Avocado-Chocolate Muffins

There is something about vegetables in desserts that always catches my attention.  So when I saw a recipe by Joy the Baker for an avocado pound cake, I could picture it: the lusciously smooth fat (a healthy fat, mind you) of the avocado incorporated into a cake.  I was inspired and needed to explore this combination more.  Also on her website, I found a recipe for a vegan chocolate-avocado cake. Ok, now, we’re talking!

Avocados:

Commonly considered a vegetable, biologically, avocados are more of a fruit, but chemically resemble a nut, consisting of about 22% fat.  Most of the avocados available in US markets come from Mexico or California and are of the Hass variety.  Thanks to a recent issue of Eating Well Magazine, I learned that more than 200,000 acres of avocado groves cover the mountains terrain of the Mexican state of Michoacán.  One acre of avocado trees can produce up to eight tons of fruit per year.

Nutritionally, avocados are appreciated for their nice dose of mono-unsaturated fat, similar to the oils in olives, which are believed to be supportive of cardiovascular health.  Avocados are also a good source of fiber, protein, vitamins C and E, folic acid, potassium and the antioxidant lutein. They make for a delicious raw whole food option in sandwiches, omelets or salads where you might otherwise use processed meats or cheeses or condiments such as mayonnaise.

I love the idea of replacing the oil or butter used in baking with an avocado, and although I am committed to eating locally, I do make regular exceptions for the irreplaceable avocado.  And so, when I saw  fully-ripened “eat today” avocados at the market, I had to buy a couple and give this concept a try.

Using Joy’s cake recipe as my inspiration, I created a muffin version with a higher nutritional value and sweetened by one of Vermont’s finest culinary contributions: maple syrup.  Enjoy warm out of the oven, cut open with some butter, cream cheese, or (my daughter’s suggestion) peanut butter.

Avocado-Chocolate Muffins:

Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  2. Sift together all of the dry ingredients.
  3. Mix all the wet ingredients together in a bowl, including the mashed avocado. If you are using a food processor, puree the avocado first, and once smooth, add other wet ingredients and process a little longer to mix well.
  4. Combine wet and dry ingredients, and mix with a wooden spoon until smooth.
  5. Spoon batter into a greased muffin tins or paper baking cups. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
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6 thoughts on “Avocado-Chocolate Muffins

  1. If you prefer a vegan recipe, here is a similar one from Vegetarian Times Magazine: Glazed Chocolate-Avocado Cupcakes

    Avocado replaces the eggs and most of the oil in a rich, chocolatey batter that turns out supermoist baked goodies.

    CUPCAKES (makes 12)

    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    1 tsp. baking powder
    3/4 tsp. baking soda
    3/4 tsp. salt
    1 avocado, pitted and peeled
    1 cup pure maple syrup
    3/4 cup plain soymilk
    1/3 cup canola oil
    2 tsp. vanilla extract

    GLAZE

    1/4 block soft silken tofu (from 14-oz. container), drained and patted dry
    3 Tbs. pure maple syrup
    1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
    1/8 tsp. salt
    4 oz. semisweet vegan chocolate, melted

    DIRECTIONS

    To make Cupcakes:

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in bowl. Purée avocado in food processor until smooth. Add maple syrup, soymilk, oil, and vanilla, and blend until creamy. Whisk avocado mixture into flour mixture.

    2. Spoon batter into prepared cupcake cups. Bake 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out with some crumbs attached. Cool.

    To make Glaze:

    3. Blend tofu, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt in food processor until smooth. Add chocolate to tofu mixture and blend until smooth. Transfer to bowl. Dip tops of Cupcakes into Glaze, pulling straight up from Glaze to form peaks.

  2. Liking this very much – makes a change from good old chocolate beetroot muffins! I bet they are incredibly moist and keep well, too. The last comment is, of course, a joke.I imagine they don’t last long at all – too tasty.

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