When we moved into our house 3 years ago, I would have never known how much I would appreciate the full grown cherry tree that was already established in the backyard. I look forward to the tree blooming now every year, and watch with anticipation as the little buds turn into yellow balls, then slowly turn into the plump deep red color that signals ripeness. These tasty treats were inspiration for my Paleo Chocolate Cherry Muffins.
Last year at this time, I was in the midst of a terrible Ulcerative Colitis flare, and was so ill that I couldn't muster the strength to pick them. The neighborhood birds had a feast! It felt like such a waste, but then again, I wasn't even well enough to be baking or cooking so they wouldn't have been much use.
A year later, and with my health resurrected, I'm making sure to use every last one. I even climbed the tree myself and hung flash tape to keep the pesky birds at bay! The new crop that I just picked last weekend signifies that a year of healing has gone by and I'm celebrating my health this spring by putting cherries into anything and everything I can think of! I'm beyond grateful for healing strength of God and the simple pleasures that I am able enjoy this Spring that I would have never been able to accomplish last year: cooking, climbing trees, chasing my son around, or even being able to carry him up the stairs!
These muffins have gone through quite a few test runs. The first time I made them, they tasted and felt too much like cupcakes and I felt guilty for eating them in the morning! I made them a little more dense by using cacao butter and lowered the honey to make them more muffin like. Cacao butter is a vegetable fat solid that is extracted from the cacao bean. It is naturally caffein-free, high in omega 6 and 9, and gives a slight nutty/chocolate flavor to things. It is also a common ingredient in making chocolate, which is how I make my raw chocolate truffles! They are still sweet and I can't possibly suggest eating them every day, but you will definitely be tempted to! Also, stay tuned for the Black Forest Cupcakes with Whipped Cream Frosting that were inspired by these muffins. Enjoy!
Shared at Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays