Trader Joe’s recently hosted a recipe contest, which inspired me to create this recipe. I had to incorporate one of my favorite seeds, quinoa, into a new recipe. This seemed too fun to pass up. I had to do it.

What sweet baked good would quinoa taste good in? I thought about it and this seed is fairly mild tasting on its own. I figured it would just add texture and perhaps even some moisture.

These muffins are incredibly moist and rich, and who would’ve thought they were healthy?! Made with healthy fats from the avocado and coconut oil, and banana and honey (or maple syrup) as the natural sweeteners.

You cannot even taste the avocado!

I made this a few times, as the first batch the ratio of wet to dry ingredients just did not work out. I didn’t want to give up, and with the motivation from my sister Jackie, I really wanted to make this recipe work. I tried again with different ingredient pairings and it was a success!

I first used raw honey in the trial batch. Then decided to use maple syrup in the second batch, THEN in the last batch I decided to mix them. All three batches were perfectly delectable on their own and I would say one cannot go wrong when choosing either or even both.

Trader Joe’s has an excellent price for maple syrup, so expensive everywhere else! I unfortunately do not live fairly close to a TJ’s (sad panda), but luckily my parents make frequent trips to and fro North Carolina and brought me back a ton of TJ’s ingredients. I felt as if it was my birthday or something… I used TJ’s white organic quinoa in this recipe, just because I wanted to save the tri-color quinoa for a cooking occasion that their color would be more visible. Quinoa is so fun to me! Either would be delicious though.

Another benefit of this recipe is that if you get some unrefined coconut oil on your hands, feel free to rub it in or on other places of your skin as a moisturizer =). Good news, cold pressed/unrefined coconut oil is good for cooking and baking up to 350 degrees. I cannot cook nor bake with rancid oils. I noticed in TJ’s recipe contest guidelines that oils and binders did not count as ingredients, but TJ’s does sell a virgin coconut oil, for a very good price too.

Mmm look at all that melted chocolate goodness =)


Makes approximately 12 large muffins

Prep: 15-20 minutes

Bake time: 20-30 minutes



1 1/2 cups TJ’s white whole wheat flour

1/2 cup TJ’s unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda



1 cup cooked and cooled TJ’s organic quinoa

3/4-1 cup honey or maple syrup

1/2 cup TJ’s unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 medium-sized ripe avocado

1 large, very ripe banana

2 tbsp coconut oil

1/2 cup TJ’s semi sweet chocolate chips


Flax egg:

1 tbsp TJ’s flax seeds, grounded

3 tbsp water



Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, or  do as I do..wait until after preparing all the ingredients to save electricity =).

Add a tablespoon of freshly ground flax seeds into a small bowl, then add 3 tbsp of water. Whisk thoroughly and let sit in the fridge for at least 15 or so minutes, until the consistency thickens. This is your vegan binder, a substitute for eggs.

Combine all the dry ingredients into a medium sized bowl and mix together.

Puree or mash by hand the avocado and banana. I used a magic bullet and had to add a few splashes of almond milk to get it going, but you most certainly can use the old-fashioned way of mashing the two manually. Just make sure to thoroughly mash the avocado or you may get pieces of it in your muffin, unless you are ok with that!

Once mashed, combine with the rest of the wet ingredients in a separate bowl. I used 3/4 cup sweetener but feel free to use a cup if you prefer it sweeter! I don’t like super sweet baked goods. The chocolate chips add sweetness as well.

Combine the thickened flax egg to the wet and mix all together. Then add the wet ingredients to the dry. Don’t over mix!!! Just mix until all is combined, it’s ok to have a few lumps.

I usually preheat now, and then grease the muffin pan/wash the dishes in the mean time. If you’re like me, preheat to 350 degrees now and spray a muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray or oil.

Bake for approximately 20-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. The insides may seem a bit undercooked but that’s ok!!! Once they cool, they become super fudge-y and dense. Even after being placed in the refrigerator overnight they become so moist and dense. These muffins truly remind me of brownies, I was contemplating a name change but overall muffins suited these babies best.

I cooked one batch for around 25 minutes, in the end they turned out the most moist. The second batch was 30 minutes and then the third was 35 minutes. I’d recommend not cooking over 30 minutes. If you keep trying to cook them, the outsides will become a little overdone.

Once baked, transfer to a cooling rack and try not to eat them all.

Wait until they cool down a bit and eat them all serve and share =).

I do recommend storing a few of these in the fridge overnight as their texture gets better overtime in the fridge.



  1. Cody

    These are seriously delicious. Chewy outside with a moist inside, a real healthy treat!

  2. Truely unique!

    As special and unique as you are!
    love mom

  3. Christine

    They were outstanding as all your recipes.

  4. Liz

    This recipe looks great! Do you think you could substitute the banana for more avocado? Or for something else? Thanks a lot.

    • Hi Liz, thank you :)
      Well the avocado is a fat, substituting more for the banana may make it too heavy and it’s already pretty dense! Applesauce would be good, but I’m not quite sure how that would affect the taste. Perhaps just omit the banana and use two flax eggs. I haven’t tried this, but I anticipate good results. This recipe is pretty fool proof so I’m sure whatever you do, it shall be good…

      Let me know what you do, I’m curious!

  5. Pam

    Made your muffins this morn. My kids couldn’t get enough and kept coming back for more. They hate avocados and don’t love quinoa so much so they didn’t think they would be good.
    Au countraire! Thanks for posting. Will make them again.

    • Hi Pam! This makes me so happy to hear. Glad the youngin’s enjoyed the muffins and got a bit extra nutrition in!
      Thanks for trying ’em out :)

  6. lra

    I loved these! Even my 3 year old gobbled them up! Any reason you refrigerated the left over muffins? Would they keep like other muffins, at room temperature?

    • Hi Ira, glad you and your little one enjoyed these :)
      I’m not sure how they would keep at room temperature, but you can certainly try it out. The avocado in these would make me want to refrigerate them, but still I am uncertain.
      Also, I have found that they become a lot more fudgy, as well as the flavor and texture improves in the fridge and I definitely enjoy that :)

  7. Can I just substitute a GF flour blend or is the whole wheat flour a necessity?

  8. Amanda

    I AM nursing and really need a healthy treat and I GOT it!!! This is so good! Thank you!

  9. kari

    could you use a regular egg instead of a flax egg?

  10. Jessica

    I made this but they were a bit hard what did I do wrong?! The texture wasn’t right.

    • Hi Jessica, over mixing the batter or baking for too long can cause a more dry/crumbly texture. Measuring the flour incorrectly (packing it down in the measuring cup) also causes altered results. Undercooked quinoa can be hard/crunchy, perhaps even absorbing some of the liquids in the batter.. Can you elaborate on the texture of your muffins?