Chocolate Cherry Avocado Muffins Recipe

Chocolate Cherry Avocado MuffinsFebruary is American Heart Month. Heart disease is still the leading cause of death among men and women in the U.S. It is also a disease where diet can play a large role. It is never too early to start thinking about heart-healthy foods. In fact, it is better to get children off on the right path by including those foods regularly so that it becomes habit.

As a dietitian, I like to focus on the foods that you can eat versus those that you should not. This list from WebMD of the 11 Top Heart-Healthy Foods is a great reference.

In honor of American Heart Month, I created this yummy muffin recipe that both children and adults alike will enjoy, and it is packed with many heart-healthy ingredients:

  • Dark chocolate – it is the flavonoids in dark chocolate that confers the health benefits. Choose at least 70 percent cacao to reap the benefits.
  • Tart cherries – high in antioxidants, tart cherries have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Avocado – full of “good” fats – monounsaturated and polyunsaturated – avocados are very versatile and can be used in place of products high in saturated fat, which are not good for you.
  • Oatmeal – in addition to being packed with vitamins and minerals, oatmeal is a great source of soluble fiber, shown to reduce cholesterol.
  • Ground flaxseed – packed with fiber and omega-3 fats, which are anti-inflammatory, ground flaxseed is a great addition to oatmeal, muffins and yogurt.

Trust me. You won’t even notice the avocado, except for the velvety texture it provides! My 4-year-old gobbled these muffins up so fast, as did my 13-month-old!

Chocolate Cherry Avocado Muffins

Yield: 16 muffins (or 12 regular + 8 mini, which is what I did)

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe avocado, mashed
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 ½ cups white whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup oats
  • ½ cup ground flaxseed
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup dark cocoa powder
  • ¾ cup dried tart cherries, chopped
  • ½ cup mini chocolate chips

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350ᵒF. Spray muffin cups with cooking spray or line with paper liners.

2. In a mixer, cream the avocado, banana, oil and sugar at medium speed until smooth. Add in the eggs one a time. Add the vanilla and milk. Mix until smooth.

3. In a separate bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients, the flour through the cocoa powder. Stir well with a whisk.

4. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing just until combined being careful not to over-mix. Stir in the cherries and chocolate chips.

5. Fill muffin cups 3/4 of the way with the batter. Bake for 16-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

Note: For a smoother texture, grind the oats in a food processor before mixing with the rest of the dry ingredients.