Surprise, surprise – still not feeling well. I’m ready to try any sort of crazy voodoo ideas anyone has, so send suggestions my way! Started as a cold/cough kind of deal and triggered some recurring stomach issues I have. On the bright side, feeling crummy has gotten me to include all kinds of leafy green veggies (kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts) in my diet that I wouldn’t normally eat raw. It also inspired these muffins.
When I’m sick, I’ll go in phases of not wanting to eat anything at all to wanting to eat everything in sight. Normal? Probably not. I think my body just takes advantage of feeling not miserable for a minute and wants to pump as much nutrition in as possible. And so, these muffins were born! I took all the things I should eat when I’m sick (leafy greens, oranges) and combined it with what I want to eat when I’m sick (Uh, chocolate. Duh).
You’ve realized by now that there’s kale in these muffins and yet you’ve stuck around. Either you’re intrigued or you just want to see where this train wreck is going. Let me tell you, kale is GREAT in muffins. The chocolate/orange flavor combo shines right through and you actually can’t taste the kale while it still provides a nutritional boost and moisture. I’m calling them “antioxidant muffins” because kale, oranges, chocolate, and flax are all sources of antioxidants (kale and oranges being pretty great ones!), just what everyone needs in their life.
Antioxidant Muffins (Chocolate, Orange, and Kale!)
Author: Kelly Hutchinson
~2 c kale, very finely chopped (can subsitute spinach or shredded zucchini, skipping step 2 for zucchini)
1 large orange
¼ c unsweetened applesauce
¼ c sugar (see notes for naturally sweet substitutes)
¼ c brown sugar (coconut sugar is a great substitute)
1 ½ tbsp flax meal
⅔ c unsweetened almond milk (or milk choice)
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp baking soda
¼ c cocoa powder
1 ¼ c whole wheat pastry flour
¼ – ⅓ mini dark chocolate chips (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Prepare a cupcake tin with liners and spritz with nonstick spray to prevent sticking.
Put the kale in a bowl with ~ 1 c water, cover, and microwave for 1 ½ minute (or boil/steam for a few minutes) to soften. Let cool and drain completely.
Finely zest the entire orange into a large bowl. Cut the orange into segments and squeeze out as much juice as you can (approximately ¼ c, add a little water if your orange wasn’t very juicy).
Add applesauce through flax to the orange and mix completely. Add the milk, vanilla, and kale and stir until well combined.
Add the baking soda, cocoa powder, and flour. Stir until just almost combined. Add the chocolate chips, if using, and stir until just combined. If desired, reserve some chips and sprinkle on top.
Divide the batter between 12 cupcake liners. Bake for 15 – 17 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Be sure to spritz your liners with nonstick spray! Low fat recipes tend to stick more. Nutritional value includes optional chocolate chips and unsweetened almond milk. Coconut sugar makes a great naturally sweet swap for brown sugar. For the white sugar, any sugar swap that melts will work great — you can even use 3 tbsp of agave nectar instead, just decrease the almond milk to ½ c + an extra splash).