« Creamy, Dairy-free Asparagus Soup Recipe
Tex-Mex Matzo Brei Recipe (Migas with Matzo!) »

Chocolate Banana Almond Flour Muffins with Chia Seeds Recipe (Gluten-free & Passover Friendly)

March 23, 2013

comments(35)  |  Share  |  print recipe

There’s a new (but not really new) diet in town which everyone is talking about called the Paleolithic Diet or Paleo, for short.  Sometimes it’s referred to as the Caveman or Hunter-Gatherer Diet and it focuses on the foods humans ate pre-industrial agriculture.  The idea is that our bodies recognize certain foods and haven’t evolved to recognize other newer foods so we should stick to what was eaten during the Paleolithic time to be healthy and fit.  The diet allows lean grass-fed and pastured meats, eggs, nuts and seeds, fruits and vegetables, coconut, avocado and healthy fats.  Easy, right?  But the diet does not allow anything processed or refined (like sugar, flour, packaged food), or any grains (wheat, rice, barley, etc.), legumes (beans, lentils), dairy, potatoes or processed oils.  I am not encouraging or discouraging this diet, which I think has its pros and cons, but merely giving a quick explanation since I’ve received a few questions about it recently.

As I have noticed more and more people limiting gluten and grains, I have also noticed the increased popularity and use of almond flour, which is finely milled blanched almonds.  Almonds, like all nuts and seeds, are gluten-free, low in carbohydrates and high in protein.  Whereas nuts and seeds, generally speaking, can be slightly acid-forming, almonds are alkalizing.

A few years ago I found Elana Amsterdam’s great gluten-free website, www.elanaspantry.com, which I think started the almond flour revolution.  Elana has since turned paleo, and all her newer recipes follow those guidelines.  It’s really because of her website that I was inspired to experiment with almond flour and although I have had mixed results, overall I think it’s awesome once I figured out how to work with it.  I think it’s great to add some variety to our diet and I love getting some extra protein into Mr. Picky.  Almond flour also comes in handy around Passover, 8 days of no grains or legumes, except Matzoh which can start to get a tad boring after a few days.

I had a really delicious Chocolate Banana Chia Seed muffin at Le Pain Quotidian last year or the year before and I was intent on duplicating it.   The muffin was moist with the perfect amount of sweetness and I loved the crunch from the chia seeds.  They were kind enough to tell me the ingredients (although not the exact recipe) and I made a tasty version at home with whole wheat pastry flour and maple syrup.  The kids thought they were great!  When I tried using almond flour in place of the wheat flour, we all went crazy for them.  The almond flour version of the muffin was the best — super moist, chocolaty and a little denser, but in a good way.  Now when I make these muffins, I always use almond flour!

Before you start substituting almond flour one-for-one for wheat flour, stop right there.  It isn’t a perfect substitution.  Almond flour has no gluten, but does contain way more fat than wheat flour so there are a few adjustments to be made.  I would stop by Elana’s Pantry for a quick lesson on how almond flour works.  I also have found that specifically labeled “almond flour” is better than “almond meal” (like Bob’s Red Mill.)  Per Elana, I started buying almond flour from Honeyville Grain, which has a very good, fresh product and a very reasonable shipping fee ($4.50 flat rate.

These muffins are not technically Paleo due to the yogurt, although if you can find an unsweetened almond milk yogurt, that would work here.  Or you can try making these without the yogurt and just add 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, although I have never done it and can’t guarantee the results.  I’m really posting these as a great gluten-free, Happy Passover muffin, although I make these all year.  In fact I made these recently and Daughter #2 had a few friends over and they inhaled half the batch in 2 minutes.  (I’m telling you, if you want the kids to hang out at your house, you need FOOD.)  To make this more of a dessert, you can certainly substitute chocolate chips for the diced dates.  The chia seeds are fun and obviously nutritious, but there’s less than 1 teaspoon per muffin so it’s not a dealbreaker if you want to omit them.

