The Best Chocolate Chip Muffins

I previously posted about using pureed beans to replace butter in baked good recipes. Here’s a recipe that I make using the 50/50 mix. I’ve also replaced the butter with 100% pureed beans. The kids still love them. They taste just as good as the original but they don’t stay moist as long when stored in the refrigerator. That’s one of the magical properties of butter in baked goods. It helps to retain moistness and crumb texture. While the beans allow the texture of the muffins to stay very similar they do effect moistness. Of course, if the muffins get eaten in a day or two then you really don’t have to worry about that.

While this recipe is for chocolate chip muffins you can replace the chips with lots of things. Blueberry muffins are another favorite.


The Best Chocolate Chip Muffins
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Serves: 12 to 18
These muffins are lower in fat because they use a pureed bean and butter mixture to replace half the butter that is normally found in the recipe. They still taste great! Find the bean/butter receipe here
  • ½ cup butter or bean/butter mixture at room temperature
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar or Splenda for baking
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¾ cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Line muffin pan with paper cups or spray muffin pan with nonstick spray
  3. In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  4. In another bowl mix the butter (or bean/butter mixture) until creamy.
  5. Add the sugar (or Splenda) and beat until pale.
  6. Add the eggs in and beat until well mixed.
  7. Beat in the vanilla extract.
  8. With a spoon, fold in half the flour mixture. Then add half the milk. Repeat.
  9. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  10. Spoon mixture into muffin cups and bake 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown and set in the center.
This recipe will make 12 larger sized muffins or 18 - 2 oz muffins.

For all you WLS’ers, diabetics and those with RH please note that this is NOT a low carb recipe. However, if you divide the batter up to make 18 muffins they will be approximately 2 ounces in size. This is actually suppose to be the real “serving size” of muffins. Unlike the super duper sized ones we are all use to seeing.

Personally I make the smaller sized ones. They are a great size for kids to take for lunch. Muffins to us are a once in a while snack and not a meal so the 2 oz muffins are perfect.

FREEZER TIP: these muffins freeze very well. Place in a plastic freezer bag, seal and then place in a second freezer bag. Double bagging the muffins helps to keep them from losing moisture (all those ice crystals or frost you see on frozen items).

Using Pureed Beans As A Fat Replacer

In one of my favorite lab based nutrition classes we did an experiment (officially titled  Acceptability of bean puree as a fat replacement in blueberry muffins) in which we changed the fat content in a muffin recipe and tested to see how well it was accepted. Sounds easy except for the fact that there was food related research to be done, sensory panel questionnaires to design and a whole lot of writing to do. Eighty eight pages of report and graphs later I have some actual research evidence to back up the fact that people enjoyed the blueberry muffins we made using pureed cannellini beans. Our taste panel members actually liked the muffins made with 50% bean puree used to replace butter more than the original recipe. They also liked the muffins made with 100% bean replacement but, when compared to the full fat muffins (called the control muffin), they liked the control muffin better.

So what exactly does this mean? This means that you can easily swap out some or all of the butter or oil in many baked goods with pureed beans and no one will notice! Kids hate beans? They can be easily added to muffins and most likely many other baked goods without anyone noticing. Unless they actually catch you pureeing up the beans. This bean swap is also great for those looking to cut their fat intake. Perhaps you have had WLS and added fat upsets your stomach. How about those with gallbladder issues? Often times added fat will set off an attack. It did with my brother but he didn’t have issues with the 100% bean replaced muffins.

If your interested in swapping out some fat with pureed beans here a great trick to save you time.

Using Pureed Beans As A Fat Replacer
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This recipe makes a 50% bean to butter replacement for your baked goods. This mixture is used to replace butter or oil in a recipe. If the recipe calls for 1 cup then use 1 cup of the mixture. If it calls for ½ cup butter than use ½ cup of this mixture. You get the idea 🙂
  • 1 - 16 ounce can of beans (cannellini, chickpea, pinto or black beans) drained and rinsed
  • 1 stick of butter at room temperature
  1. Drain and rinse the beans. Place in a colander and allow the extra water to drain off.
  2. Place the beans in a food processor and puree.
  3. Add the stick of butter and process until smooth.
  4. Since my muffin recipe calls for ½ cup of butter I simply scoop out ½ cup of the bean/butter mixture and place it in small plastic bags. Seal the bags and store in the freezer.
  5. If your making a recipe simply measure out the corrent amount of bean/butter mixture to use in place of the butter in the recipe. Pretend that the mixture is 100% butter and follow your recipe's directions.

Here’s what my final bagged bean/butter mixture looked like:


Each 1/2 cup scoop is placed in its own bag. Then these smaller bags are placed in one larger freezer bag and I include an index card with the item name and date. I can’t tell you how many mystery bags of frozen stuff I have defrosted in order to figure out what in the world it might be. Thought I would never forget what was in the bag. I’ve learned my lesson.


