1/2cupdark chocolate chipsmini or regular (I used mini; dairy free if you'd like the muffins to be vegan)
In a small bowl, stir the flaxseed meal together with 2 1/2 tablespoons water. Set aside for 5 minutes to thicken. (This creates a flax egg. If you are using a regular egg, you can skip this step and add the egg with the applesauce in Step 3.)
Place the rack in the center of your oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a standard 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick spray.
Mash the bananas in the bottom of a large bowl until mostly smooth. Double-check to ensure you have the 1 1/2 cups called for in the recipe.
Whisk in the flax egg (or regular egg if not using flax), then the applesauce and oil. Whisk in the coconut sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla.
Sprinkle the baking soda, cinnamon, and salt over the top, then stir gently until combined. Gently stir in the flour until barely combined, then fold in the chocolate chips, reserving a few for sprinkling on top if desired.
Divide the mixture evenly among the muffin cups and sprinkle on any reserved chocolate chips.
Bake for 22 to 26 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean and the tops spring back lightly when touched.
Place the pan on a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Gently remove the muffins from the pan and place them on a wire rack to finish cooling completely, or enjoy immediately.
*INGREDIENT NOTE: If using coconut oil, be sure all of the ingredients are at room temperature and the coconut oil has cooled, or it will resolidify when it mixes with the cold ingredients.
GLUTEN FREE: I haven't yet experimented with making these muffins gluten free. If you'd like to try it, I would recommend starting with a 1:1 baking blend like this one.
TO STORE: Store muffins in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or at room temperature for 3 days, according to this guide for How to Store Muffins.
TO FREEZE: Muffin can be kept frozen for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container or resealable freezer bag.