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Almond Flour Banana Chocolate Muffins

Soft and moist, like a good brownie, naturally sweetened with maple syrup and ripe bananas, these almond flour chocolate banana muffins are a healthy gluten free chocolate treat.

almond flour banana chocolate muffins stacked on plate with one facing camera

I first made these muffins as a healthful treat for a young friend who, the year she turned 18, was diagnosed with both Type 1 diabetes and celiac disease. Loaded with crunchy toasted almonds, these muffins have 7 grams of protein, 10 grams sugar and 20 grams carbohydrates, less sweet than your average muffin, yet damn delicious!

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If you were offered one of these chocolate muffins, you might anticipate something more decadent. Yet they’re really not super sweet. Here’s the beauty of home baking—you can adjust this recipe to suit your sweet tooth.

one almond flour chocolate banana muffin held in hand on blue napkin

If you prefer sweeter chocolate banana muffins:

  • Be sure to use overripe bananas. Tip: When you find yourself with too many bananas, purposefully let some turn dark and spotty, ripe beyond what you’d eat out of hand. Peel them, put in a plastic bag and pop them in the freezer. When you’re in the mood for chocolate banana muffins, there’s a stash waiting for you.
  • If you want your muffins to taste sweeter, substitute honey for the maple syrup. Maple syrup has fewer carbohydrates and better nutritional value, though tablespoon for tablespoon honey is sweeter than maple syrup.
  • Double up on the chocolate! Along with the chopped almonds, mix in ½ cup of chocolate chips. Or mix in ¾ cup of those melty morsels and skip the almonds altogether, for double chocolate banana muffins.
  • Get sweetly creative. Try raisins, date pieces, or dried cranberries in addition to, or, in place of chopped almonds or chocolate chips.
chocolate banana almond muffins on plate with cup of coffee off to the side

About almond flour:

  • You want superfine almond flour ground from blanched almonds, without the dark peel. Costco has the best price so I usually buy it there. Blue Diamond almond flour is another brand, available on Amazon. (Affiliate link.)
  • The most accurate way to measure almond flour is to weigh it. (Maybe this is the excuse you need to buy a simple kitchen scale.) (Affiliate link.) If you don’t have a scale, spoon the almond flour into dry (not liquid) measuring cups and gently level the tops with a flat-edged knife–don’t try to pack it in the cup. Seven ounces of almond flour measures about 2 1/3 cups, though results can vary dramatically according to each baker’s measuring method.

Natural cocoa or Dutch process cocoa?

  • There are two kinds of cocoa powder available, natural or Dutch-processed. As unsweetened cocoa in its natural form is very acidic, a chemical treatment was devised to reduce its acidity–processing natural cocoa with an alkali. (It’s “Dutched” because the method was invented in the Netherlands.)
  • Baking soda is an alkali, and so it balances the natural cocoa in this recipe, giving these muffins a rich chocolate flavor.
  • Generally, if a recipe includes both cocoa powder and baking soda or baking powder, you’ll do best with natural cocoa. That said, if you’re making hot chocolate, rolling truffles in cocoa powder, or using it in a buttercream frosting, you might want the darker richer-tasting Dutch-processed cocoa powder.
  • Natural cocoa powder (Affiliate link) is simply labeled “cocoa”. Dutch-processed cocoa powder should say clearly on the label, “cocoa processed with alkali” or “European style.”
  • If you only have alkalized Dutch-processed cocoa on hand, it’s fine to substitute, but your muffins will not have the same flavor, color or texture as when the recipe is made with natural cocoa.
almond flour chocolate banana muffins on plate with bananas in background

What makes a muffin a muffin? What makes a cupcake a cupcake?

  • We’ve all had a muffin somewhere so loaded with sugar they qualify as a cupcake. And muffins, especially chocolate muffins, can be very cake-like. So where do you draw the line?
  • Never mind how sweet the muffin, without the swirl of creamy frosting, it’s a muffin, and if it’s frosted, it’s a cupcake. ‘Nuff said. Please write with evidence if you disagree.

More yummy chocolate muffins:

Recipe adapted from Texanerin.

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