Dark chocolate and coffee – what’s not to love? This is slightly sweet but not over the top. You will love its rich coffee flavor that complements the dark chocolate chips and the faint taste of oats thanks to the oat bran. I love taking a recipe and making it better for others and I hope that you will agree when you taste this muffin! I made up a batch on Monday and the aroma coming from the oven was unbelieveable! When the muffins came out of the oven I wanted just stand there and smell them! This needs to be a scent for a candle so you can have this scent in your home all the time!
I have a favorite brand of flour that offers White Whole Wheat Flour and is milled so fine that it leaves you will a wonderful tender crumb in your baked goods. I have used flours in the past that are whole wheat but they are ground so coarsely that it leaves much to be desired in the end product. There are so many reasons for switching to whole wheat flour from the enriched stuff and I hope that if you haven’t considered it or if you have been on the fence that you will give this brand a try and see that it really is not as bad as you think! If you can’t find it in your stores ask then to order it for you, most stores are very accomodating. I have found this brand at Costco, Publix, Kroger and others.
So here is the good news dark chocolate contains powerful antioxidants and offers many other health benifits. Interesting to note that in several studies milk is not the best combination when eating dark chocolate. “Our findings indicate that milk may interfere with the absorption of antioxidants from chocolate … and may therefore negate the potential health benefits that can be derived from eating moderate amounts of dark chocolate.” So pour yourself a cup of coffee instead!
Here are 6 health benifits of Dark Chocolate:
- Good for your heart – It helps lower blood pressure as well it improves blood flow and can reduce LDL cholesterol (i.e., the bad cholesterol) by up to 10 percent.
- Brain food – increases blood flow to the brain so it can help improve cognitive function, contains phenylethylamine (PEA), the same chemical your brain creates when you feel like you’re falling in love. PEA encourages your brain to release endorphins, so eating dark chocolate will make you feel happier.
- Helps control blood sugar – The flavonoids in dark chocolate also help reduce insulin resistance by helping your cells to function normally and regain the ability to use your body’s insulin efficiently. Dark chocolate also has a low glycemic index, meaning it won’t cause huge spikes in blood sugar levels.
- Powerful Antioxidants - Antioxidants gobble up free radicals, destructive molecules that are implicated in heart disease and other ailments.
- Dental Health – contains theobromine, which has been shown to harden tooth enamel reducing cavities.
- High in Viatmins and Minerals – The copper and potassium help prevent against stroke and cardiovascular ailments. The iron protects against iron deficiency anemia, and the magnesium in chocolate helps prevent type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease.
Need I say more? How great is that? Remember the higher quality of your dark chocolate the better so try and buy one with at least 70% cacao. All dark chocolate should have the percentage on the package so double check before putting it into your cart. The great thing about good quality chocolate is that a little can go a long way so you can enjoy frequently, just remember to balance it out with a healthy diet!
|Dark Chocolate Coffee Chia Muffins||
- 1 c. unsweetened coconut milk
- 5 T. butter, melted
- 3 T. instant coffee (I used instant espresso)
- 1 1/2 t. vanilla (I used vanilla bean paste for extra yumminess)
- 1/3 c. unsweetened applesauce
- 1/4 c. water
- 1 T. chia seed
- 1 c. white whole wheat flour
- 1/2 c. oat bran
- 1/2 c. quinoa flour
- 2/3 c. cane sugar
- 2 t. baking powder
- 1/4 t. salt
- 1/2 c. dark chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a small bowl add the 1/4 c. water and chia seed. Stir to distribute and let sit for 5-10 minutes or until water is absorbed.
- Combine the first 5 ingredients and stir to incorporate the coffee.
- Using a whisk add chia mixture to coffee mixture.
- In a large bowl combine flour and the rest of the ingredients. Stir well with a whisk.
- Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture. Add the coffee mixture to the flour mixture and stir until moist and all flour is incorporated.
- Spray muffin pans with non-stick spray or line with papers. Spoon batter into the pan and bake for 18-20 minutes until the tops spring backs and a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool and enjoy with a cup of coffee!
These muffins freeze great, so go ahead and make up a batch! When cool, wrap them in foil and place in a air tight container or Ziploc bag before going in the freezer.