Healthy Chocolate Chip Muffins - Grain-free, Vegan, Paleo

Sunday, March 04, 2018

These Chocolate Chip Muffins are so good for you that you can't consider them a treat! Made mostly of almond flour, they're nutritious, lower in sugar and carbs than most muffins, free of most common allergens, Paleo and vegan. Treat yourself and nourish yourself with these grain-free chocolate chip muffins!

Believe it or not, these Healthy Chocolate Chip Muffins were inspired by Starbucks' chocolate chunk muffins. Hopefully I didn't lose any of you by making that confession. Stay with me, folks. I will explain, and I promise the recipe is worth it!

The holidays and two months that followed were a blur. I was so busy that I could barely remember my first name and felt like a hot mess most of the time. I tried to stay on track with planning out healthy meals, grocery shopping and cooking nourishing meals for my family, but life doesn't always go as planned. More than once, I found myself in the Starbucks drive-thru desperate for coffee and something to feed my kids.

Being desperate and sleep deprived, I didn't have the will power to say "no" when my son requested a chocolate chunk muffin. I knew it was loaded with gluten and sugar and didn't offer many nutrients for his growing body, but no mom is perfect. *sigh* At least I learned a couple of things from those muffins. One, that my son absolutely loves chocolate chip muffins! Two, the muffins confirmed that like me, a lot of gluten-containing foods give him a tummy ache.

Knowing that my son loved chocolate chip muffins so much, I set out to develop a recipe for a chocolate chip muffin that my son could eat, one that was free of most food allergens and actually good for him. I nailed it! These Chocolate Chip Muffins are awesome and my kids absolutely love them. *happy dance*

Not only are these Chocolate Chip Muffins loved by adults and kids alike, they're free of eggs, dairy, soy, corn, and gluten. Thanks to cassava flour, these Chocolate Chip Muffins are not only gluten-free, they're completely grain-free! But don't worry, these muffins aren't crumbly or gummy like most gluten-free and vegan baked goods. These Chocolate Chip Muffins are moist and have great texture and structure, all without xanthan or guar gum!

Hold on, it gets even better. This recipe also uses minimal amounts of natural sweeteners, meaning that they contain less sugar than most muffins and still fall under the Paleo-friendly category. Yippee! 

These Chocolate Chip Muffins are so good for you that you can't consider them a treat! Made mostly of almond flour, they're nutritious, lower in sugar and carbs than most muffins, free of most common allergens, Paleo and vegan. Treat yourself and nourish yourself with these grain-free chocolate chip muffins!

Health Benefits & Nutrition Info

These muffins are made mostly out of almond flour, which is packed with nutrients! Almonds are rich in monounsaturated fats, "healthy fats" that research suggests are good for cholesterol levels and ratios. Almonds are also a great source of magnesium, which promotes healthy blood pressure levels and is used for everything from making bones and teeth to neurotransmitters. In addition, almonds provide the nutrients vitamin E, copper and manganese that boost the body's antioxidant abilities. (sourcesource

Not only are almonds packed with nutrients, they also contain more protein, fiber and fat and less carbohydrates than regular wheat or gluten-free grain flours. That combination means that these muffins will help to balance your blood sugar levels instead of spiking them. Balanced blood sugar is important in its own right, but did you know that it also helps you maintain a healthy weight? Yes indeed, these Chocolate Chip Muffins are satisfying in every way and a huge improvement from muffins made with grain flour!    

Helpful Hints, Ingredients & Products

Links to products are included below as part of this section. Some of them are affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission if you purchase a product through one of my links. Don't worry, it doesn't change the price you pay. Thank you for supporting Taste Abounds!

The first hint I'm going to give you is to use unsweetened vanilla non-dairy milk. Unsweetened is crucial because we are trying to minimize the sugar in this recipe and regular non-dairy milks (those that don't say "unsweetened") contain a ton of sugar. I'm sure the suggestion to use unsweetened vanilla flavored milk might sound strange, though. Truth be told, vanilla is an important flavor in chocolate chip muffins, and using a vanilla milk imparts a wonderful vanilla flavor. My favorite is SoDelicious unsweetened vanilla cashew milk.

Can't find an unsweetened vanilla flavored non-dairy milk? Don't worry, you can easily add the extra vanilla flavor by increasing the vanilla extract from one teaspoon to one tablespoon.

Almond Flour

As I noted above, almond flour makes up most of these muffins. It's a wonderful ingredient that can be used to make delicious baked goods that are grain-free, gluten-free and Paleo diet-friendly. However, it can be pricey.

