Whole Wheat Chocolate Almond Muffins

Almonds, we all know are a storehouse of nutrition. But which child likes to have them willingly? Not many that I know of. Yet all of us as mums always make efforts to include the wonder nut in our children’s diet. Trying to list down the benefits before them does not have much effect, especially if the child is a very picky and fussy eater. Besides, with tempting junk food all over the place who would want to go for ‘almonds’ of all things?
Let us recap the benefits of almonds which will once again rekindle our efforts to sneak in almonds in the diet in different forms.
Almonds contain vitamin E, vitamin B12, manganese, copper, magnesium, phosphorus and lots of fibre.
With almonds in one’s diet the risk of cardiovascular diseases are greatly reduced. They help lower ‘bad’ cholesterol LDLand the flavonoids in them protect the arteries from damage.
The presence of phosphorus helps build strong bones and teeth.
According to Ayurveda almond consumption can also be linked to better brain functioning and longevity.
Research is also on to check the benefits of almond consumption and reduced cancer risks.
These are just some of the advantages of consuming almonds but they are proof enough to include them in the family diet. Given here is a muffin recipe that not only uses almonds but is also made with whole wheat. The addition of chocolate overpowers the almond taste to a great extent and children may never know that they are having almonds.  
Whole wheat flour – ½ cup
Roasted Almond meal – 2 level tbsp
Brown Sugar – ½ cup (can use less as sweetness is a matter of personal choice. I used a little less than ½ cup)
Egg – 2 large
Vegetable oil – ¼ cup
Unsweetened cocoa – 1 heaped tbsp
Baking powder – ½ tsp
Vanilla extract or essence – 1 tsp
Whole almonds – 3 slit in to 6 halves (optional)
Sieve the wheat flour, baking powder and cocoa. Set aside.
Line six muffin moulds with muffin liners.
Pre-heat oven to 180 degree Celsius.
Separate the eggs. Place the egg whites, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat well until soft peaks form.
Add the oil to the egg mix and beat again until well mixed and peaks formed. A good whipping here ensures that air has been well trapped to give a well risen muffin.
Add the egg yolk and beat again for about a minute.
Pour in half of the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon. When mixed well pour in the other half and mix again. At this stage all you need to do is fold in the flours. No beating is required else the trapped air will escape.
Spoon the batter in to the lined muffin moulds filling just a little more than half full.
If you wish you can place a half of an almond on each muffin at this stage just before putting the tray in the oven.
Bake in a pre-heated oven for 30-35 minutes or till the top is dry and a skewer comes out clean.
Enjoy it hot or cold. It could be with a beverage of your choice – milk or coffee and once again hot or cold.

These muffins make excellent snacks both at home as well as a carry along one. Place them in your child’s lunch box and rejoice at his beaming face.

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