2largeripe bananasor 3 x medium/small ripe bananas - the riper the better for sweetness!
1/2cupcoconut sugaror xylitol if you want even lower sugar muffins
1tbsptablespoon of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to sour the milkoptional
1tbsptablespoon of chia or flax meal
2tbsptablespoons of water
150gchopped dark chocolateor chocolate chips (go for 705 cacao solids or above)
1tspteaspoon of vanilla extract
1tspx teaspoon of baking powder
1/2teaspoon of bicarbonate/baking soda
Pinchof fine salt
Preheat your oven to 375 F (190 C)
On a large baking tray, lay out 12 muffin cases ready to be used.
In a small bowl mix your chia/flax meal with the water and leave to form a gloopy texture for about 5 minutes.
In another small bowl, mix your plant milk with your apple cider vinegar/lemon (if using) and leave to curdle.
Meanwhile, mix your cacao powder with the hot water in a separate bowl until completely smooth.
In another separate bowl, mix your dry ingredients of flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, 2/3rds of your chopped chocolate pieces, bicarbonate/baking soda until very well combined. The secret to a good muffin is to separately combine your ingredients really well so that you can do a very quick fold of everything at the end. There's method in our madness, I promise.
Next up, smash your banana with a fork. Best way to do this is on a chopping board because you have lots of room to really go to town. You really need to smash it down to a pulp because you don't want big chunks of banana in your muffins (if you don't mind this, then that's fine).However, you ultimately want a gloopy texture to keep your muffins as moist as possible, and big lumps will affect this. If you can't mulch your banana down as much as you'd like, then a blender may help. If you need extra moisture to get a good blend going then use your plant milk at this stage too.
In another separate bowl, combine all your wet ingredients of cacao mix, chia/flax egg, banana, vanilla, and your plant milk with apple cider vinegar. If you haven't used vinegar, then you should add an extra tablespoon of plant milk at this point.
Now add your wet ingredients mix to your dry, then fold in very gently with ONLY a wooden spoon for about 10-15 seconds. The secret here is to mix for only 10-15 seconds until your ingredients are roughly combined. You want them pretty well combined of course, but the odd puffs of flour are fine because this is how muffins are supposed to be.Mixing for as little time as possible also keeps the air in so you can get the best possible rise on your muffins. Over combining can knock out all your air and leave them flat.
Next use two metal spoons to blob equal amounts of your mixture into your 12 cases. You will find that each case takes roughly 1x large tablespoon of mixture. Start by adding a tablespoon, then go around and top up with any left over mix afterwards.Try to get equal amounts of mix into each case for even cooking.
Once you have filled your cases, you can then sprinkle your left over chopped chocolate onto the top of each muffin. Doing this gives them such a great texture once cooked, as that chocolate goes nice and crunchy.
Bake in the middle of your preheated oven for 18-20 minutes. You can take out at 18 minutes to stick a toothpick in and check they are cooked. If your toothpick (or slim, sharp knife) comes out pretty clean, then they're done. You will probably find that 18 minutes is enough. Be sure NOT to open your oven during the initial baking time or your muffins may go flat.
Take your muffins out of the tray and place them on a wire wrack to cool.
Once completely cooled, you can add them to an air-tight container and they should keep for up to one week refrigerated.
Why not serve these delicious muffins with some homemade ice-cream or crumbled as a decadent topping for your healthy smoothie bowls.