Among my kids' favorite homemade snacks are chocolate chip anything--cookies, bars, muffins, you name it. Well, guess what? The pareve chocolate chips I use have soy in them. Certainly there MUST be some kind of chocolate chip without soy somewhere. We were in Whole Foods the other day and I figured I would take a look. Bingo: Enjoy Life dark chocolate morsels. Not only soy free, but pareve, too!!
Making our kids healthy snacks can be a challenge without food allergies. Add that to the mix and your job as a parent becomes twice as hard. Well, don't fear, my friends. Help is here. In her book "The Sneaky Chef," Missy Chase Lapine describes how she sneaks fruits, vegetables, protein, you name it, into common foods kids love: Mac and Cheese, baked goods, etc. For the last few years I have adapted this brilliant idea into my own cooking, particularly with baking. When I make snacks for my kids to have at school (now camp), I always try to include some secret ingredients that will give the kids more protein and help stabilize their blood sugar. This recipe that I share with you contains 2: beans and quinoa.
First the beans. Yes, beans. Sounds scary and gross, but please trust me. It's not. White beans are tasteless and odorless. If you puree them well, they cannot be detected at all in cookies, bars or muffins. Your kids will love the snacks and they won't even have a clue that they contain beans. As if extra protein and fiber weren't enough, beans are a great binder. That means you can use them to make your recipe gluten free if you so wish.
Now for the quinoa. I use it here in the form of flour. Quinoa flour is very easy to make. If you want instructions on how to make your own, I am including the link on this website. It is in the Healthy Ingredients section under Homemade Flours for your point of reference. Here it is: Quinoa Flour
The recipe does include wheat, hence the "almost" in the title. I do hope to develop a gluten free version in the near future. When I do, you will be the first to know! As we trudge the food allergy path together, I, like you, will do my own experimentation. I will share my findings with you. Promise. Please do the same with all of us for everyone's benefit. Until then, hope you enjoy the muffins.
(Almost) Allergy Free Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup quinoa flour
1 cup coconut palm or morena sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup oil
1 cup white beans, well pureed
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup soy free chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a mini muffin pan and set aside.
2. Put all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Whisk with a fork.
3. Add oil, beans and vanilla. Stir until well combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
4. Take a small spoonful of dough, about the size of a walnut. Round into a ball and press into mini muffin tin. Repeat until tray is full.
5. Place muffin tray in the oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.