Almost immediately after I posted the recipe for my orange-chia & chocolate chip muffins I started thinking about trying to make double chocolate muffins. A few days after I posted that recipe I got to work on developing this recipe and very rarely does it happen that after the first batch it’s perfect but this recipe was. The first time that I made it, it was an absolute hit from the get-go. I tried this recipe out on members of my study group for Ochem, my friend’s parents/sibling, and of course my loyal guinea pig Adrian who is the greatest partner a girl could ask for. After so much ranting and raving I decided to make another batch just to be sure of the quality and OH MY GOSH. This recipe is incredibly moist, filling, and decadent. If you’ve been with me from the beginning, you would know that there is always a catch with my recipes. I always strive to create healthier versions of classic recipes and this one, in particular, is completely free of refined sugar just as all my recipes on here typically are. As usual, I substituted refined sugar for wholesome and delicious dates. But this recipe is so special because I utilized dates from the community I grew up in. I grew up in a very small agricultural town called Brawley and in making your way to Brawley, there is an even smaller town called Westmorland. It is quite possibly the smallest town in California, but they are well known for their delicious dates. The particular shop I adore is called the Westmorland Date Shake and obviously based on the name, they are known for their amazing date shakes. However, I recently learned that they are now selling their delicious dates online that you can order which is why I am mentioning them for the first time in this blog. Their dates are superior BY FAR to those that can be found in the produce section of the grocery store and can now be conveniently ordered to your home! I mention this because I truly think the quality of their products made all the difference in this recipe. One of the greatest compliments I received for this recipe was “you don’t even need milk” and that is one of the greatest things a baker can be told. So if you’re not already intrigued to try this recipe then let’s discuss the nutritional value of it.
This recipe is essentially the exact same as my last muffin recipe but with the addition of cocoa powder and walnuts. Cocoa powder has antioxidant properties while walnuts are one of the healthiest nuts on the planet. Walnuts are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids which are very important for your mental health as studies have shown it can help to reduce your risk of developing dementia and particularly Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, walnuts contain fiber and protein which help to fill you up. For this recipe, I decided to use whole-wheat pastry flour to include a source of B-vitamins, fiber, and complex carbohydrates, however, if you are gluten-intolerant or have celiac disease you can also substitute any other gluten-free flour in place. As for these majestic dates I have talked about, dates are loaded with fiber, and potassium which makes them the perfect substitution for refined sugar. Dates are naturally sweet and basically nature’s candy so I absolutely love to include them in my diet as often as I possibly can. Now that we’ve talked about all the info about this recipe, let’s get into details for what you will need to make these amazing muffins!
◊ Makes 12 muffins
- 1 1/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour (sub oat flour for gluten-free)
- 1/4 cup baking cocoa (unsweetened)
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 13 fresh Medjool dates ( I highly recommend this brand but otherwise Natural Delights is good too)
- 2 tsp maple syrup
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (or another type of milk)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened plain yogurt (I used this brand)
- 3 tablespoons melted and cooled butter (I used this brand)
- 2 eggs at room temperature
- 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate chips ( I used 53% dark cacao)
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat your oven to 375°F and lightly grease the inside of a 12 muffin tin with a little bit of butter.
- Add pitted dates, milk, vanilla extract, and maple syrup to a blender and blend until it is a smooth consistency.
- In a separate bowl add all the dry ingredients together: whole wheat pastry flour, baking cocoa, salt, and baking soda. Mix to combine them all together.
- To another larger bowl add in all the wet ingredients together: date mixture, yogurt, eggs, and butter. Whisk them to combine together.
- Once all the wet ingredients have been combined, add in the chopped chocolate chips and walnuts. Stir once more to combine.
- Slowly and in about 1/4 cup portions, add in the dry ingredients into the wet mixture. Be sure to add in small amounts at a time and only stir to fully combine everything.
- The batter should be a similar consistency to brownie mix.
- Once all of the dry mixture has been combined begin to fill the muffin tin using a 1/4 cup measurement ( I think this makes it easier to create uniform muffins)
- Bake at 375°F for 14-15 minutes. To check if they are done insert a clean toothpick and if it comes out clean you’re ready to go!
As always, I hope you have a wonderful rest of your week and if you try this recipe out tag us at @lifeatthemesa so we can see how it came out for you! I appreciate every single one of you that takes the time to read my recipes. It truly means the world to me and I absolutely love creating content to share with you.