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Heart Healthy Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins

It’s heart health month. This recipe includes ingredients that are part of a heart healthy diet including strawberries, dark chocolate, fibre and healthy fats from nuts.  I’m also topping these delicious muffins with a sweet and creamy whipped coconut pitaya topping!   Here’s my fave gluten-free strawberry chocolate chip muffin recipe that’s packed with the flavours of love and plenty of other good stuff too.

The Sweet Strawberry

Strawberries are my favorite summer fruit, but they can also be enjoyed in winter too.  Strawberries provide lots of the good stuff including an excellent source of collagen boosting vitamin C and manganese.  They’re also high in fibre providing 2 g per 100 g and low in carbs providing fewer than 8 g of carbs per 100 g.  They also have a low glycemic index, which means they don’t spike blood sugar levels.

They’re also loaded in antioxidants including anthocyanin, ellagic acid, ellagitannins and procyanidins.  Anthocyanin is responsible for the bright red color of the strawberry and tends to be concentrated in the skin of the fruit.  Anthocyanin rich food is associated with heart health benefits.

In fact, studies have shown that anthocyanin consumption from berries can lower the risk of heart disease, improve blood antioxidant status, decrease oxidative stress, reduce inflammation, improve blood lipid profile, vascular function and reduce the oxidation of LDL cholesterol1.

Dark Chocolate Lover

In addition to strawberry, this recipe also has dark chocolate chips!  Who doesn’t love strawberries and chocolate for Valentine’s day!  By dark chocolate I mean, 70 to 85% cocoa.  This chocolate is high in iron, magnesium, copper, manganese and fiber!  It’s also high in antioxidants including polyphenols, flavanols and catechins.

The flavanols in dark chocolate can boost the production of NO (nitric oxide) which can in turn stimulate blood flow and reduce blood pressure.  Eating dark chocolate has been shown to improve factors of heart disease, increasing HDL (good) cholesterol and lower LDL (bad) cholesterol2.

The antioxidants in dark chocolate have also been shown to help protect the skin against sun damage, improve blood flow to the skin and increase skin density and hydration3.

heart healthy

What’s In These Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins?

This recipe provides plenty of heart healthy ingredients, perfect as a fibre packed snack; have these for a quick on-the-go breakfast with your morning coffee or an afternoon pick-me-up.  Here’s what you’ll need.

Strawberries – Use frozen strawberries, or if available you can also use fresh!  Either will provide the benefits you want from these yummy berries.

Almond Flour – An alternative to gluten flours, almond flour will add some bulk, plus it’s high in vitamin E and good-for-you fats.

Gluten-Free Oat Flour – I purchased the ready-made Quaker oat flour to save time, but you can make your own using your favourite brand of oatmeal.  Grind down the oats to your preference – fine or rough will do.

Dark Chocolate Chips – Dark chocolate can provide a source of flavonoids, a super antioxidant that can protect the heart, and help control cortisol release.  Find a low sugar option!

MORE HEART HEALTHY BITES  

Here’s a few more energizing recipes to try out:

How to Make These Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins?

Combine all dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and stir until fully blended.  In a separate bowl combine all wet ingredients.  Then slowly add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until you have a fully mixed thick batter.  Drop in the chocolate chips and blend again.  Fill the lined muffin tin to the top!  Bake as per instructions below.  Cool for an hour and enjoy!  Add the coconut whipped topping and your favourite berries!

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins

Heart healthy, gluten-free strawberry chocolate chip muffins. Perfect for a healthy snack or treat!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Dessert
Servings 12 muffins
Calories 200 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Blender

Ingredients
  

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 cup Gluten-Free Flour
  • 1 cup Almond Flour
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Sugar
  • 3 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Bakins Soda

Wet Ingredients

  • 2 cups Frozen Strawberries
  • 1 Frozen Banana
  • 1/3 cup Plain Coconut Yoghurt
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Oil
  • 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla

Whipped Coconut Pitaya Topping

  • 2 cups Coconut Whip
  • 1 cup Frozen Pink Pitaya

Instructions
 

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
  • Blend strawberries into a puree and put aside.
  • Add all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix until combined.
  • Add rest of wet ingredients to the strawberry puree, mix until combined.
  • Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, folding in until mixture is completely blended. Drop in chocolate chips and mix again.
  • Divide batter into lined cupcake tin. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until skewer inserted into cupcake is comes out clean. The baking time is dependent on your oven temperature and cupcake tray size!
  • Cool cupcakes. Blend the coconut whip topping with the frozen pitaya until smooth. Place in freezer, enjoy when ready! Place spoonful with your fave berries.
Keyword dark chocolate, gluten-free, high protein snacks, strawberry

Until Next Time,

Be Fierce & Rule the World,

Lauren Jacobsen

References:
  1. Basu A, et al. Berries: emerging impact on cardiovascular health.  Nutr Rev. 2010. 68(3): 168-77.
  2. Buijsse B, et al. Cocoa intake, blood pressure and cardiovascular mortality: the Zutphen Elderly Study.  Arch Intern Med. 2006.  166(4): 411-7.
  3. Heinrich U, et al.Long-term ingestion of high flavanol cocoa provides photoprotection against UV-induced erythema and improves skin condition in women.  J Nutr. 2006.  136(6): 1565-9.

 

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