Chocolate honey muffins

We simply love these muffins. Kids because they are exceptionally tasty, and me because they are basically made of nuts and honey, with a splash of raw cacao, making them truly wholesome. Plus, they require about 10 minutes to prepare and another 12 to bake. Talk about super fast!

The honey twist

nuts-484262_1280The brilliance of this recipe lies not only in its simplicity, but also in awesomeness of the ingredients.

Instead of wheat flour it uses nuts, such as walnuts and almonds, though you are most welcome to add hazelnuts or any other kind you prefer. Nuts are not only yummy, but also packed with protein, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and incredibly healthy omega-3 fatty acids.

Cacao is another exceptional food, rich in antioxidants, essential minerals (such as the praised magnesium) and vitamins, all of which are wonderfully beneficial for proper heart functioning and overall health.

And finally — honey!

I already wrote at length why sugar should be avoided at all costs, but honey is a superfood, a whole different ball of wax.

bee-942008_1280The properties and nutrient value of honey pretty much depend on its origin (on type of flower nectar used in its production) and there are two basic criteria I use when buying it: it needs to be local and the darker the better.

Honey is believed to help relieve allergies by introducing pollen spores to the body in amounts small enough not to cause allergic reactions, but again sufficient to activate the immune system and thus gradually build immunity against the allergens. The only thing to keep in mind is that it only works locally and it needs a few months of regular intake (a teaspoonful each day should do the trick) for the effects to kick in.

With hundreds of compounds (enzymes, vitamins and minerals), honey is also an amazing source of antioxidants (mostly flavonoids), which help tissue-growth, prevent cellular damage and reduce the risk of inflammation and disease. Since not all honey is created equal, the antioxidant power can vary significantly, so it is a general rule of thumb that darker varieties are richer in flavonoids.

fir-tree-honey-752145_1280There are numerous other benefits to this miracle liquid, but let me just mention a few. With an average of 64 calories per tablespoon along with a Glycemic Index of 10 (less than a banana), it is a unique source of energy that doesn’t jolt the blood sugar level, harm the pancreas or disturb digestion. Furthermore, many varieties contain significant amount of gut-friendly bacteria (up to 6 species of lactobacilli and 4 species of bifidobacteria) thus helping in treatment of diarrhea, ulcers and other digestive issues. Honey is my favourite cough suppressant and my first choice when it comes to upper respiratory tract infections. It also acts as a powerful antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic agent. Finally, it lowers LDL cholesterol, blood triglycerides while raising HDL cholesterol levels. A super-food if there ever was one!

And that is why I prefer adding honey to cakes and cookies, instead of the dreaded sugar. If you want to try substituting sugar in your cooking, as a general rule, use ¾ cup of honey for every one cup of sugar and reduce the liquid in the recipe by 2 tablespoons.

The recipe

chocolate-838310_1280Since the muffins in the original recipe kept turning gooey after baking, I changed the recipe a bit, adding almonds and coconut flour, to make sure my kids didn’t yuck away at their consistency.

2 cups of walnuts

1 cup of almonds

1 tablespoon of coconut flour

1 tablespoon of raw cacao powder

3 tablespoons of butter

3 pastured eggs

3 tablespoons of raw honey

1 teaspoon of baking soda

chocolate chips to sprinke

Take the eggs and the required amount of butter out of the fridge and leave on a kitchen counter for at least an hour, to reach room temperature.

Preheat oven to 180℃. Put the dry ingredients (nuts, flour and baking soda) in a food processor and blend well. Beat the eggs, together with the butter and honey. Mix the dry and the wet ingredients, Add cacao powder, stir well, pour into muffin mould (I always use the one for a dozen little treats) and sprinkle with chocolate chips (or cacao nibs). Bake at 170℃ for 12-15 minutes.

And leave for at least half an hour to cool before you start indulging your senses.

Bon appétit!


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