gluten and sugar-free chocolate chip muffins

sugar free muffin
I am continually faced with the challenge of feeding my boys healthy snacks without processed ingredients and refined sugar found in most store-bought products. In addition, their treats have got to be dairy-free—made without eggs, butter or milk—since B breaks out in hives after eating a crumb-sized bite of anything with dairy in it.

Vegan eats also happen to be earth- and animal-friendly since mainstream dairy industry practices are far from humane, and produce sustainable amounts of greenhouse gasses. I prefer to buy organic ingredients as well, since I know they haven’t been sprayed with chemicals.

I made up this recipe during a spontaneous Friday afternoon baking session two years ago, which has became a staple for hubby and the boys ever since.

It uses the dry ingredients of any good muffin recipe: flour, baking powder and salt, but takes liberties with the rest. Instead of sugar, very ripe bananas act as the sweetener. Oil and vinegar mimic the fluffy consistency of baking with eggs. Of course, hubby and the boys live for chocolate, so I include one of my all-time favorite products, Sunspire sugar-free chocolate chips sweetened with brown rice syrup instead of cane sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Note that this product is not strictly vegan—it is made in a factory that uses milk products. For purely vegan chips, you can use Sunspire unsweetened vegan carob chips with added corn and malted barley, or Trader Joes vegan chocolate chips, which contain cane sugar. I include ground flaxseeds for added healthy omega-3 fat otherwise only found in high amounts in fish, canola oil and walnuts.

This recipe also uses gluten-free flour. While my boys are not allergic to gluten, I like to mix it up when it comes to the types of flour I use when baking for them. Gluten-free flour provides a wider range of nutrients and limits the amount of gluten in their diets. Millet and oat flour used here contain notable amounts of magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and trace minerals.  Feel free to replace the types of flour used here with whatever you have in your pantry: whole wheat, spelt and soy flour are also nutritious options.

They’re yummy, I promise.

Sugar-free chocolate chip muffins (dairy- and gluten-free too)

1 cup millet flour, organic
1 cup oat flour or whole oats, organic
¼ cup ground flaxseeds
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt

1 cup water, filtered
2 large or 3 small extra ripe bananas, organic (mashed)
1/2 cup vegetable, olive or sunflower seed oil
1 Tbs white vinegar
1 cup chocolate or carob chips

Mix wet into dry, then add chocolate chips. Bake in muffin tin for 24 minutes. Let cool then munch away. Freeze after cooling to keep fresh.