Today's experimental gluten-free baking challenge was chocolate chip muffins. Raya has been doing SO well with the blueberry mini muffins I made her last week that I thought I would try to branch out on that same concept. "Food chaining" is a common practice in feeding therapy where you take a food that the child likes and making small changes to help them expand what they are comfortable with eating. When Raya tried the blueberry muffins last week, one of the comments she made was, "These are good but I wish they were chocolate chip instead of blueberry." At first I was thinking I would just use the same muffin mix but add chocolate chips instead of stirring in the little can of blueberries, but then I realized there is probably blueberry flavor in the actual muffin mix too, and that would be gross. Being that it's now September, I keep seeing pumpkin flavored everything popping up everywhere so I decided I'd embrace the pumpkin and see if I could grant her chocolate chip muffin wish. Historically, I've been anti-pumpkin+chocolate but if she'll eat it, then I'm on board!
I cruised Pinterest looking for a recipe that used pumpkin and sorghum flour, because the Krusteaz blueberry muffin mix had sorghum flour in it and she hasn't had any problems from it. I found one that was pretty close to what I wanted but I had to make several changes too. Like leaving out half the ingredients listed and adding in a few others. (Here's the original.)
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins
with Sorghum Flour
1 can (16 oz) pumpkin or 2 C pumpkin puree
1 C sugar
1/2 C plain, unsweetened applesauce
1/2 C coconut oil, melted
1/2 C water
3 1/2 C sweet white sorghum flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup Hershey's Special Dark chocolate chips (or Enjoy Life dairy-free chocolate chips)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
1. In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, mix pumpkin, sugar, applesauce, oil, eggs, and water until blended.
2. In a separate bowl, mix sorghum flour, xanthan gum, and salt. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and blend until combined. Take bowl off of stand mixer and fold in chocolate chips.
3. For mini muffins, spoon 1 heaping tablespoon of batter into greased muffin pan or into mini muffin papers. Bake 10-12 minutes. For full sized muffins, bake 20-22 minutes.
I got 66 mini muffins from this recipe, and according to the recipe calculator I use, each muffin has:
approx 75 calories
11 g carbs
3 g fat
1 g protein
51 mg sodium
5 g sugar
The original recipe called for double the amount of sugar and used applesauce in place of the oil. I swapped out half of the applesauce for coconut oil because we're trying to add calories where we can for Raya, and she does need healthy fats in her diet, so the coconut oil worked out well.
Piper and I ate some of the muffins. Several of them. They're delicious. They've actually convinced me that I really DO like pumpkin and chocolate together, just not cinnamon and chocolate, which is why I didn't put any fall/pumpkin spices into the muffins. The texture is light and fluffy but also a little bit course, which works well in this recipe. They hold together nicely, but also kind of melt in your mouth. They're moist (for the love, someone needs to come up with a better word that means the same thing) and the flavor is a blend of mild pumpkin and almost a caramel/brown sugary flavor, which I think comes from the sorghum. The dark chocolate is a perfect compliment.
Six out of 7 love them. Raya was thrilled to hear that I had made chocolate chip muffins for her and she liked them, but the texture was softer than the blueberry muffins from last week and she had to eat it a little differently than she has gotten used to eating those. She did like them though and I think she'll get used to the texture once she eats another one. It is so exciting to find another recipe that works, tastes good, and passes the Raya test!