I was in the mood to bake muffins today and went to my cupboard looking for the usual muffin recipe ingredients. Found nothin'! No blueberries or apples. Not even a can of pumpkin - which makes sense. It is March. I did find some fresh strawberries, though. Having never made muffins with fresh strawberries I was a little hesitant, but these turned out great.

The other key ingredient, which I always have on hand is a bag of Sephra Dark Chocolate Chips. I never buy store bought chocolate chips - ever. Sephra chocolate is so superior, taste wise, creamy wise and also has so many uses you can't do with regular store bought chocolate chips.

Sephra Dark Chocolate Chips and Fresh Strawberries

So I was set and ready to give these a try. They are a nice moist muffin with a Springtime twist. The chocolate stays melty inside the muffins giving them a bit of dark chocolate in every bite. And as we know - dark chocolate is actually good for you, so I try to use them whenever possible!

 

Fresh Strawberry Muffins with Chocolate Chips

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup fresh strawberries, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces

3/4 cup Sephra Dark chocolate chips (Belgian or Premium)

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour – to toss with strawberries & chocolate chips

2 cups flour

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

pinch of salt

1 large egg

2/3 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil (use same amount of apple sauce to cut calories)

2 rounded tablespoons plain Greek yogurt or sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Line muffin tin with paper liners or spray with floured cooking spray (If I use paper liners I give them a shot of floured cooking spray, too. Just makes them easier to peel); set pan aside.

2. Place the strawberries and chocolate chips in a medium bowl, add 2 tablespoons flour and toss to coat; set aside.

3. In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Whisk to combine; set aside.

4. In a medium mixing bowl, combine egg, buttermilk, oil, Greek yogurt and vanilla. Whisk to combine.

5. Slowly pour wet mixture over dry ingredients, and stir lightly until just mixed. Batter will be thick and lumpy. Don’t over mix. If your batter is really thick add a touch of buttermilk to thin just a bit.

6. Gently fold in the strawberry, chocolate chip, flour mixture.

7. Using a medium ice cream scoop fill each of section of the prepared muffin pan to about 3/4-full. Filling them fuller will give you the nice dome shaped muffin so don't be afraid to fill them up!

8. Bake approximately 20 minutes, or until tops are domed and puffy. Insert a toothpick into the center of a muffin or two. If it comes out clean, meaning no batter, your muffins are done. Baking times may vary because the moisture content in strawberries, pan sizes, climates, and ovens. So keep an eye on your muffins; not the clock.

9. Let muffins cool in pan for about 15 minutes before removing. Muffins are best fresh, but will keep airtight for up to 5 days at room temp; or frozen in freezer bags for up to 4 months.

Fresh Strawberry Muffins with Chocolate Chips

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Had to do a quick taste test! They passed with flying colors. Might share a few with my neighbor who just had a little minor surgery - or I might not. She'll be fine :)

SUBSTITUTIONS

To make these muffins as healthy as can be I do sometimes use these little tricks:

- I do (sometimes) substitute apple sauce instead of oil. Equal amounts. It's a real calorie saver.

- As a general rule, I always use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream. Even on Mexican food, etc. You really can't tell the difference and the health benefits of the yogurt totally surpass sour cream.

- If you don't have buttermilk; add a teaspoon of vinegar to regular milk; give a quick stir and let sit 5 minutes.

- Opt for dark chocolate as opposed to milk chocolate whenever possible. In this recipe they are perfect, as the milk chocolate would make the muffins a bit too sweet. Sephra Dark Chocolate is semi sweet, totally delish and never bitter.

- If you want to spread a little something yummy on muffins or toast; opt for coconut oil. It adds a little extra something just like butter, but without clogging your arteries! Raw honey is another good option to smear on tasty treats! 

 

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