Chocolate Berry Muffins


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Summer = berry bumpin' produce section

It's the greatest. A lot of smoothies and milkshakes have been going down lately. It's a win-win. You don't want to use the oven and create more heat but you don't even have the desire to use the oven because you have such wonderful fresh produce. Summer, can you stay forever?

Here comes the exception:
Four months ago for Lang's birthday, I made an attempt to replicate the wonderful vegan berry muffin at our staple coffe spot. It's incredible. I don't think I've quite got it, but in the four month process of trying, something wonderful has been created.

So even though we've steered away from the oven, with the abundance of berries and our new gas oven, Lang made a request for another attempt. Despite the trickiness of vegan baking, this time, we got something real good.

Chocolate Berry Muffins
If you're vegan, simply sub out the butter with some kind of vegan butter. The eggs n' such are already taken care of :)

streusel topping
1/2 heaping cup of flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
pinch of salt
3 Tablespoons of butter soft
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

muffin batter
1/4 cup butter melted
3/4 cup almond milk (soy or regular work too)
2 medium sized bananas
1 3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups chocolate chips
1 cup of fresh or frozen raspberries, blueberries, black berries or a mixture of all of them

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease or place liners in muffin tin (12 cup or 6 jumbo-cup).

Streusel: mix together all the dry ingredients (flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt) and then add the soft butter. I like to use my hands to distribute and crumble the butter. If it seems too wet, add a little more flour (this all depends on how you pack your flour). Once crumbled, set aside.

In a large bowl, mash the bananas with a fork or a potato masher. Add the melted butter and milk and mix well (some chunks of banana are okay). Meanwhile, in a medium size bowl, mix together your dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder and salt); mix well and fluff with a fork. 

Slowly add your dry ingredients to your wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Gently fold in the berries and chocolate chips.

Evenly distribute your batter among your muffin tins and sprinkle the streusel on top. 
(Sometimes, depending on the size of your bananas, you may have extra batter. I usually make little mini muffins or put them in another muffin tin).

Bake for 20-25 minutes for 12 cup muffin tins; 25-30 for jumbo muffins. Check with a toothpick to see if they are done. Allow them to cool for at least 30 minutes before removing them the tin (unless using liners).

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