Friday, July 12, 2013

Paleo Chunky Monkey Muffins (Gluten Free). Yum!

Lately I've been on a health kick, but I still want my chocolate! Personally, I think chocolate should be part of the essential food groups. I mean, it has calcium, magnesium, releases endorphins and can aid in heart health. What more can you ask from a delicious little treat?

Gluten free chunky monkey muffins


So, I've been searching for something healthy (sort of healthy) that has chocolate. Lots of chocolate. And that's when I stumbled across the recipe for Chunky Monkey Muffins in my favorite cookbook: Primal Cravings.


Sure, it's a paleo cookbook, but it has some amazing recipes even for non-primal eaters.

Personally, their strawberry shortcake waffles are one of my absolute favorites of all times. I think they are better than their traditional flour counterparts and that says a lot. I love pancakes and waffles. I was hoping to find the same love for these muffins. And I did!

They are moist, chocolatey, with a hint of banana. The walnuts add the perfect little crunch. Personally, if I didn't have a gluten issue I wouldn't care what they are made of because they are so delicious!

So, if you are looking to read about the health benefits of the Chunky Monkey Muffins, let me explain below. But if you don't care and just want chocolate then click this link to get the recipe

RECIPE at Health-Bent (from the authors of Primal Cravings).

Seriously, it's easy, it's good, it's filled with chocolate-- what more do you want?!




Some of the ingredients that they use in the this recipe aren't traditional. The flours and sugars that they use actually slow the glycemic response and they are gluten free! Yay! What does that mean? They don't spike your blood sugar like traditional flours and you can eat them even if you are gluten sensitive. They focus on ingredients that are made from natural sources, like coconuts, which are better tolerated by our bodies.

Benefits of Coconut Sugar:
  • Contains Inulin, which slows the absorption of sugar in the body and reduces blood sugar spikes
  • Glycemic index is 35 while table sugar is 60.
  • Has nutrients (Iron, Zinc, Calcium, potassium) unlike table sugar which are empty calories
Disadvantage:
  • Still contains some fructose which, in excess, can lead to weight gain. So eat in moderation. It will be hard, but you can do it.
Benefits of Coconut Flour:
  • More filling so you don't feel as if you need to eat as much
  • Source of lauric acid which helps with thyroid and immune function.
  • Not a grain so it's gluten and wheat free
  • It's high in fiber and protein
Benefits of Tapioca Flour:
  • Gluten free
  • Reduces bad cholesterol (LDL) 
  • Low in Fat
Disadvantage:
  • Can elevate blood sugar, but usually only a small amount is used in recipes compared to wheat. 
  • Similar calories as wheat flour
However, these flours are a little special and require special care to yield similar results as traditional flours which is probably why they aren't in the main stream yet. Don't get scared-- they aren't hard to work with. Just different.

Here are some tips:
  • When working with natural flours (especially coconut flour), it's best to let them sit for a few minutes after you mix them with the wet base so they can absorb and expand fully before you apply heat. 
  • Coconut flour cannot be substituted equally in a normal flour recipe. You need very little compared to traditional wheat flour. 
    • 1/4c of coconut flour per 1c of wheat flour
  • Coconut flour requires eggs (or fat)
    • General rule: 6 eggs for every 1 cup of coconut flour 
  • Coconut flour is soft, but dense and dry
    • use other natural flours or add more eggs/fat to help keep moist
  • Tapioca flour can add a little "crunch" to your recipes
  • Tapioca flour is one of the few natural flours that bakes up tough so you really should blend it with other flours. 
  • Tapioca flours can help to thicken batter
I hope you love these as much as I do! So good! Seriously.

Personally I like the Ener-G brand for Tapioca Flour. It's really good-- a lot better than Red Mills! You can find it on Amazon if they don't carry it in your local store: Ener G Flour Tapioca Flour

Also check out Paleo Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips! Yummy!!

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