So we are doing a ‘challenge.’
It is nothing extreme, believe me, I don’t do extreme, especially when it comes to diets or exercise. I believe in all things in moderation, and in general am a healthy eater and try to stay active.
This ‘challenge’ is to focus more on incorporating these things into a daily routine and getting daily points for everything you complete on the challenge. After eight weeks whoever wins the overall challenge with the most points wins the prize (whatever agreed upon in the group). Since it is just Eric and I, we have vacations on the line. He wins his vacation destination of choice and if I win, mine.
This challenge includes eating two servings of fruits and three servings of veggies a day, 30-45 minutes of exercise/activity five days a week, only drinking water, stop eating after 8pm, keeping a food journal, and (the big one) no refined, processed or artificial sugar (so only honey, agave nectar and maple syrup).
While all the other things are pretty much part of my normal lifestyle, Eric and I both have a major sweet tooth! So going without a nightly treat, as in ice cream or frozen yogurt, a cookie or small piece of candy is huge. After almost a week of this challenge Eric and I both needed something sweet (after confessing to each other how hard it was to pass up several treats that came by us in different occasions).
So I came up with these Chunky Monkey Baked Oatmeal Muffins as my solution. Rich and chocolaty, moist and peanut buttery with a nice walnut crunch; these muffins totally satisfied our massive sugar craving without costing either of use valuable challenge points!
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup natural peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
3 ripe bananas, mashed
½ cup applesauce
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a muffin tin with non-stick spray.
In a large bowl, combine the cocoa powder, salt, cinnamon, oats, baking powder and walnuts.
In a smaller bowl, stir together the peanut butter, honey, mashed bananas, applesauce, milk, butter, vanilla and egg.
Add the liquid mixture to the dry mixture and stir to combine. Pour into prepared muffin tin.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until set and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Can be served warm or room temperature.