Healthy Vegan Banana Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins
Let’s face it. Who doesn’t love a soft, delicious muffin, fresh out of the oven? One of my favorite bakeries in Charlotte, Sunflour Bakery, makes the most delicious vegan banana chocolate chip muffins. They will make every part of your day better. However, like most muffins, regardless of being vegan, they’re pretty high in added sugar. So, I’ve been on a mission to make a healthier version that I feel good eating regularly (that provides sustained energy). And I finally perfected these Healthy Vegan Banana Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins for you to try!
Why are these muffins the perfect start to the day?
Made with oat flour, chia and flax, these muffins are packed with fiber, and contain very little added sugar. Starting the day off with a high fiber breakfast is critical for sustained energy. Fiber provides a slow release of energy after digestion, helping you power through the morning with more energy, focus and productivity. Do you ever find yourself feeling sluggish by mid-morning? Chances are your breakfast didn’t contain enough fiber.
The bananas do the majority of the work to sweeten these muffins, but I also added just a hint of maple syrup to top them off. To make the most of the natural sweetness of the bananas, it’s important to use very ripe bananas (the more brown spots the better). Compared to the average muffin, these muffins are also pretty high in protein. Protein is the other key nutrient to include at breakfast, helping to keep you fuller longer and more satisfied. I used a a chia- flax “egg” as the binder and sunflower seed butter for additional protein and healthy fat. I used no sugar added SunButter brand, to keep the added sugar content low.
Why use Sunflower butter?
Sunflower butter typically isn’t top of mind when considering plant based nut butters. However, I hope after trying this recipe, you’ll reconsider. Sunflower seeds are a good source of protein, and they’re loaded with magnesium, which is vital for keeping energy high, promoting good sleep and helping with regular bowel movements. Sunflower seed butter is also a great alternative for those with a nut allergy. On top of that, one of the best ways to stay healthy is to eat a wide variety of foods.
You can purchase sunflower seed butter, or make your own, which is pretty easy to do. You simply roast your sunflower seeds for ~20 minutes on 350, add them to a large food processor after cooling, then process for about 25 minutes until they release their natural oil. It’s that simple. Have you ever made your own nut butter? While I didn’t make my own for these muffins, I often do. It’s definitely a money saver!
I made these muffins with Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Chip morsels, which are vegan and delicious. I love Enjoy Life products, as they are vegan, allergen free and made with quality ingredients. Oh and I almost forgot to mention that these muffins are also allergen free! Win-Win.
I’ve also made these muffins without the chocolate chips or maple syrup, and they’re still delicious. So, if you’re really feeling adventurous and want to reduce your added sugar intake even further, then give it a try. Just replace the maple syrup with 1/2 cup dates (preferably soaked overnight or at least for 4 hours). You may also need to add a little more plant based milk to the batter, to adjust if it’s too thick.
I enjoyed two of these for breakfast with a drizzle of more sunflower butter and they were so filling! I hope you’ll make them and keep them in regular rotation for breakfast. If you do make them, be sure to leave a comment and let me know your thoughts. Please also share this recipe friends and tag @benutritionco on IG or FB.
Healthy Vegan Banana Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins
Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 25-30 mins | Total time: 35-40 mins
1 chia-flax egg
2 very ripe bananas
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3 Tbsp Sunflower Butter (I used SunButter Creamy No Sugar Added)
1/2 tsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp plant based milk (I used Good Karma Flax Milk Plus)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1.5 cup oat flour (or old fashion oats, ground. use gluten free if necessary)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Morsels)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Make your flax-chia egg. Mix 1 Tbsp chia, 1 Tbsp ground flax and 2.5 Tbsp water in a small container. Let stand for 5 mins.
Grind the oats into a fine flour (or use oat flour to save time as I did)
Spray muffin tins with baking oil or use silicone liners
Add the wet ingredients to a high powered blender or prep in a large bowl. Combine the bananas, nut butter, chia-flax egg, vanilla, lemon juice and maple syrup, and blend or stir to combine (I put everything in the blender).
Prepare the dry ingredients: whisk the oat flour, baking soda, baking powder and sea salt.
In a large bowl, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring until completely combines. (I added everything to the blender for easy cleanup. Honestly, I didn’t even whisk the dry ingredients the second time I made these. So, feel free to skip the step above).
Add plant-based milk to thin out the batter. This will vary by the size of your bananas. I used from 2-4 Tbs of Flax Milk plus the different times I’ve made these muffins.
Fold in the chocolate chips.
Pour the batter into 12 muffin tins, filling each about 3/4 of the way full (or completely full if using silicone liners).
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Let the muffins cool for 10 mins in the muffin tins, then remove and let cool on a cooling rack for a few more minutes.
Store in the fridge for a week or freeze these for later. I ate two for breakfast with a drizzle of more sunflower butter right out of the oven. If you’re consuming these throughout the week, I recommend warming them up for for ~15 mins in the microwave first. Feel free to enjoy these as snack as well.
Nutrition Info (per muffin)
159 calories (45 from fat), 7g total fat, 20g carbohydrate, 4g dietary fiber, 5g protein