I've found almond flour to be most affordable at Costco. You can see it in my post on 30 Organic Pantry Items to Buy at Costco. Since this post, Costco has come out with their own "Kirkland" brand of almond flour for even less money! A 3 lb bag is around $10, which is a steal for almond flour.

If you don't have a Costco membership, you can also buy generic almond flour at Natural Grocers (in the refriedgerated nuts and flours section). Almond flour can also be found at an affordable price on Amazon. There are several options, as you can see below.

Cassava Flour

Cassava what??? Cassava flour is one of the latest trends in gluten-free and Paleo baking. It is made from the same plant as tapioca starch, but instead of drying the starchy liquid extracted from the cassava root to make tapioca starch, cassava flour is made by peeling, drying and grinding the whole root (source). As a result, cassava flour ends up with very different properties than tapioca starch, properties that make it a great flour for Paleo, grain-free and gluten-free baking.

Since cassava flour is relatively new to the market, it can still be expensive and difficult to find, but I am here to help with that! Whole Foods and Natural Grocers both sell Otto's brand of cassava flour, but that Otto's is honestly the most expensive brand. I buy Anthony's Cassava Flour from Amazon, which you can see below. It is far less expensive than Otto's and highly rated. 

Chocolate Chips

The chocolate chips you use will determine whether or not these chocolate chip muffins are allergy-friendly, vegan and/or Paleo.
  • Enjoy Life chocolate chips are vegan and free of gluten, nuts, dairy and soy. They also taste great and are considered an acceptable treat by most Paleo gurus! These are what I use. I buy them at Natural Grocers because they are priced far lower at Natural Grocers than Whole Foods. You can also buy them at VitaCost for a great price here.
  • VitaCost has their own brand of mini chocolate chips that are sold at a great price. They contain soy lecithin so they are not Paleo, but they are gluten-free and vegan. If Paleo is not your thing, these are worth checking out by clicking on the link above. Vitacost also sells their own brand of dark chocolate chunks that are free of soy lecithin. You can find those here.
  • Lily's dark chocolate chips are sweetened with stevia and erythritol, making them a great low-sugar option. The only problem is that they can be difficult to find in the store. Thankfully, they are available on VitaCost, and online natural food and supplement retailer that I love. Click here to buy them online and have them shipped to you in just a few days.

Silicone Muffin Pan

Using a silicone muffin pan will not only save you money since you won't need liners, it will also make your life much easier! Well, at least when it comes to making anything muffin-related. I didn't even grease the muffin cups to make the batch you see in these photos. The muffins just pop out, and the pan cleans up in a snap. It's so easy, and these snazzy pans are only about $10 on Amazon! I bought the Keliwa brand silicone muffin pan that you see below and have been very pleased with it.

Now that you know all of my tricks, let's get on with the recipe!

Healthy Chocolate Chip Muffins

Gluten-free | Grain-free | Dairy-free | Egg-free | Soy-free | Vegan | Paleo | Primal

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes


- 2 cups almond flour
- 1/2 cup cassava flour
- 1/4 cup arrowroot
- 1/4 cup sucanat or coconut sugar (use coconut sugar for Paleo version)
- 1 Tbsp ground psyllium husks
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt

- 1/4 cup avocado oil
- 1/4 cup honey (use agave syrup for vegan version)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla non-dairy milk
- 1 tsp vanilla (use 1 Tbsp if using unflavored milk)

- 3/4 cup chocolate chips (+ about 1/4 cup more to sprinkle on top before baking)     


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a large bowl, wisk together the dry ingredients. Wisk the wet ingredients together in a separate bowl. Combine the wet with the dry and stir with a sturdy spoon before folding in the chocolate chips.

If you are using a silicone pan, you can grease the muffin cups lightly, but I have not found it to be necessary. If you are not using a silicone muffin pan, line the muffin cups with paper liners. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups and sprinkle a few more chocolate chips on top of each one.

Bake for about 30 minutes. Let cool in the pan for about 30 minutes before moving to a wire rack. Let them cool completely for the best results, if you can wait that long! 

These Chocolate Chip Muffins are so good for you that you can't consider them a treat! Made mostly of almond flour, they're nutritious, lower in sugar and carbs than most muffins, free of most common allergens, Paleo and vegan. Treat yourself and nourish yourself with these grain-free chocolate chip muffins!

Disclosure: this post includes affiliate links for convenience. I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

If you make these, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Please share what you think in the comments below. Enjoy!

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