As always, I love hearing about your experiments in the kitchen and would especially be interested to know about your experience with almond flour or your favorite Passover treats.  Once again, I’m on dessert duty for Passover and I’m getting busy right now.  This weekend I will be making loads of Macaroons, both plain and dipped in chocolate, the Lemon Ice Torte which I have been making since 1991, and a raw cashew “cheesecake” which I will have to share another time.  There is also a recipe on my site for a (vegan) Coconut Tart with Strawberries which is perfect for Passover and Easter.  Lots of delicious options!

chocolate banana almond flour muffins with chia seeds

inspired by Le Pain Quotidien

makes 12 muffins

 

1 ¾ cups blanched almond flour (not almond meal – I use Honeyville)

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt

2 Tablespoons of chia seeds + 1 Tablespoon for muffin tops

½ cup diced pitted dates, about 7 dates (easier to dice when they’re cold) (optional, or ½ cup chocolate chips)

4 Tablespoons melted unrefined coconut oil

4 Tablespoons whole unsweetened yogurt

1/3 cup 100% pure maple syrup or honey

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 medium very ripe bananas, mashed

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 12-cup muffin pan with unbleached parchment liners.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together almond flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt and 2 Tablespoons chia seeds.  Add dates and break up pieces so they don’t stick together.
  3. In a blender, combine coconut oil, yogurt, maple syrup, eggs, and vanilla.
  4. Pour wet mixture into bowl with dry ingredients and stir until just combined.  Fold in mashed bananas.
  5. Divide the batter into the prepared pan.  (An ice cream scoop makes this job easy.)  Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out  clean.

 

 

 

35 Responses to “Chocolate Banana Almond Flour Muffins with Chia Seeds Recipe (Gluten-free & Passover Friendly)”

  1. Jacob says:

    Hello, My name is Jacob,
    I am 11 years old. My mother has attempted to make mmuffins. The resut however was disasterous. Then I tried to make them me and my mom worked together and we had a total success. They were verry sweet satisfing and great tasting. I really liked your recipe alot. The entrepenuer,

    Jacob

    • Pamela says:

      Hello Jacob! Nice to hear from you. :) It sounds like you have good instincts in the kitchen! I enjoyed reading your note and I am so pleased you liked the muffin recipe. Let me know if you’d like any suggestions for what to make next time! xo, Pamela

  2. […] few years ago I posted a recipe for some delicious almond flour muffins with banana, chocolate and chia seeds.  I will for sure make a batch or two of those next week, but I will also be making these amazing […]

  3. GG'smomma says:

    Hello! I know this is an older post; however, I wanted to say thank you for a base recipe for almond flour muffins. I adapted the recipe for my need of “baby” (finger food loving 10 month old) friendly muffins. I used applesauce in place of yogurt (dairy free and out of coconut yogurt) and honey/syrup (baby under a year). I was worried that the muffins would be too moist with keeping the coconut oil, and adding applesauce, so I added one additional cup of almond flour and they were perfect (for us). I also used 1 T flax and 1 T chia, omitting the seeds on top for baby. I blended the bananas in my mini food processor along with the applesauce. I used my kitchenaid and paddle attachment to blend all ingredients and then baked for thirty minutes, per the original recipe instruction. The muffins did not rise a lot, which could have been due to applesauce or additional cup of almond flour, so next time I will fill the liners with more batter. The adapted recipe made 18 smaller muffins. Oh, to keep cholesterol down (baby and hubby already eat an egg every morning) I used 1 full egg and then one egg white. I also did banana as the base flavor (used 4 small bananas = 2 large bananas) and omitted the cocoa powder, plus I didn’t have any dates, and used dark chocolate chips instead (1/2 cup, maybe). Also, I completely omitted the vanilla (didn’t have any) and only used 1/4 t of salt (for baby). I understand that taste buds vary, so this was perfect for our family. Thank you again for sharing this recipe. It took a lot of the guess work out and allowed me to get creative: a dose of creativity + dark chocolate= happy baby, hubby, and momma! Just what my soul needed!

    • Pamela says:

      I just loved reading your comment! Thank you for taking the time to share your experience with this recipe. I have to give you a lot of kudos because you came up with a whole new recipe! But just to clarify, you’re right about almond flour muffins not rising that much so you do need to fill up the cups. Happy baking!

  4. Rebecca Foster says:

    Can’t believe that I had never made these! Just made batch #3 for the week! SO DELICIOUS!

