Is it wrong to be blogging on Veterans Day? I guess not; after all, people are shopping today, and answering business calls, and pretty much every store is open. I haven’t really treated today as a holiday at all: I worked on a project and did some shopping. It’s a little sad to me that American holidays like Veterans Day, which was supposedly established to appreciate our war heroes, are now greedily viewed as days to make money/buy stuff/sleep in and play video games all day. But I do feel I have something to be proud of this Veterans Day (besides the wonderful muffins which we’ll get to in a second!)
See, I was at the grocery store yesterday. At checkout, I was asked if I wanted to donate one dollar along with my total to support wounded veterans. I said yes before realizing I didn’t have enough money,, This donation would put me in debt 20 cents, and I don’t want to ruin my credit score. So I had to ask the checker to cancel the donation that had been keyed into the computer. I HATE asking grocery store checkers to cancel anything because they always have to consult the manual and wave down the manager because the manual is too confusing and everyone’s staring at me as I wait…and wait…and wait in suspense. Will the purchase be canceled? All the stores should install a special alarm the checker can pull in the dreaded event a customer asks for a purchase to be canceled, so everyone knows the dire situation and there can be no doubt who the perpetrator is.
Finally, my donation was canceled. I left the store feeling stupid and selfish. I wished I had canceled one of my food purchases to support our vets…but I kind of needed everything I was buying. If only I’d had an extra dollar in my pocket.
Today I was at the store again, this time to buy ingredients for a fancy baked potato recipe I was making. I was sure to reserve an extra dollar. When I went through the line I donated my dollar to the veteran organization. No embarrassing cancelation necessary, no need for an alarm. I walked out of the store feeling very grown-up for being able to keep track of my expenses, and happy that I’d contributed money to a good cause. Okay, it was just a dollar, but every cent counts! That donation is what truly made my Veterans Day meaningful.
I’d like to do more to help the veterans. For example, if I could I’d bake an enormous batch of these muffins and send some to everyone who has served our country. (But only if I could find a way to pay for all those ingredients!) My point is, these muffins are great and you should make some to share for the holidays.
When my mom first tried one of these muffins, she raved that it tasted “almost like fudge.” I hadn’t been aiming to make oatmeal fudge, but when I thought about it I realized that that’s quite an accurate description of these muffins. The chocolate is intense and rich, but not too sweet, interspersed with hearty oatmeal and dried fruit to make it more breakfast-appropriate. I topped the muffins with banana slices before baking, which is probably why the banana got so brown. Maybe the banana could be added a few minutes before baking is over. But the muffins still tasted great.
I originally intended this recipe to be gluten free, but I couldn’t resist adding the oats. Since I used almond flour in place of all purpose, the recipe is practically gluten free. Just replace the oats with your favorite gluten free oatmeal and serve these muffins to the gluten free crowd!
Whether you eat gluten free or not, I encourage you to try these muffins. A wonderful way to eat fudge for breakfast!
Chocolate “Fudge” Oatmeal Muffins
based on recipe from bigoven.com
makes 12 regular sized muffins
- 2 eggs (I used egg substitute)
- 2/3 cup organic light agave syrup
- 2 tbls Justin’s brand chocolate hazelnut butter
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups almond flour
- 1/2 cup oats
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbls sweetened coconut flakes
- 1/4 cup dried cherries
- 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 small banana
Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.
In a large bowl, combine agave and eggs. Beat with an electric mixer on a low setting for a couple minutes or until well blended. Add chocolate hazelnut butter and beat on a medium setting until thoroughly incorporated.
Add vanilla extract, as well as almond flour, oats, cocoa, and baking powder. Mix just until blended. Gently stir in coconut flakes, dried cherries, and chocolate chips.
Fill each muffin liner about 2/3 full with batter. If desired, slice a small banana and top each muffin with a couple of banana slices.
Bake in preheated oven for 15-18 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
Enjoy your muffins, and have a great Veterans Day!
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