Grain-free chocolate chip muffins

The nanas are here!

Photo 53

(Pure joy. My heart couldn’t even handle how happy Liv was to see madre and nana.)

Yesterday morning, Liv and I met up with Whitney and her little guy at the library for storytime.

Photo 54

The downtown library is HUGE, and the bonus is that they have free 2-hour garage parking. Parking downtown is a valuable commodity -I’ve driven around in circles many a time silently cursing to myself- so this alone inspired me to visit the library even more. I love borrowing books -I adore my kindle, but there’s something special and nostalgic about library books- and have so much fun taking Livi to the kids’ activities and events. 

From there, we headed to the airport for mom and nana 🙂

On the way home, we picked up pizza to enjoy outside on the patio for a little picnic. It was my first time trying Sammy’s and while the service wasn’t great, the gluten-free goat cheese pizza was pretty amazing 🙂 We also got a margherita pizza and huge salad to share.

Pizza  1 of 1 11

Since then, we’ve spent a lot of time hanging out and enjoying each other’s company, and it’s been perfect <3 Today, we’ll venture out of the house for an adventure, and I have to show nana the glory that is Tiki Port.

In the meantime, I’m excited to share with you the star of the show for my first homemade acai bowl: grain-free chocolate chip muffins.

Acai bowls  1 of 1

(I had some granola on hand, but crumbled muffins.) 

These little muffins don’t have added sugar or oils, and the sweetness is provided by applesauce and the chocolate chips.

Ingredients  1 of 1 5

I wanted to create an easy recipe with minimal measuring, and one that my gluten-free friends would be able to enjoy.

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The almond meal adds a dose of healthy fats, fiber and protein, and these breakfast treats are especially delicious with a couple of scrambled eggs or crumbled into yogurt or a smoothie.

Grain free chocolate chip muffins  1 of 1

Let me know if you give them a try 🙂

Grain free chocolate chip muffins  1 of 1 3


Grain-free chocolate chip muffins

A delicious gluten-free snack recipe using minimal and clean ingredients. This sweet treat also has no added sugar or oils.

  • Prep Time: 5
  • Total Time: 30
  • Yield: 6 1x


  • 1 container of organic cinnamon applesauce (127g)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a standard muffin pan with coconut oil or nonstick spray.
  2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until well-combined.
  3. Divide the mixture evenly to pour into six of the muffin molds.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 until set.
  5. Let cool completely before using a spatula to remove from the muffin tin.


  • Make a large batch and freeze for a make-ahead snack or breakfast option.
  • Feel free to add citrus zest or fresh berries, too!


  • Serving Size: 3

Hope you have a wonderful day <3

See ya later with some lower body strength training tips + shenanigans.



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  1. Racheal @ Running with Racheal on May 20, 2014 at 10:43 am

    That picture of your mom and Liv is beyond precious! The love literally jumps out of the computer screen!

    Thanks for the recipe! Can’t wait to give them a try!

  2. Nicole F. on May 20, 2014 at 10:52 am

    That picture <3 <3 <3 <3 Can I just say as a long-time blog reader you have mastered quite the perfect mix of workouts, healthy living, and "realness" associated with family and every day life.

    I look forward to reading daily! Making those muffins in meal prep this weekend!

    • Fitnessista on May 20, 2014 at 11:00 am

      what a beautiful compliment– thank you 🙂 and thank you for reading so long, too!
      hope you like the muffins 🙂 xoxo

  3. Ali @ Peaches and Football on May 20, 2014 at 11:11 am

    What a great, easy recipe! Those are the best kind. Enjoy the time with the family – I love how excited Liv is to see her grandma. What a wonderful testiment to a loving family. 🙂

  4. Karra on May 20, 2014 at 11:40 am

    I just adore that picture of Liv and her nana. & we use so many of your recipes that I could have my own Gina cookbook by now. Can’t wait to try them!

  5. Rachel on May 20, 2014 at 11:40 am

    That recipe looks amazing and that pic made my heart melt! You should see if your library offers ebooks, our library does and it is maybe the best thing ever!

  6. Megan @ The Skinny-Life on May 20, 2014 at 11:57 am

    Yum! I just bought Trader Joe’s cashew meal last weekend and been trying to think what I can make with it. I’m sure I could substitute it for the almond meal in this recipe.

  7. Alex @ Kenzie Life on May 20, 2014 at 11:57 am

    I am so excited about this recipe! I happen to have almond meal on hand (not that it’s that hard to make it but thank you Trader Joe’s for making my life a little easier!) and these look so easy and delicious! I’m definitely making them tonight!

  8. Sara @ LovingOnTheRun on May 20, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    Yum these look delicious!

  9. Maria on May 20, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    These muffins look quick & easy…just how I like it!! Not gonna lie, I almost teared up when I saw that picture of Liv and your mom. Put that one in a frame 🙂

  10. Molly on May 20, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    You should check to see if your library lends e-books. I borrow e-books all the time from my local library. They have a good selection!

