Quinoa Oat Chocolate Chip Muffins (Gluten Free)

When it comes to baking, muffins are always a good idea…especially these Quinoa Oat Chocolate Chip Muffins. Even with healthy food, too much of a good thing can be bad. But you’re a lot less likely to run the risk of over-serving yourself when you have a perfect portion that comes in the form of a muffin. Of course, I’m talking about muffins made with the typical homemade muffin pan, not the gigantic big-as-your-head-of-course-they’re-bad-for-you muffins that sit neatly inside coffee shop display cases, begging for you to buy one, disguised as healthy with words like grains or berries or fiber. I prefer muffins that are a little more transparent, made with fewer ingredients, a lot less unhealthy fat, and much less sugar.  

As I wrote The Belly Burn Plan, the feedback I received from the group of taste testers (aka Belly Burners) I worked  with to create better recipes was that they wanted to see more muffin. I got kind of hooked. I created several recipes that made the cut, and they happen to fall under the category of breakfast (in the book). Muffins + breakfast = another good idea. Where things go wrong is when the muffins are too high in sugar and don’t contain ingredients that do much for your body. With a few exceptions, that’s nearly every muffin outside of what you make in your kitchen.

Regardless of when you eat them, these muffins are right up there, and because they contain chocolate chips, my kids naturally love them. One ingredient I bake with almost exclusively is coconut oil. I can’t say enough about this ingredient, or how beneficial it is not only to making good food, but to your health as well. Coconut oil has been shown to increase HDL cholesterol (the good stuff), improve memory, boost athletic performance and increase overall endurance. If you don’t have this ingredient in your pantry now, make sure you pick some up.



Quinoa Chocolate Chip Muffins
Yields 9

1 1/4 cups oat flour
1 cup quinoa, prepared
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup water, lukewarm*
2 eggs, room temperature*, lightly whisked
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Line muffin pan with muffin cup, or lightly grease pan.
3. In a large bowl, combine oat flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Mix well and set aside.
4. In a medium bowl, combine whisked eggs*, coconut oil, water*, sugar and vanilla. Mix well.  Note: it’s very important that the water and eggs not be cold. If cold ingredients are mixed with melted coconut oil, the oil will solidify, making the mixture difficult to work with. 
5. Add ingredients from the small bowl to the medium bowl and continue mixing until batter is well mixed.
6. Ladle ingredients into muffin forms and bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, or until the center of the muffin has reached doneness using the toothpick test.

Nut Free Maple Zucchini Muffins

Every once in a while, I use an ingredient and it absolutely makes the difference between good and great. I kind of hinted at it in the title of the recipe…Nut Free Maple Zucchini Muffins. Even though zucchini is a great vegetable to bake with, it’s not the star. That spotlight is saved for maple syrup. Even though only 1/4 cup is used in this recipe, the flavor really comes through.

My oldest daughter has some sort of gift for being able to detect even the most minute amounts of ingredients in just about any food. She’s really good at it. After she took a bite of these muffins, she was able to rattle off four of the main ingredients in this recipe. Zucchini wasn’t one of them. I’m not so sure that would be a good thing if she had been able to do it.

Earlier I wrote up a recipe for Almond Zucchini Muffins that are ideal for Apple Types (those who gain most of their weight through their belly area). Full of healthy fat and plenty of protein, they’re an ace in the hole for anyone that wants something muffin-y without all the sugar (the recipe is free of refined sugar).

Nut Free Zucchini Muffins in Tins

Anyway, I wanted to balance things out by creating a recipe that was good for the Pear Types out there (those who gain weight through their hips and thighs. I mentioned this in my Almond Zucchini Muffin post, but the reason I emphasize this is because the foods we eat have a direct (and often profound) impact on where our body stores fat.   Of the four body types I talk about in The Belly Burn Plan, Apples do better on a higher fat/higher protein diet and Pears do better on a lower fat diet (but not even close to fat free). This is definitely more of a Pear-Type in contrast to the Apple-Type Almond Zucchini Muffin recipe.

Zucchini Pre-shredded

I also have a lot of friends who have children with nut allergies. I don’t take this lightly and want to make as many foods as possible easy for anyone to eat. Fortunately, my kids don’t have allergies. Nonetheless, just because mine don’t doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be aware or considerate of those around me who are often permanently inconvenienced by both sensitivities and allergies. It’s great that food companies are developing new food products that suit people with allergies, but they’re still products (translation: processed). If you have a chance…always go for the unprocessed version.

Nut Free Maple Zucchini Muffins
Yields 12

2 cups gluten free baking flour (this is the brand I used)
1 cup zucchini, finely shredded
2 eggs, lightly whisked
1/2 cup apple sauce
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Line baking tins with 12 cups.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine zucchini, eggs, apple sauce, coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla. Mix thoroughly.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in the large bowl. Mix together until all ingredients are blended.
  6. Pour the muffin mix halfway up each baking up.
  7. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins are golden brown.

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