~ Loaded with rich chocolate flavor and bursting with fresh, juicy strawberries! So decadent … yet these Double Chocolate Muffins are also full of whole grains and much lower in fat! Perfect for snacks, breakfast on-the-go, and even a virtuous (yet oh-so-indulgent) dessert! ~
This Recipe Is: • Make Ahead • Vegetarian •
I think one of the things I miss most about elementary school is the fun holiday parties. (Oh … and also being line leader … I mean, the responsibility! The POWER!!!!!)
But … those parties! Halloween, when we all dressed up and paraded around in our cute little costumes while our parents snapped endless pictures. And Christmas, when we sang carols and ate candy canes (like … ummm … a LOT of candy canes, in my case … shhhhhh … don’t tell my mom 😉 ).
But I especially loved the Valentine’s Day parties.
I looooved making unique Valentines to give out. I was a little Cupid-Picasso, in my art-loving glory! (Melted crayons shaped like a heart, anyone? Because, you know, “You Color My World”?)
And, oh! The Valentine’s “mailboxes”!
One year, probably fourth- or fifth-grade, our class had a contest for the best-decorated Valentine box. Let’s just say the other kids never stood a chance. (Tee-hee … Cupid-Picasso strikes again!)
So you can imagine how sad I was when I got to middle school and discovered … no parties. And no one gives out Valentines anymore. I know, right? Little sixth-grade Amy was very disappointed.
It didn’t occur to me until now that I could still give out Valentines … just maybe not in the form of melted crayon hearts or sugary candies.
Nothing against little candy hearts … but wouldn’t healthy Valentines be even better, anyway????
And that’s exactly what these Double Chocolate Muffins are: my Valentines to you! Way tastier than crayons (not that I speak from experience on that) and soooooo good for you, too!
We’ve slashed the fat and filled them with fiber-rich whole grains. A heartfelt little Valentine’s Day treat that’s heart-smart too?!?! Um, yes!
But don’t be fooled into thinking these taste “cardboard healthy.” Oh, no. As the picky eater of the family, I do solemnly swear never to give you a recipe I wouldn’t eat myself!
These Double Chocolate Muffins are super rich and decadent, with a double-hit of chocolate from both cocoa powder and little chocolate chips. And those fresh strawberries! Little, burstingly juicy bits of sunshine!
Like chocolate-covered strawberries got baked into a nutritious muffin!
And, hey … you can even have fun decorating these muffins, especially for your sweetie! See how we laid thick, heart-shaped pieces of fresh strawberry on top of some muffins before baking? (You may commence with the oooohing and aaaahing.)
Be sure to cut the slices nice and thick, and don’t push them down in. That way, your love will really shine through! <3 (Who thought to use that as a heart, anyway? Was someone doing their algebra homework and suddenly thought, “Oh, look at that! A heart!”???? Because I know love is one thing I’m definitely not thinking about while I’m doing my math homework.)
Trust me, these Valentines will love you right back. They’ll just keep on giving! In fact, when you’re waaaay overstocked on fresh summer strawberries that are about to go bad in your fridge, what will you make with them? These muffins, of course! Oh … and then you’ll definitely want to turn some of these muffins into Ice Cream Sandwiches, just like we did!
I’m so excited to share these Valentines with all of you!
It feels almost like elementary school again …
More Healthfully Delicious Ways to Say “I Love You” …
- 3-Ingredient Chocolate Lava Dip
- PB&J Pinwheel Sandwich Kabobs (with fruit hearts!)
- Easy Tricks for Making Pancake Hearts (and other fun shapes)
- 3-Ingredient “Chocolate-Covered Strawberry” Frozen Yogurt Bites
- Surprisingly Decadent One-Bowl Brownies (with Valentine’s Day ideas!)
- 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/3 cup nonfat milk
- 1/3 cup 100% fruit seedless strawberry jelly
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil (see note)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup stemmed and hulled, finely chopped fresh strawberries
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon mini chocolate chips, divided
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Prepare muffin pans, lining with baking cups. (See note.)
- In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and sea salt, whisking to thoroughly combine.
- In a medium bowl, combine brown sugar, milk, jelly, applesauce, egg, canola oil, and vanilla, mixing thoroughly.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients to the well. Stir batter just enough to combine, being careful not to over-mix.
- Add the strawberries and ¼ cup mini chocolate chips, and stir again briefly, just to combine.
- Spoon batter into prepared muffin liners, filling each about ⅔ - ¾ full. Do not over-fill. (See note.)
- Sprinkle the remaining mini chocolate chips evenly on top of the muffins.
- Bake for 14-19 minutes, just until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean.
- Cool muffins in the pan for about 5 minutes or until the muffins are beginning to set and are cool enough to handle. Remove the muffins to wire racks to cool completely.
Canola oil: If you would like to eliminate the canola oil entirely, you definitely can. We tested this chocolate muffin recipe with no added oil at all, and felt that it was still very good. However, in our opinion, the very slight bit of added oil here did slightly improve the texture of the muffins and is worth adding. Either way is delicious.
Yield, baking cup size and filling baking cups: There is actually a bit of variance in the size and shape of various baking cup liners, which is why we say that this recipe will yield between 12-16 muffins. We've tried a variety of liners, and, for the prettiest domed tops on these muffins, the most important thing is to avoid over-filling the muffin cups. Simply use an additional pan and make a few extra muffins if needed.