Over the last few years I seem to be in constant conflict with the food I eat. I have a lot going against me as I am a picky eater, a vegetarian and a disinterested cook. The good news is that while fussy I still like lots of fairly adventurous flavours and I no longer get one of those looks saying, “You goddammed freakin’ hippy-dippy moron.” when I tell people I don’t eat meat. I am still usually the only vegetarian in the bunch but not quite the pariah I was 15 years ago at dinner parties.
Of course recently a whole new wrench has been thrown in the works with my cancer diagnosis. There is a lot of data out there that suggests that diet plays a huge part in disease and eating well is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Now being a veghead I’ve never eaten a lot of fast food but I have to admit I don’t have the best diet. It is fairly monotonous and pasta based. There is also a lot of cheese.
I like to take a moderate view and probably will never become vegan, dairy free, sugar free (probably a physical impossibility for me) and be able to consistently incorporate the bitchmillion amino acids, vitamins, minerals and voodoo required to be the perfect little eater. Yet I have become more conscious of the type of food I eat and how much overt crap passes my lips. For instance I have pretty much eliminated any kind of pop, diet or full sugar, from my diet. I love me a Barq’s root beer now and then but I don’t buy it regularly any more. Fake sugar scares me a little so I avoid that as well.
My other big weakness is chocolate. I’ve tried to cut that out but, frankly, along with caffeine, chocolate makes me a better person. I’ve managed to cut down a lot but it still remains a major part of my personal joy program. So you can imagine my little ears wiggled with interest when I heard about a recipe for chocolate muffins that were actually considered somewhat healthy.
I made up a batch and I’ve decided to share the recipe with you all who may be in the same predicament as me; juvenile palate, aversion to strange ingredients, and a desire to cut some of the muck from your plate while still maintaining a little culinary happiness.
I bring you…
1 cup pumpkin puree (This means pure pumpkin puree and not pie filling. It should be sugar free and contain only pumpkin.)
½ cup oat bran
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg (an omega 3 egg is best but not necessary)
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup whole wheat flour
¾ cup ground flaxseed (it takes a while to grind whole flax seed up in a food processor but it can be done)
½ natural cocoa powder (or reg is ok too)
2 tbsp cinnamon
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
¼ cup chopped dark chocolate or mini semi sweet chocolate chips
-Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line muffin pan with paper cup liners.
-In a medium bowl, beat together all the wet ingredients. Set aside.
-In a large bowl, use a fork or whisk, mix together all the dry ingredients.
-Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
-Scoop into muffin cups. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until done.
5g total fat
1g saturated fat
0g trans fat
38g CHO (whatever that is)
Now as a fussy eater I can absolutely guarantee that you CANNOT taste the pumpkin in this. At all. The next time I make these I will adjust the recipe a little bit as I think that is too much cinnamon to my taste and I REALLY like cinnamon. Supposedly cinnamon has some sort of special powers so that is why there is so much in this recipe. Next time I think I’ll try about a teaspoon and see what that is like. I like these muffins as they are chocolaty enough that I get my fix but they contain such things as flax seed so I feel rather virtuous too.
Do you have a healthy recipe for a normally dirty little food vice?