I must have been craving chocolate this week, because it seems like all the sweet things I’ve baked involved chocolate. (Really it’s a chocolate lifestyle, but to make myself feel better I’ll call it a craving.)
I like my chocolate 2 ways: breakfast and dessert. I don’t like to feel guilty about eating my beloved chocolate either, so I found ways around that too.
Double Chocolate Muffins
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup old fashioned oats (NOT quick cooking)
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips (any variety you like, I used semi-sweet)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup milk, any variety
- 1/3 cup Homemade Applesauce (or any unsweetened applesauce)
Start by combining all of the dry ingredients, except for chocolate chips, together in a large bowl.
In a separate small bowl, mix together wet ingredients.
Make a well in the center of your dry ingredients.
Pour your wet ingredients into the well.
Mix slowly until the mixture just comes together, then stir in the chocolate chips.
Line your muffin tin with paper liners, and use an ice cream scoop (if you don’t have one, then about 2 heaping tablespoons) to spoon the mixture into the muffin cups. When I use my ice cream scoop I always get perfect muffins, not too big and not too small. If you spray the scoop with a little cooking spray before you start, it makes your mixture come out easier. Otherwise, just use your fingers to help like I do.
Once all the muffin liners are filled, pop them into a 350 degree oven for about 18-20 minutes. To test, either poke one (I always choose the biggest one) in the center with a toothpick or (if you’re like me and you hate keeping toothpicks around just for baking) use a long, skinny knife.
I take them out of the pan
so I can eat them faster to cool quickly.
And then there’s dessert – pretty much the bane of every woman’s existence and her weakness. What’s really difficult with dessert is making something healthy, that doesn’t taste healthy, and tastes decadent. Usually in the dessert world, you can’t have both.
Well, don’t tell anyone, but with this “ice cream” dessert – you can!
Homemade Soft Serve “Ice Cream”
- Frozen bananas
- Up to 1/4 cup milk
- Anything your heart desires!
Start out by freezing your bananas. There is a method to this, because I’ve chopped them all up and just thrown them into a bag before – that does not work unless you want a frozen banana rock. The best way I’ve found to do it is to cut them into slices, fairly small, line them in a single layer on a baking sheet (it’s OK if they touch, you just don’t want them in a pile) and pop them into the freezer. You don’t have to spray the baking sheet before you put the bananas on it, they’re wet enough that they won’t stick. Once your bananas are frozen, work quickly to get all the banana chunks off the baking sheet and into a big freezer bag.
Take about 1 1/2 – 2 cups of banana chunks out and put them in your blender or food processor (you want whichever is strongest, frozen bananas aren’t the easiest thing to puree).
Don’t add any milk yet, just start pulsing them to break them up. If you’re using a blender, shake it as it’s pulsing to make sure all the chunks are getting down to the blade. Be prepared, this is LOUD and it goes through a few stages before it turns into soft serve.
When you’ve beaten the bananas for about 2-3 minutes, then start to add your milk a little at the time (I’m talking teaspoons). Here, I added about 1 tsp of milk. Just keep beating the bananas!
Almost totally pulverized. If you’re using a blender, be sure to keep pushing the bananas down into the blade and shifting the mixture around so that it starts to become smooth. From this point, it’s a pretty short trip to smooth town. Just keep adding milk, by the teaspoon, until you get a puree.
Once the bananas are pureed, add whatever topping you like! I wanted chocolate ice cream, so I added about 1 Tsp of unsweetened cocoa powder and 1 Tsp of sugar.
Nom! And this made a big, heaping bowl of soft serve so feel free to adjust the amount of bananas depending on how much you want. Get creative with your “ice cream!” Try nuts, chocolate chunks, other fruits, cookie pieces, or other candy pieces – anything you have a craving for! Go for it! It’s not like you’re eating real ice cream anyway, so go ahead….have the candy.