Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Clean Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins

Yep. You read that right! Clean PEANUT BUTTER and CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS. You are permitted to smile now. 

Can't you just taste the peanut buttery goodness? And melty chocolate-ness? 

I found this recipe on Pinterest...really, isn't that where all recipes come from these days? The picture looked so yummy and it just sounded sooooo good, so I hoped on over to the blog that it was pinned from: Kaitlin in the Kitchen

White flour, brown sugar, butter....hmmm, those are all delicious tasting things, but when you are trying to clean up your food for digestion purposes, it's not going to work. As much as my kids would LOVE the originial recipe...they need to poop! So that's when I decided to play around and clean this recipe up. 

This was the first time that I took a baking recipe and changed it. I've done it once with a dinner recipe that I had, Mandarin Orange Chicken, but that was pretty easy. So now I wanted to try my hand at baking. 

I did some research to find out what could substitute for brown sugar. I knew honey was used a lot for white sugar, but I didn't know about brown. I found out that if you mix honey and molasses it replicates the brown sugar taste. You want to use mostly honey with just a little molasses, though, because you don't want it to be overpowering. Typically when you convert a dry ingredient to a wet ingredient you go by weight. But seeing as how I did not have a kitchen scale at the time...I winged it. Luckily it turned out pretty good.  (Side note: I did end up buying one for future use.) Now that I have a scale, when I make these again, I'm going to use it and see if it changes. If it does I will post it on here.

Switching the flour was easy. First I tried White Whole Wheat Flour and then I tried Whole Wheat Pastry Flour. They both worked, so you can use either one, but I preferred the pastry flour. The muffins were less heavy with the pastry flour. I already had pastry flour because I use it for my pizza dough, so it was easy to substitute, but if you just have wheat flour then go ahead and use that!

Next up was the butter. Applesauce is used a lot in place of vegetable oil, so I knew it would work for the butter as well. I thought about doing half butter and half applesauce, but I wanted to get the recipe as clean as possible. So the first time I made these I used all applesauce and it worked great. Just make sure you get the originial, no sugar added kind of applesauce. 

The last change I made wasn't a necessary one, but I thought it would be good. I changed the milk to unsweetened almond milk. Some people don't drink milk, but we still do. However, we have just lessened our milk intake. I use Almond Milk for my coffee, for any baking that needs milk, on granola, in smoothies...it's good for almost anything! So I switched that in here, too. BUT if you don't have almond milk, don't let that stop you from making these. Just use your regular milk. 

I also made one addition. I added Flax Seed, shocker, I know. As I've stated before, I've learned to add Flax Seed and/or Wheat Germ to everything. I thought I'd take it one at a time, so I just added Flax Seed this time. Next time I'll try wheat germ and I'll let you know how it turns out!

Ok, so on to the good stuff!

This recipe is insanely easy to make. First you mix all of your dry ingredients.

In another bowl, whisk together your wet ingredients (including the peanut butter).

It should look like this. The peanut butter will be lumpy and won't mix as well, but just keep whisking. It's ok if the PB is not completely mixed in.

Next, mix the dry and wet ingredients together. I started by just stirring with a spoon, but then I got out my hand mixer and that worked much better. I like my batter smooth. 

Once the batter is mixed, then you want to add your chocolate chips. Just mix them in with your spoon.

Line your muffin tin with paper, foil, or silicone cups. I would highly recommend using cups instead of just spraying your pan. 

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Drooling yet?

You know how I just said to use muffin cups instead of spraying the pan? Here's why:

 Kind of looks like a mushroom/muffin...huh?

Hey, it does still taste the same, so it's your call!

I tested these out on Chad and the kids....and I got a resounding, mouths-full-of-muffin "YES!". So I think they passed the test. In fact, it worked out nicely that I wanted to make them again to tweak a couple of things, since they were gone in about two days!

I would say for my first baking recipe conversion - SUCCESS! 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins
  • 2 1/4 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp ground Flax Seed
  • 1/2 cup honey, with a touch of molasses
  • 6 Tbsp natural applesauce
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup (unsweetened almond) milk
  • 1/2 chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin pan with paper/foil/silicone cups.

Mix dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, flax seed) in a medium bowl and set aside. Whisk together wet ingredients (honey w/ molasses, applesauce, PB, eggs, milk) in a large bowl. When fully combined, mix in the dry ingredients and blend with electric hand mixer until smooth. Now stir in chocolate chips.

Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling about 3/4 of the way. 

Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Allow to cool and then devour!

Or you can store them in a container on the top shelf and hide them from the rest of the family.....what? I would never do that....just saying....

A couple more things about the "clean" nature of this recipe. As with all things clean, you can make them as clean as you want or not. With things like the Peanut Butter, I use the natural peanut butter from Jif. It's not perfect, but it has less sugar than normal peanut butter. For the chocolate chips, you can use regular ones, or you can find the ones in the health food section that are more "clean" worthy. Realistically, this isn't a recipe you are going eat all the time if you are trying to drop some lbs, BUT it's a great alternative for people wanting to clean up their eating. I've been happy to learn that, while clean eating is definitely more time consuming, it doesn't mean that we don't get to eat the food that we've always loved. 

Let me know what you think of the recipe! Or if you have any other ideas on things to substitute or add in, please share!

Now, if you'll excuse me...I have a date with my breakfast plate. 

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