  11. Jackie on May 20, 2014 at 12:10 pm


  12. Kirsten on May 20, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    I love Livi’s little nose in the picture with your Mom. So cute!

  13. FitBritt@MyOwnBalance on May 20, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    I love your cute tunic top!

    Also that photo of Olivia with her nana is priceless!

    I just started getting acai bowls from a local juice joint but have no idea how to make them. Will you share your recipe?

  14. Lauren @ Focused To Be Fit on May 20, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    Seriously, so easy! It doesn’t get much better than that!

  15. Domi @ Eat Pray Lift on May 20, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    That first picture is heart-melting! <3 So great that you're taking her to the library often- some of my oldest memories are from libraries/bookstores, and I'm still a bookworm today! Those muffins look fantastic and might need to make an appearance soon. 😉 Thanks for sharing!

  16. Tracy on May 20, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    Love this recipe!! Short ingredient list, no sugar, and love that it only makes 6…sometimes you just want a smaller batch! Pinned to remember to try.

    Have a blast with your nanas!!

  17. Hilary on May 20, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Ahh these look so easy I can’t wait to try them out tonight! Maybe for a dessert after dinner 🙂

  18. Jennifer on May 20, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    LOVE this recipe and the photo!! Really made my day to see those smiles, pure joy!
    Thanks for a great post.

  19. Denise on May 20, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    Wow–seriously LOVE the sweet picture of your baby with your mom! It just about brought me to tears (well I’m 15 wks pregnant with 4th so I’m emotional 😉 Tons of love in that picture! You are a lucky lady!

  20. Meg @ A Dash of Meg on May 20, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    MY HEART!!!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot handle that first pic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! <3 best picture ever – and you look amazing in yellow 🙂 enjoy your time with them <3

  21. Meagan on May 20, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    SAMMY’S IS THE BEST! I get their gluten-free pizza when I go, and I LOVE their chicken caesar and greek salads too!

  22. Crystal on May 20, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    Omg that picure is so sweet! And the muffins look tasty and simple to make. Hope you’re enjoying your time with family 😀

  23. joelle @ on a pink typewriter on May 20, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    These looks delish – making them tonight probably!

  24. Britt on May 20, 2014 at 3:11 pm

    You look so.beautiful and sunny I want to move to san diego !!!

  25. Tara | Treble in the Kitchen on May 20, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    4 ingredients…love it!! So so easy 🙂

  26. Julie on May 20, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    I love the simplicity of the ingredients in the muffins.

  27. jodie on May 20, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    That picture of Livi and her nana is adorable. The recipe looks fantastic, can I use almond flour?

    • Fitnessista on May 20, 2014 at 6:14 pm

      i think so!

  28. Kara on May 20, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    Hi Gina, what Sun Warrior protein do use suggest? Classic or Warrior? I read the labels and just can’t figure out which one is better–or really even what the main difference is. I like that the classic has fewer calories. I’m looking mainly to use after workouts or an afternoon snack.

    • Fitnessista on May 20, 2014 at 6:30 pm

      i like the taste of the classic better. the warrior is a little bit woodsier 😉

  29. Ali on May 20, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    I just made them this afternoon, but subbed in a rice flour blend because I didn’t have almond meal and added banana because I didn’t have chocolate chips. They were tasty, but the chocolate chips would make them better!

    • Fitnessista on May 20, 2014 at 7:33 pm

      chocolate makes them 🙂

  30. Linda on May 20, 2014 at 6:51 pm

    I just made these with my 3 year old and they are delicious. I doubled the recipe and got. 24 mini muffins. Thanks for a great recipe!!

    • Fitnessista on May 20, 2014 at 7:32 pm

      so awesome!!! what a fun baking project. happy you liked it!

  31. Yaara Leve on May 20, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    That is the sweetest pic of Livi and your mama! It must be so nice to have her visiting this week! I can relate! I’m very close to my mom as well–she’s my best friend–and it must be hard having her away from you. Enjoy your time together!
    PS: I think I’m finally going to take the plunge and do a yoga teacher training this summer! I’ve been practicing power vinyasa flow for the past like 15 years both on my own and at various studios–and have always wanted to get certified–and I think this is finally the right time. I’d be interested to hear your experiences getting certified in barre–that’s another area I’ve been thinking of getting certified in.
    Could you maybe do a recap of your experience with the training–like how it’s been balancing your own workouts with the required hours and classes? I’d love to hear your insight on it. Thanks!

  32. Haley @Cupcakes and Sunshine on May 20, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    YAYAYAYA I can not wait to try these. So easy too. hallelujah! Can’t wait!

