It’s been a couple of months since I did a “flashback” post, so for those of you who haven’t read the previous ones, I’ll quickly explain. Flashback posts are blasts from the pasts — recipes, experiences, time travel from before my blogging days. I post these stories from time to time, usually because they hold some sort of juicy morsel worth sharing with the world. They often involve a special experience in my life, and today’s flashback recipe is no exception — it’s a love story in fact!
Today, we’re transported back in time to spring of 2011, when these little yummies were introduced to me for the very first time…
Loren had just proposed marriage atop Indian Rock in Berkeley. The following morning, my lovely friend Colleen called to ask if we’d planned to go to the farmers’ market (which took place halfway between our respective homes). I said yes (to both questions!), and she asked if she could meet us there.
Upon seeing Loren and me, she held out a plastic freezer bag filled with beautiful home-baked almond flour muffins and yelled, “CONGRATULATIONS, LOVE MUFFINS!!” A huge fan of cheesiness with a healthy appreciation for pun, I laughed and gave her a big hug, just before sampling a muffin on the spot. Pure gloriousness! I couldn’t wait to get the recipe.
And then the truth was revealed. Once the excitement subsided, Colleen said, “I don’t really need much from the farmers’ market. I just wanted to see your ring, so I brought you these muffins as an excuse. Let’s see it!”
We got married the following summer. Here are a couple of pictures (sans muffins).
A Muffin Was Born
So that’s how the name of these beautiful almond flour muffins came to be — I got engaged, and since they were kind of an engagement gift, they were dubbed “Love Muffins.” And boy oh boy will you love them! My recommendation is to get as creative with these babies as your little heart desires. But first, try them exactly as the recipe suggests. This way you’ll get an idea of just how delicious they are before you start tweaking things.
Then, the next time you make them, play with the details as much as you like without losing the main ingredients that make them a nice, solid muffin (that’s the ingredients with asterisks* next to them in the recipe below, for those of you who were wondering).
Some variations could include:
- skipping the chocolate and adding fresh blueberries
- doubling the cocoa powder and skipping the dried cherries for a chocolate/chocolate experience
- switching out the dried cherries for fresh cranberries and adding in some orange extract
- swapping the cocoa for cinnamon and switching to white chocolate chips, or even skipping them altogether
- adding additional nuts and seeds of your choosing for a heartier, more calorie-dense snack
On the Health Front
This muffin works great for breakfast or a snack, but it does have some extra sugar in it. If you’re tracking your sugar, choose the darkest possible chocolate chips for your muffins or skip the chocolate chips altogether. (These chocolate chips from Enjoy Life are my favorite because they’re dark chocolate and soy-free.) (affiliate link) You can also reduce the amount of maple syrup to 1/4 cup to further cut back the sugar.
These muffins are gluten-free and grain-free, decently high-fiber, full of healthy fats and proteins (from the eggs, almonds, and walnuts), and are sweetened with an unrefined, natural sugar source. They’re a perfectly wholesome addition to nearly any diet — plus they’re called Love Muffins, which makes them great for the mind, body, and spirit. 🙂
- 3 eggs*
- ½ cup real maple syrup
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup unsweetened dried cherries
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips
- 1 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 cups of almond flour*
- ½ tsp baking soda*
- ¼ tsp salt*
- Heat the oven to 325 degrees
- Line a muffin tin with baking cups
- Combine the almond flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa in a bowl
- Combine the cherries, walnuts, chocolate chips, vanilla, maple syrup, and eggs in another bowl
- Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well
- Evenly fill each baking cup with the batter
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes
- *ingredients with asterisks should remain the same no matter how you modify the recipe with new or substituted ingredients I suggested in the post.
FTC DISCLOSURE: This post contains an affiliate link, which means I may receive monetary compensation for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. I only link to products that I USE and LOVE. All opinions are my own.