two months.
  13. Enjoy~ We love them slightly warmed in the microwave!
  • Jo Lee - February 7, 2017 - 7:58 PM

    These look delicious. What could I use in place of Xylitol?ReplyCancel

    • Dawn - February 11, 2017 - 4:13 PM

      They are yummy!! You could use coconut sugar or regular sugar- both would be they same proportion. Let us know how they turn out with a different sugar. 🙂ReplyCancel

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