  33. Mari on May 20, 2014 at 9:38 pm

    That picture is so sweet!! You should totally print it and put it in a picture frame and give it to your mom as a Christmas or birthday gift!!

  34. Lauren Majdosz on May 20, 2014 at 10:35 pm

    Thanks for the recipe! Literally just made them – so easy, so good. I cut back on the choc chips to 3 T. Did you really use a 1/2 cup or am I reading that wrong?

    • Fitnessista on May 21, 2014 at 11:31 am

      i totally did haha. love chocolate 😉

  35. Heather on May 20, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    So, how do you make an acai bowl!?

    • Fitnessista on May 21, 2014 at 11:30 am

      i’m going to post the recipe for the one i’ve been making tomorrow am. the base is super easy: frozen acai, banana, almond milk

  36. Michelle on May 21, 2014 at 1:02 am

    Your daughter is adorable! Do you think this recipe would work with sweet potato puree instead of the apple sauce?

    • Fitnessista on May 21, 2014 at 11:27 am

      they might not be as moist– may need a little coconut oil too

  37. Shaina Anderson on May 21, 2014 at 1:07 am

    that picture of Liv and her Nana! Stop.

    and that yellow top is amazing btw…where is it from?

    • Fitnessista on May 21, 2014 at 11:26 am

      thank you! it’s an old from from spiegl (sp?). i bought it after j from j’s everyday fashion posted it 🙂

  38. Lucie@FitSwissChick on May 21, 2014 at 3:13 am

    Aww thank you for the gram measurement – I am always crazy converting with the cup sizes over here 🙂 these look so simple and delicious. Perfect reason to make a bacth homemade applesauce too!

    Happy for you that you get to spend time with your family!

  39. Karen @ Kama Fitness on May 21, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Love recipes like this one! So super easy & yet still delicious. I am a huge fan of adding applesauce to cookies & muffins. It gives them great moisture. Yum!

  40. Alexa on May 21, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    these muffins look delicious! im not gluten-intolerant though, so i don’t buy almond meal. do you think i could use ground flaxseed or flour instead, and how much? thanks! and adorable picture of liv&nana 🙂

  41. Michelle on May 21, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    Mine are in the oven right now 🙂 I used blueberries instead of chocolate chips 🙂 Super easy recipe thanks!

  42. Alex @ Kenzie Life on May 21, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Just an update–I made these last night with a few adjustments based on what I had on hand. I used unsweetened applesauce with cinnamon and a squirt of agave nectar, and a flax seed (1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp warm water). They turned out great! A little soft because I probably added more applesauce than I should’ve but even a vegan version is delicious!

  43. Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork on May 22, 2014 at 7:22 am

    OMG this recipe sounds perfect! Thanks so much for sharing! I’m always looking for quick, healthy, GF goodies!
    You always look so cute (as does Liv–goes without saying). I hope I can look half as pulled together when I’m a mom. And yes, libraries are the best! Nothing like a real book.

    • Fitnessista on May 22, 2014 at 11:08 am

      thank you for the sweet compliment! i feel like a hot mess sometimes so it’s much appreciated haha
      and amen! nothing like a real book 🙂

  44. Lauren on May 22, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    Adorable pics..

    I am baking the muffins now–

    I am making using cacao nibs….I have subbed this before and it’s worked!

    keep you posted!


  45. Lindsay on May 24, 2014 at 3:28 pm

    You’re always making these yummy looking sweet snacks, but I’m just really not a sweets person. Any ideas for healthy make-ahead savory snacks? (Kale chips are awesome, but how about something a little easier?)

    • Fitnessista on May 24, 2014 at 6:41 pm

      for savory snacks make-ahead snacks, i like: hummus and veggies, chicken lettuce wraps, tuna salad, egg and veggie scrambles, soup (or gazpacho since it’s warming up), almond butter and crackers

  46. Tracy on May 29, 2014 at 9:26 am

    I couldn’t find almond meal, so I made these with brown rice flour and they were delicious! Thanks!

    • Fitnessista on May 29, 2014 at 10:51 am

      awesome! glad they turned out well 🙂 xo

  47. Ali on June 5, 2014 at 10:40 am

    Tried these muffins last night and loved them! They were so easy. I’m a single person and I don’t like to bake a lot because recipes usually call for a ton of ingredients and yield a ton, so these were perfect. Thanks!

  48. Bekah on June 11, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    Thank you for this quick and easy recipe! I made two batches, one with mini choc chips and the other with blueberries. They are scrumptious. Four year old and husband approved too! 🙂

  49. Kelley on July 2, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    I made these with chocolate and peanut butter chips and I’ve been eating them crumbled with strawberries and melted peanut butter on top. So good!

  50. Sara on February 28, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    These are SO GOOD! Can’t wait to make them a new staple.

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