These are made with chickpeas. I don’t know how but, when I went looking for beans, I discovered 7 cans of chickpeas. They got volunteered to be used in the muffins instead of the cannellini beans.

Next up….the blueberry muffin recipe!

Looking For Great iPhone Apps

After several years of having a plain old cellphone with only texting as an added options I’ve just upgraded to a smartphone. It actually wasn’t by choice but by necessity. I’ve been stuck multiple times since I lack the ability to get email through my phone. Evidently, when everyone else has it, your just expected to have a phone that does a zillion things as well.  I’ve shown up for cancelled classes since I didn’t get the email saying it was cancelled. There was the time that the classroom was changed to a different room and I was standing there wondering why no one else was around. Didn’t get that email either.

Since my contract was up I upgraded to an iPhone4.


Yes, it’s not the most current model. Hey, I’m a struggling student who is rasing a family on a drastically reduced budget. When they said the iPhone4 was free or I could pay $150 for the iPhone5 I went with the 4. Free is for me!

These phones certainly earn the title of smartphone. I’m amazed at the things they can do and the health/food related possibilities.

The first thing I thought of was how much easier doing a 24 hour food recall with a patient would be if they could just simply show you pictures they have taken of all the items the ate in the last 24 hours. It would reduce the number of items forgotten. Even better is actually being able to see the serving size that was eaten. It would also help when it comes to counseling people on picking better options. What if a client wanted to figure out some better choices they could make when purchasing items from a work cafeteria or even a vending machine on the days they didn’t bring lunch or a snack? A few pictures could easily show what food options are available and the discussion would be so much easier!

So now that I’ve been forced to embrace this technology I’m going to put it to work and see what other helpful food and health related apps are available. Do you currently use any food or health related apps? I’m especially interested in meal planning apps. If you have some favorites leave a comment below and tell me which ones you like. Or even which ones you didn’t like.

You Call This A Low Carb Biscuit?

I am a student member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as well as the DCE Diabetes Care andEducation Community Group. This means that each month I receive several nutrition related journals. Sometimes I have received magazines on health related topics provided by publishers to the members of the AND. This month I was sent a copy of Better Homes and Garden’s Diabetic Living. It’s interesting to see some of the health related magazines that people buy. This one caught my eye because it was sporting this on the front page (look at where the arrow is pointing:


Hey…..I’d love to make a low carb biscuit! I quickly turned to the recipe only to see this:



What !?!  22 grams for a small biscuit? How exactly is that low carb? Here’s what I had to say:

Aint got time meme

Want to make a real low carb biscuit? First check out this page for the low carb bake mix recipe. Then go to this one for the actual biscuit recipe….scroll past the first recipe for a bake mix made with flour.

Their recipe: 22 grams of carbs.

My recipe: 9 grams of carbs. That’s what I would call a low carb biscuit recipe.

Got a favorite low carb biscuit recipe? Leave a comment below and include a link.







Stress, Head Hunger and Emotional Eating

Things have been out of control busy for the last two weeks. I have to keep reminding myself that all of this craziness is only temporary. At least all the school related stuff is which is good. I have a medical nutrition class that has tests every weekend along with multiple care plan group projects. My community nutrition class currently has one huge group project going on that makes up nearly half the class grade.

I hate group projects. They make me very stressed out especially when other people wait to the last minute to get their work done.

stressed cat

Under times of stress I find myself returning to old habits to relieve the stress. Eating was my main one. I find myself frequently drifting into the kitchen to look through cabinets to find something “good” to eat. Not because I’m hungry. I’m not. It’s more to relieve the stress. While surgery restricts how much I can eat at one time there is nothing to solve this type of eating. Emotional eating is the hardest to solve.

You’ve probably heard people say something along this line: “they operated on my stomach, not on my head”. Even if I roll my eyes when it’s said it really is true. WLS doesn’t fix this type of stress release mechanism. Some days I have the upper hand and can put a stop to this type of head hunger or emotional eating. Other times it wins.

How do you stop head hunger?

Stopping it is different for everyone. For me, whenever I find myself returning to look for food when I’m not hungry, I have to ask myself some questions. What am I looking for? Why? Am I really hungry or am I just bored, tired, mad, sad, stressed, etc.

If I were really hungry then I would be willing to eat something nutritious….protein, veggies, soup, cheese, fruit, etc. If I’m not interested in those things and find that I’m craving “good stuff”, which translates into junk food (chips, crackers, cookies, etc) then I know it’s head hunger or emotional eating. For me the only way to stop it is to keep talking to myself. No, not out loud. I keep reminding myself that eating isn’t going to solve the problem of being stressed, tired, mad, etc. Then I try to focus on doing something else. Again. Sometimes I win. Sometimes my head wins.

How about you? What do you do when you have head hunger?

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