Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins

My husband loves sweet snacks, but since I’ve been trying to lead a healthier life, it’s been a struggle to find the balance between having things he likes and things I can actually eat.  These strawberry chocolate chip muffins are the perfect compromise for us.  He can have 11 of them and I have a sweet snack that won’t kill my diet, *yay!*  They are super easy to make and only take about 40 minutes from start to finish.  These muffins keep well in the breadbox or a baggie, and also freeze well for make ahead snacks and meals.  Lets get started shall we?

Here’s what you’ll need.  1 bag of frozen strawberries, thawed or 1/2-1 cup of fresh berries; 2 cups of baking mix; 1/3 cup sugar or sugar substitute (I use the off brand of Splenda and it works great); 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt; 2/3 cup milk or milk substitute; 1/4 cup oil (I used olive oil because that’s what I had on hand); 1/2 cup chocolate chips of your choice (I used 1/4 cup mini semi-sweet chips and 1/4 cup dark chocolate chunks); 1 large egg; 1 teaspoon vanilla; red food coloring; 1 medium to large mixing bowl and something to mix it with.ingredients list3

First thing’s first, get your dry ingredients together.  Mix baking mix, sugar and vanilla (yeah, I know vanilla isn’t technically a “dry” ingredient, but that’s how I did it).dry ingredients and vanilla

Now we add the wet ingredients: the milk, oil, and yogurt.  *mix, mix*wet ingredients

Add the egg and mix it in.add egg

Now you have the base for just about any muffin I ever make.  You will see these basic instruction in a couple other recipes, but it never hurts to go over it again 🙂base mix ready

Now you’re gonna add the strawberries and chocolate chips.

***Note: Make sure you drain the strawberries before adding them to the mix because there is a significant amount of liquid in with frozen strawberries that separates when they thaw.  I had about 1/2 cup of excess liquid I drained from my berries.***drained juice

There will be some extra juice from the berries if you are using frozen, even if you drain them, so don’t freak out if you have a small amount like you see here.  That’s totally normal 🙂  Now mix, mix, mix.strawberried and chocolate

Add 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of red food coloring to get the color you desire.  I used about 1/4 teaspoon to get this pretty pinky strawberry color.  Mix it until the color is just mixed well because you don’t want to over mix the batter.  The mix should be kind of thick; a bit thicker than cupcake batter.mixed

Prep your muffin tin by spraying it with cooking spray inside each muffin cup, as well as the flat part in between the cups to prevent any overflow from sticking to the pan.  Trust me, you’ll be happy you sprayed the entire pan later.

Now you are ready to scoop!  I used this old, “vintage” ice cream scoop (about 1/2 cup scoop) because it has that nice sweeping arm in it to get all those yummy mini chips into the muffins instead of them just sticking to the scooper.filling2

This recipe makes 12 regular sized muffins, but you can also make mini muffins with this batter, it works really well.  When filling the muffin tin, the batter will come to the top of the cups and that’s fine.  They won’t rise as much a cupcakes do, so you should be good; especially if you sprayed the pan how I said above 🙂filling1

Now, put your muffins in a pre-heated 425 degree F oven.oven ready1

I always turn anything I’m baking 180 degrees half way through the cooking time.  Here are the muffins at 8 minutes (about half way through cooking).Half cooked1

Take them out after a total of about 16 -20 minutes, depending on how your oven heats.  They should be lightly browned and you should be able to insert a toothpick and have it come out clean (confession: I use a ribbed wooden chopstick to test my backed goods because I don’t keep toothpicks on hand very often).out of oven2

That’s it!  Run a butter knife around the outside of each muffin to make sure none of the chocolate chips haven’t stuck to the pan and let them sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.  These are best served warm, but are just as good at room temperature.

Storage: These muffins can be stored at room temperature either covered on a plate or in the breadbox for about 3 days.  They can be stored in a zipper baggie for up to 1 week, or they can be frozen in freezer bags for up to 8 months.

Serving: If storing at room temperature, just grab one and enjoy!  You can also reheat your muffin by microwaving it for 10-15 seconds only.  If they have been frozen, take directly from the freezer and microwave for 20-30 seconds, until desired warmth has been reached.

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Strawberry Chocolate Chip Muffins