High Protein Chocolate and Salted Caramel Muffins
I feel like I have a million things to talk about today. I’ll try and be brief, promise. I know, being brief isn’t necessarily what you could call my specialty, but I’ll try my best. I swear.
First off, I just have to share just how exciting it has been for me to make this recipe. Why is that, you ask? Well, let’s see…just scroll down a bit… Okay, a great long bit. Notice how I’m not using my good old faithful cobalt blue food processor in the pictures?
I’m afraid I had to part with it… The poor thing had been serving me well for over 15 years now, but sadly it was starting to show signs of age, so I decided to give it a well deserved break and gifted it to my daughter, who will not be quite so hard on it I’m sure. As for me, I treated myself to one of these gorgeous, top-of-the-line KitchenAid Pro Line 16-Cup Food Processor. All I have to say is wow, what a machiiiiine!
For instance, would you believe me if I told you that I haven’t even made one single batch of nut butter in it, yet? Me, the girl who dedicated an entire chapter of her cookbook to the art of making nut butters at home?
GAH! I can’t wait to do that, but I’m afraid it’s gonna have to wait a while. For the time being, I need to keep my addiction in check, as I’m working hard to shed the few pounds of fat that crept up on me over the last couple of years… Oh, it’s nothing dramatic, we’re talking 10, 15 at most, but still, I’m not comfortable having them hanging around.
To support my efforts, I made a few changes to my diet, cut back on calories a little and resumed counting macros for a bit. I strongly believe in eating a diet that’s high in protein, i.e. at least 1g per pound of body weight per day, and to help me reach my daily protein requirements, I decided to reintroduce dairy, mainly in the form of plain Greek yogurt and buttermilk, as well an old favorite of mine: whey protein powder.
Some would say that this is a step back, a step in the wrong direction… Me? I’m not sure. My body seems to be doing really well on this regimen and I appear to be supporting dairy products just fine, so I guess I’m comfortable with my decision, even though it’s not really in line with a strict paleo mentality. I feel I need to do what works for me.
I don’t by any means intend on reintroducing grains anytime soon, though, as I feel I have plenty of sources to choose from in the carbs department. Protein is a bit different… if I’m gonna stick to leaner cuts of meats for a while, my options get drastically reduced. That’s why I find whey protein and Greek yogurt come in so handy.
So I now usually reach for a shake after my daily workout, will eat smaller meals but more often, and even include a few snacks throughout the day. If I’m gonna snack, though, I’ll favor something that will help me reach my daily protein requirements.
That’s why I love having snacks like these High Protein Chocolate Muffins around, either to take with me when I’m on the go or to help fill the gap between lunch and dinner. While not the optimal choice, I’ll admit, I still see them as a much better option than any commercial snacks and bars that are available out there.
At least I get to control exactly what goes into them and I know for a fact that they aren’t filled with all kinds of grains, sugar, fillers, preservatives, etc. And for the most part, they’re made with real, wholesome ingredients! For the most part…
Want to try a batch? Let’s do that!
As always when making baked good, you want to preheat your oven, this time to to 375°F
Next, place about a quarter of a baked and cooled sweet potato, some plain Greek yogurt, 3 large eggs, some cacao powder, tapioca starch, coconut flour, instant espresso powder (although you could very well pass on that one if you wanted to), ground Ceylon cinnamon, baking soda and salt in the bowl of your food processor.
Speaking of which… check out my new baby, ready for action. Isn’t she a beauty?
Process all these ingredients until smooth, stopping to scrape the sides once. This will not take long at all, one minute at most!
Add the protein powder and resume processing until well incorporated.
I chose to use Perfect Nutrition’s Limited Edition Salted Caramel Whey Protein Powder, which is crazy delicious by the way (although maybe a tad too sweet for my liking) but if you weren’t able to get your hands on it, you could very well use Vanilla or Chocolate flavor, instead. The only thing is your high protein muffins would be plain Chocolate, as opposed to Chocolate & Salted Caramel. But I’m sure they’d be equally delicious.
Just make sure you pick a good quality whey protein. Read your labels!
Alright, now that the protein powder has been mixed in, add the chopped walnuts and cacao nibs and then pulse a few times just to stir them in.
Divide the batter between 12 large muffin cups. You’ll need about 1/4 cup of batter per muffin.
Now don’t do like I did and favor looks over practicality… Non-grain batters never fail to cling to paper something fierce, so I strongly recommend that you line your muffin pan with parchment paper cups or reusable silicon cups, as opposed those cutesy decorated paper ones. That way you won’t waste half your muffins when you try to get that darn paper off!
Unless chewing on paper is your idea of fun…
Movin’ on…Sprinkle a little bit more chopped walnuts and cacao nibs on top of each muffin if you so desire.
I find garnished muffins look so much better, so I definitely opted in on that one!
Place the muffins in the oven and bake them for about 18 minutes, or until the tops look set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Don’t make the mistake of overcooking these cakes as they will no doubt turn dry and even burn on you; In fact, you’re probably better off under-cooking them, so when in doubt… take them out!
Let your muffins cool completely and then store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Trust me, resit the urge to eat one right away: these bad boys taste much better when they’re cold.
See what I mean? I wasn’t kidding when I said that these would cling to paper something fierce.
The green retro paper cups may have looked pretty, but they stole half of each of my muffins from me. GAH! Lesson learned for good this time.
Still, at least they found it in them to leave a sufficient amount of cake for me to actually fully appreciate their intense chocolate flavor, as well as their deliciously dense but somewhat airy texture.
In fact, I’d say these muffins are dangerously more-ish. You may have to keep them under lock and key…
- 300g (10.5oz) baked sweet potato, without skin*
- 1-1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
- 3 large eggs
- ⅓ cup organic cacao powder
- ⅓ cup tapioca starch
- 3 tbsp coconut flour
- 2 tbsp instant espresso powder (for a stronger chocolate taste and/or a bit of a picker-upper, totally optional)_
- 1 tsp ground Ceylon cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp Himalayan salt
- 3 scoops (90g | 3oz) Salted Caramel Flavored Whey Protein Powder (you could also use Vanilla or Chocolate)
- ¼ cup chopped raw walnuts
- 3 tbsp cacao nibs
- Preheat your oven to 375°F
- Put all the ingredients except for protein powder, chopped walnuts and cacao nibs in the bowl of your food processor; process until smooth, stopping to scrape the sides once.
- Add the protein powder and resume processing until well incorporated
- Add walnuts and cacao nibs, pulse a few times just to mix them in.
- Divide the batter between 12 large muffin cups, sprinkle a little bit more chopped nuts and cacao nibs on top of each if desired. I strongly recommend that you line your muffin pan with parchment paper cups or reusable silicon cups, as non-grain batters tend to seriously cling to paper.
- Bake in oven for 17-18 minutes, or until the tops look set and a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool completely and then store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days.