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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Sunflower Chocolate Muffins

With last Sunday being Easter, I didn't manage any prep cooking. Today, I am working double time! Already got our breakfast casserole and batch of muffins made for breakfasts this week. Made some sandwich wraps, egg salad and pepperoni chips and cheese crisps for lunches. I have the carne picada in the oven for our Triple Play meal this week--it will become Mexican, Asian and barbecue dishes. I still need to make the salad and prep some Minute Beef. I wanted to take the time to share these muffins before heading back into the kitchen.

I am currently out of almond flour, and I am a little tired of coconut flour muffins. I know Honeyville is having a sale right now, and I really wanted to order some, but it is just not in the budget. I do still have some raw sunflower seeds. My mom made some delicious cookies with ground sunflower seeds, but I know that combined with baking powder, you can get a green baked good. I don't know the exact chemistry of it all, but I really didn't want green muffins. The best anecdote? Cover any potential problem with chocolate. Come to think of it, that works well with all sorts of problems!

So I grabbed my trusty Ninja and made a batch of fluffy Sunflower Seed Flour. You could use a food processor or high end blender. (If you have one of those I am officially jealous) These muffins do have a flavor that is different from almond flour. If you like sunflower seeds, that shouldn't be a problem. The texture is light and fluffy. It is almost like a chocolate nut flavored muffin...with no nuts.  We liked these, and the sunflower seed flour has a couple distinct advantages over almond flour. First, it is cheaper by far. Second, these are seeds, so the flour is technically nut free too. I think I will do some more experimentation. This recipe could be adapted using different fats, and any sweetener you like. You might even prefer half almond and half sunflower seed flour. One cup of seeds makes one cup of flour. That is easy.

What is not easy is finding one source that agrees on the carb profile. My Mastercook program is having trouble today recognizing this. It seems to give the same numbers for flour and seeds still in the shell? I certainly don't trust that one, but then it also seems to give me an extra high carb number on almond flour. Imperfect software, I suppose. From what I can see from various sources, the carbs are very close to those of almond flour, so use accordingly. I don't know of any place that sells the flour pre-ground. Woohoo. Another chore to do from scratch, you say. You decide if it is worth it. If you think so, you might want to go all the way and soak and dehydrate the seeds first. I am not going there, so we will take our chances. It is either this or he will resort to Little Debbie.

Chocolate Sunflower Muffins

2 cups raw sunflower seeds
1 cup erythritol OR equivalent sweetener
2 tsp baking soda
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
1 stick butter
4 eggs
1/2 tsp liquid stevia OR sweetener equivalent to 1/2 cup
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp powdered erythritol
1 tbsp hot water
1 tbsp butter, softened

In a food processor or blender, grind raw sunflower seeds into a flour. Be careful not to process too long, or you may get a nut butter. In a medium bowl, combine sunflower seed flour, erythritol, and baking soda. In a heatproof bowl, melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave. Add stevia and stir to blend. Add eggs to the chocolate mixture, beating one egg in at a time.Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Spoon batter into 12 baking cups, filling 2/3's full. Bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes. The tops will crack. Remove from oven when centers are set. Let cool.

To make glaze, blend cocoa powder, erythritol and hot water until smooth. Stir in softened butter and stir until butter is incorporated. Dip the tops of 6 muffins into the glaze, and drizzle the glaze over the remaining muffins. If you prefer, double the glaze recipe. Dip all the muffin tops and use the remaining glaze on as a topping for ice cream or strawberries.
140 calories each    14 g fat    1.2 net carbs

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Dinah said...

I just bought some unsalted sunflower seeds last weekend thinking it would make an awesome flour. I'm gonna try this recipe soon! I bought punkin seeds too and thought about making butter with it.

Becky @ Becky's Place said...

I know that there is a secret to stopping the sunbutter from going green in baked goods... We had used sunbutter instead of peanut butter at the school in the cafeteria and there was a tips card included where this was mentioned specifically. I'll have to try to remember to see if it's still in the drawer at work, though I believe it had something to do with baking soda. These look good and I have both sunflower and pumpkin seeds that I'd rather use up than toss, so I may give it a go. Thanks.

Ginny said...

Sounds interesting! I've never thought of using sunflower seeds as a flour.

Maxine Fowler said...

Wow, this is a pretty neat idea, and they look delicious. Definitely giving these a try :)

Anonymous said...

Could I use cocoa powder and baking powder instead (any suggestions would be appreciated)?

Rose said...

Do I uses unsweetened cocoa powder or sugar free chocolate chips? Also, are these regular sized muffins or minis? I just wanna be sure to follow the right counts. Thanks! I am looking forward to making these!!

Midge said...

My cupcakes sink in the middle. I have tried adding some baking soda and some guar gum and it didn't help. any suggestions. Your are beautiful and want mine to be also. thank you for any help Midge

Lisa Marshall said...


From my baking experience, that can happen if the cupcakes are not quite done in the center. Be sure to test them. Mine cracked on top, so yours may need a little more time in the oven. The mix could be a little too wet. Given that this is a home made flour, the moisture content may vary. If it seems a little too wet, add some additional flour or coconut flour.