This recipe came about from a sudden request from my children for a healthier alternative to their favourite Hot Cross Buns. Normally we make up a batch of gluten free hot cross buns on Good Friday. This recipe however requires no yeast or proving – in fact you can whizz up the batter in minutes. Instead of standard crosses we decorated these with some melted dairy free chocolate instead. These are amazing and I have kept them low in sugar with the addition of just a little Cherry Concentrate or coconut syrup only. I love use dried cherries with chocolate chips – brilliant combination. Try these warm straight from the oven as a healthy sweet treat.

Paleo Chocolate & Cherry Hot Cross Muffins

Difficulty – Easy

Time – 20 minutes cooking time, 10 minutes preparation time

Makes 6-8 muffins

What’s good about it?

Cherry Concentrate is a wonderful natural sweetener – rich in antioxidants it has been shown to aid recovery after exercise. If you cannot get hold of it use coconut syrup instead.

  1. Preheat the Oven to 180C, gas mark 4.  Line muffin holes with paper cases.
  2. In a food processor add the ground almonds, tapioca flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and spices. Process briefly to combine.
  3. Beat the eggs together with the oil and syrup. Add to the food processor and blend until smooth. Pulse in the dried cherries and chocolate chips.
  4. Spoon the batter into the muffin holes.
  5. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until golden brown.
  6. Allow the muffins to cool slightly.
  7. Melt the chocolate in a pan with the coconut oil. Pipe the chocolate in crosses over the muffins.
  8. These can be frozen for up to 1 month.

University’s (LSBU) Academy of Sport has found that drinking CherryActive juice a concentrate of Montmorency cherries, significantly improves muscle recovery time after hard exercise and may also help alleviate muscle soreness.

150g ground almonds

150g tapioca flour

2tsp baking powder

1tsp bicarbonate of soda

2tsp ground cinnamon

1tsp mixed spice or ground mace

2 eggs

75g olive oil or melted coconut oil

2tbsp CherryActive concentrate or coconut syrup

40g dairy free sugar free chocolate chips

40g dried cherries