Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sneaky Cappuccino Chocolate Chip Muffins

I was thinking this week about how Alexander would have really liked the pumpkin chocolate chip loaf if he had just been able to get past the name. So I thought and thought and then I had it. I altered the recipe to make Cappuccino Chocolate Chip Muffins, with, oddly enough, mostly the same ingredients. The health benefits of pumpkin are so amazing that if I can sneak a can into some muffins now and then, I think it's worth it for Alexander's future health. And these muffins are really very delicious and there is no discernible pumpkin taste. The coffee taste is very, very mild, so feel free to add more coffee if you want to crank up the flavor a bit.

Here's a little about pumpkin and its health benefits:

-Very high in carotenoids, which neutralize free radicals, nasty molecules that can attack cell membranes and leave the cells vulnerable to damage.

-High in lutein and zeaxanthin, which scavenge free radicals in the lens of the eye. Therefore, they may help prevent the formation of cataracts and reduce the risk of macular degeneration, a serious eye problem than usually results in blindness.

-Pumpkins have a lot of common nutrients, like iron, zinc, and fiber. Iron, of course, is needed by red blood cells. Zinc deficiency may be related to osteoporosis of the hip and spine in older men. And fiber is important for bowel health.

Sneaky Cappuccino Chocolate Chip Muffins

3 cups all purpose flour
2 and 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
4 large eggs, beaten
2 cups sugar
1 ½ cups oil
2 cups pumpkin
2 tsp decaffeinated instant coffee granules
2 cups (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
1 handful sliced almonds (optional)

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Sift dry ingredients together. Beat eggs, sugar and oil until light in color. Add, alternately, dry ingredients and pumpkin, mixing between each addition. Stir in chocolate chips.

Pour into muffin tins and sprinkle with sliced almonds. Bake until dry on top, about 15 minutes. This can also be poured into a loaf tin, though it needs a longer baking time, about an additional half hour.

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