Chocolate Chia Muffins: Gluten/Dairy/Nut Free!

Choc Chia Muffins by Karen Swan

Let me start by saying that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the good old, traditional, flour, eggs, milk and butter version of a muffin.  In fact, in days gone by, they were my ‘on the go’ breakfast/snack of choice.


Since being diagnosed coeliac, I’m always on the look out for recipes that utilise other gluten free ingredients, but still result in a like for like texture muffin, cake or whatever it is I’m baking.  With the rise of the new breed of ‘super’ foods in our awareness and the easy availability of such products, it is now pretty straight forward to come up with an allergy/disease friendly alternative that may actually provide more nutritional value.  With so many of us, and our children affected by food allergies, it makes sense to step outside our cooking comfort zones every now and then and look for alternatives.

This recipe is a little like, ‘Introduction to Superfoods 101’.  It contains cacao, coconut flour, coconut sugar, chia seeds and, possibly the most unusual of all; mesquite flour*.

You’re not alone if you’ve never heard of mesquite flour.  I hadn’t either and my first thought was that it was a kind of hallucinogenic plant that I would take in the dessert on a spiritual quest!  I had visions of myself draped in a tie dye kaftan as my vision liquified and trees spoke to me………….Mesquite flour is actually the ground bark of the mesquite tree, grown in Mexico and some areas of the USA.  It’ll give you a dose of amazing nutrition, but it won’t ‘expand your mind, man’!

Mesquite can be used in addition to, or as a substitute for, other flours in baking.  It has a sweet, nutty aroma and taste.

Nutritionally, it’s a powerhouse.  Packed with calcium, potassium, zinc, magnesium and iron, it’s also high in dietary fibre and is low GI.  It also contains significant amounts of the amino acid, lysene.

Combined with the nutritional wealth of the other ingredients, (you can read more about chia seeds here), this is a beautiful little muffin snack, perfect for lunchboxes or with a nice cup of tea.  Being nut free, it’s a treat that can be enjoyed and shared without fear of reaction.

*(there are substitutions for all of these ingredients in the ingredients list)


1/4 cup coconut flour (or plain flour, almond flour)

1/4 cup mesquite powder (if not using, then up the qty of coconut flour (or other) to 1/2 a cup.)

1/2 cup raw cacao

1/4 cup chia seeds

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

2 eggs (or substitute)

1 x 270ml can coconut milk

1/2 cup coconut sugar (or the sweetener of your choice)

1 banana, mashed (I think that any fruit would be nice here.  Mashed pear?  Raspberries?)

Mesquite muffins 003 Method:

Mix the coconut flour, mesquite flour, cacao, chia, baking powder, baking soda and sugar in a bowl.  Mix well to combine and remove any lumps or flour or powder.

In a small jug, whisk the eggs and add the mashed banana (to give you an idea, I only had these cute wee little narnies from our farmer’s market, so used 2 of those.  One regular sized banana should do the trick).

Open the coconut milk and stir well to combine.

Add coconut milk to the egg/banana mix, stir and pour over the dry ingredients.

I used a flexible spatula to mix and ‘squash’ the mix to ensure there were no lumpy bits of flour.  The mix will be quite thick, but not dry.

Line a regular sized muffin tin with papers and, using an ice cream scoop, scoop into the papers.  I got 10 muffins from the mix, but my dividing of the mix was dodgy and done while on the phone, so with more concentration, you should get 12 lovely little muffins.

Cook in a pre-heated oven (200 degrees) for 15-25 minutes depending on your oven. (mine were in for 25 minutes).

Choc Chia Muffins

Recipe adapted from here


  1. Tracy Alamanos says

    Yummy cupcakes! I’ve made them twice now (without the mesquite powder – will try that next time). The second time I added a paleo chocolate frosting to dress them up a little for my sons 2nd birthday party and they were a hit. With or without frosting they are fantastic. Thanks Karen

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