Paleo in a Pinch

Double Chocolate Chip Muffins

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Valentine’s Day is just around the corner — why not give your Valentine a heart-healthy dose of cacao, a raw form of chocolate?!

Cacao comes from the cacao tree, in which the seeds (more commonly referred to as beans) are removed from the pod, dried and fermented. The cacao seed is then ground into cacao powder which can be used in baking or making beverages — A dream come true for a Paleo sweet-tooth!!

Cacao overflows with antioxidants, promoting cardiovascular health. It is said to have more antioxidant flavonoids than any food tested so far. Cacao is also ranked as the #1 food source of magnesium, a mineral that 80% of Americans are deficient. More magnesium = a stronger heart.

You’ll naturally fall in love with cacao due to the increased levels of neurotransmitters. Cacao holds the key to unlocking increased supply of serotonin, endorphins, phenylethylamine and anandamide — all known to uplift one’s mood.

Not only is cacao good for your heart and your mood — it’s also high in sulfur. Sulfur is a mineral known to promote hair and nail growth, beautiful skin and detoxify the liver.

Now please, do not confuse cacao with a packet of Swiss Miss. There are many varieties of powdered chocolate — most of which are filled with sugar, corn syrup and milk solids — these ARE NOT Paleo. Find a pure organic cacao powder that simply has one beautiful ingredient — Cacao.

GROCERY LIST

1 dozen

**DRY INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup coconut flour

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

2 TBSP cacao powder (I like the brand Dagoba Organic Chocolate)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup chocolate chips (I use ‘Enjoy Life Eat Freely’ chocolate chips – I found them at Whole Foods, dairy-free – soy-free. http://www.enjoylifefoods.com/chocolate-for-baking/mini-chips/)

**WET INGREDIENTS

6 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

1/4 cup canned coconut milk

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

BAKING INSTRUCTIONS

1) In a large mixing bowl, sift together dry ingredients, excluding chocolate chips.

2) In a separate bowl, whisk together wet ingredients.

3) Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, beat for 2 minutes. Stir in chocolate chips.

4) In a non-stick or paper lined muffin pan, fill muffin cups halfway and bake in a 350 degree pre-heated oven 30-35 minutes.

5) Let cool a few minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely on a wire rack and store in an air-tight container for up to 3 days or store in freezer for later use.

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From my kitchen, to yours …. LOVE and ENJOY!!

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