  5. L says:

    I made these muffins for breakfast on a “snow day” this week. My kids loved them! My husband, who generally compares baked goods to cigarets, was willing to eat the muffins due to their paleo nature and really enjoyed them as well . I only had 2 bananas and 3 dates, and the muffins were sweet enough. Next time, when I have more bananas and dates, I will try reducing the maple syrup.
    This is a keeper in our home! Thank you for this great recipe!

    • Pamela says:

      Your comment made me crack up, ha! Glad they were approved by all. And always nice to hear that you enjoyed the recipe with less sweetener! Thanks!

  6. […] Recipe & photo credit to pamelasalzman.com […]

  7. Stacy says:

    These are so delicious! I just started a fast from all refined sugar on the 13th, and this helped kill my craving without breaking my fast! I subbed coconut flour and added a scoop of protein powder. They’re a tad dry, but super good! Thank you so much for this recipe :)

    • Pamela says:

      Glad you liked them! Just for the next time, coconut flour isn’t a perfect one-for-one sub with any kind of flour. It is really heavy and absorbent, so that is definitely why these turned out a tad dry. Otherwise, these muffins are super moist. Scoop of protein powder is an awesome idea!

  8. Donna says:

    These are delicious! I, too, swapped out flax for chia seeds. Many thanks, and I look forward to trying more recipes on this site.

  9. Mai says:

    Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe. I actually only had almond meal in my pantry so i sifted it and just used that. I also added 2 scoops of protein powder for extra boost of protein and used flaxseeds instead of chia seeds as thats all i had at the time. I omitted the dates. It turned out wonderful and i thank you so much for the inspiration!

  10. Sarah says:

    Made these last week– incredible. Seriously delicious, the best of the almond flour muffins I have made recently! My three year old loved them and so did I. Would the recipe work without banana? Would I need to substitute anything?

    • Pamela says:

      That’s so great to hear! If you take out the banana, you remove some sweetness and some moisture, so you just need to replace them. I haven’t made these without banana, but I wonder if you can sub a little applesauce and little extra maple syrup? I would start there. Let me know if you try the recipe without — very curious!

    • ioanna says:

      Banana also acts like gluten in baked goods, it keeps things together just like apple sauce. you could sub with other puree fruit or veg or even finely shredded.
      with muffins and quick breads use 1:1 ration of flour to liquid. liquid means cream,yogurt , milk and/or fruit or veg pure/shredded. and you wont go wrong.
      i’ve been gluten,yeast,dairy and sugar free for over a year now. i cant wait to try this recipe

  11. Cari Dittman says:

    I am planning to make theses muffins but I don’t eat chocolate. Would you suggest I substitute something for it or simply omit it? Also, for any of the non-dairy people who may have tried adding the apple cider vinegar, did they happen to mention if they used one or two teaspoonfuls as you suggested?
    Cari

    • Pamela says:

      You can substitute an equal amount of almond flour for the cocoa powder. I would go with 2 teaspoons of ACV. Let me know if you try it!

  12. Great. Thank you for writing that. I’ll definitely check to this site to see what’s new and recommend my acquaintenances about it.

  13. Nikki says:

    Hi Pamela,

    What can I substitute the yogurt with to keep the meal all dairy free?

    Thanks!

    • Pamela says:

      Have you ever used a non-dairy yogurt like coconut or almond? You can try that or perhaps drop the yogurt altogether and add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. I haven’t tried that, but I make other almond flour muffins without yogurt so I have a feeling it would work out, just not 100%.

  14. Nikki says:

    Hi Pamela,

    Is there anything I can substitute the yogurt with in order to keep the meal all dairy free?

    Thanks!

  15. Catherine says:

    I can’t eat dairy. Can you recommend a substitute for the yogurt?

    • Pamela says:

      I bet soy yogurt or coconut yogurt would work fine. If they’re already sweetened, you may want to cut back on the maple syrup a tad. But I mentioned in the post, that you might even be able to drop the yogurt and add a teaspoon or two of apple cider vinegar. Let me know if you try it!

  16. Liz says:

    I love using almond flour and this is the one I currently am using at home. I mix it with oat flour in my recipes and it works beautifully as a substitute for wheat flour.

    • Pamela says:

      Thanks for your comment, Liz! If you check back here, please let me know do you do half oat flour and half almond flour substituted for an equal amount of wheat and no other adjustments? No xanthan gum or less fat? Totally curious!

Leave a Reply