Fudgy Chocolate Banana Flax Muffins

Makes 12 to 14 muffins This is not your average breakfast muffin. Imagine a fudgy brownie -- chocolatey, rich, ringing every bell -- and then picture yourself dancing around your kitchen, exuberant with the knowledge that these babies are truly guilt-free, since (almost) all the sinfully sweet goodness is derived from bananas, applesauce, and cocoa powder. That's something to get up for in the morning! Ingredients 1/2 cup organic coconut oil, softened to room temperature or melted 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed 4 medium overripe bananas, mashed 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1/4 cup water 2 large eggs 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour 1/4 cup good-quality cocoa powder 1/2 cup wheat germ 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips, pulsed in food processor or chopped Steps 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a large muffin pan with paper liners. 2. Using the paddle attachment on a stand mixer, a hand mixer, or two forks, cream the oil and sugar. Add the bananas, applesauce, vanilla, and water and beat until smooth. Beat in the eggs. 3. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, wheat germ, flaxseed, baking soda, and salt. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and mix just until combined. Fold in the chopped chocolate chips. 4. Spoon the batter into the muffin liners until they are almost full. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out just damp, with small crumbs attached. Place the muffins on a cooling rack and let them cool for at least 5 minutes before digging in! Notes • To store the muffins, place them in a zip-top bag with a paper towel, and remove as much air as possible; store in cool, dry place. From Relish by Daphne Oz. Copyright (c) 2013 by Daphne Oz. Reprinted by permission of William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.