Featured Ingredient: Avocado
It was not too long ago during the “fat is worse than the bubonic plague” era that the creamy avocado was left to rot on store shelves. Thankfully, we have all come to our senses and avocado is once again considered what it should be: an exceptionally healthy food.
Yes, avocado contains a bunch of fat, but almost all of this comes from monounsaturated fat. A raft of studies has demonstrated that this particular guise of fat protects the ticker by helping improve cholesterol numbers. Add on top of this a smorgasbord of nutrients including folate, vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, vitamin K and vitamin C, and you have a bon afide superfood. Oh, and each half avocado supplies a whopping 7 grams of dietary fiber.
This was my first attempt at baking with avocado and I am pleased with the results. When you incorporate pureed avocado into baked goods you don’t need to use any eggs. So these chocolaty muffins could easily be vegan by using non-dairy milk such as hemp or soy instead of cow’s milk. I’ve discussed the benefits of kamut flour previously as a great alternative to standard wheat flour, but if you can’t locate it whole wheat pastry flour will do. Or try half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour. There is a fine line between these being moist and dry, so start testing them after about 20 minutes of baking time.
There are a lot of ways you can adjust the spices, nuts and sweeteners in this recipe to your liking, which is the beauty of so many muffin recipes.
Double Chocolate Avocado Muffins
1 1/2 cups kamut flour or whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 medium-sized ripe avocado, pitted and peeled
2/3 cup pure maple syrup, preferably dark grade
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted or other oil of choice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks
1/3 cup walnut pieces.
Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, spices, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a food processor or high powered blender such as the Vita-mix, puree the avocado, maple syrup, milk, oil, and vanilla extract together until smooth. Add the avocado mixture to the dry ingredients; mix until all the flour is combined. If the mixture is too dry, stir in additional milk. Fold in chocolate chunks and walnuts.
Divide the batter between 12 medium-sized muffin cups, and bake for about 22 minutes, or until a tester comes out with just a few crumbs. Let cool before unmolding.