Even if you are a carnivore like me, you will sooner or later stumble upon vegan desserts if you need/want/try to avoid dairy. The label “vegan” on any restaurant or supermarket item per definitionem means free of animal products and therefore free of dairy – a safe bet for those with a casein allergy, lactose intolerance, or who simply want to avoid dairy for other health and/or lifestyle reasons. I do love my goat’s and sheep’s milk, the occasional cheese platter and, of course, my eggies, but I wanted to create something nice and scrumptious for all you vegan and/or dairy intolerant out there – and what would be better than a luscious, naughty little muffin?
In baking, you have heaps of options to replace animal products with plant products – there are flax or chia seeds you can use instead of eggs, almond milk, rice milk, oat milk instead of cow’s milk…the list goes on! And if you can’t have butter, there is always coconut oil! If you thought “vegan” is synonymous with boring and chaste, think again – these wouldn’t be my muffins if they weren’t a bit naughty! And do you really think my hubs would survive a day at work with boring snacks? These muffins are made in a jiffy, fill the house with a lovely smell, and taste so-not-gluten free! In fact, they are moist and luscious and have the soft, fluffy crumb we all love and miss about glutenated muffins! And -unlike baking with gluten flours- there is no danger of overmixing the batter, as there is no gluten that can get activated! Yay!
Don’t let the labels “healthy”, “vegan” and “gluten free” deter you – these muffins boast LOTS of coffee and LOTS of chocolate! What better way to make it through a working day on your desk? Not only do they look good, smell even better and taste divine, they are the perfect nutritious breakfast and/or afternoon snack: Fibre and omega 3 from chia seeds; iron, zinc, calcium, potassium, polyphenols and antioxidants from coconut sugar (which is so much better for your blood sugar than regular sugar and won’t send you into a carb-induced stupor); anti-viral lauric acid from coconut oil; vitamin E from almond milk; antioxidants and minerals from dark chocolate; magnesium and copper from sorghum – maybe they are not that naughty after all?
Makes 18 small muffins
100 g organic coconut oil, very soft
70 g organic coconut sugar
2 “chia eggs” (i.e. 2 level tablespoons of black chia seeds dissolved in equal amounts of filtered water)
1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
125 g sorghum flour
75 g millet flour
80 g of any starch (i.e. any mix of tapioca, potato starch, rice starch, maize starch)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground sea salt
1 level teaspoon aluminium-free baking soda
1 cup almond milk
1 cup freshly brewed filter coffee, very strong
200 g vegan dark chocolate chips (from the health food store; alternatively, try very high-quality dark chocolate such as Lindt Excellence 90%)
Preheat oven to 170 °C and line or grease your muffin pan/s. Beat the coconut oil with the coconut sugar until creamy and fluffy. Add vanilla and chia eggs, mix in. In a separate bowl with a spout, mix together the coffee and almond milk. In another, bigger, bowl with spout mix the flours, starches, salt, and baking soda. Alternatingly, add almond coffee mix and flour mix to the coconut mix while beating until you get a homogenous, pancake-like, rather liquid batter. Stir in the chocolate chips. Fill muffin pan and bake for 18 minutes.