The idea of this healthy, whole grain muffin came to fruition, during one of my late-night pantry raids. I have been so dissatisfied with my meals lately; I’ve consistently told one of my co-workers, “Like, how many times can I eat an omelette for dinner?” I mean I love omelets, obviously, but after dinner I’ve been flailing around like a sweet-toothed SAVAGE trying to find something satisfyingly sweet to gnosh on. Ideally on the healthy-side but more often just empty cals that I don’t need to be copiously consuming out of boredom between 9-11pm.
After din, is the piece of dark chocolate…so I can end my meal on the sweet note I desire and demand. Around 1.5 to 2 hours later, comes the cup of hot decaf tea, coupled with two honey graham crackers and peanut butter. And after that, it progressively goes downhill: the carrot, the plain Cheerios, the handful of Oat Meals’s homemade granola (that Quaker so graciously sent me). Then maybe even another small piece of chocolate—perhaps white for a change—since it’s 100% artificial and more sweet than dark.
At which point, I’ve binge sweet-snacked. Again. (And frankly, again). So I say to myself, “Well maybe it’s not sweet that I want. Maybe it’s salty that will satisfy?!” So I grab a pretzel rod, or a single serve bag of 94% fat free Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn, and some carefully chosen assortment of salted nuts from BJ’s. Ugh!! What. Do. I. Want.
OK. You get the picture—which visually doesn’t fit in your standard 4” x 6” picture frame. This is all true, btw. Fact, not fiction. But I’m not going to binge blog about my plentiful pantry raids any longer. Because after all, you came here for a muffin recipe!
So let’s cut to the kitchen, eh?
After lots of Google-Pinterest-Yummly-Food Gawker-etcetera-ing, I based my recipe mostly off of A Dash of Compassion’s Lemon Poppyseed Muffin Recipe. Then I modified it with some familiar, fat-cutting substitutions, a well-researched sugar swap, the proportion of ingredients I saw in similar recipes, and my own two-cents (after combining the wet and dry ingredients yielded a thick, non-pourable, dough-like batter). Here is the end result:
[Post updated on 1/29/14].
Today I stumbled upon Chocolate-Covered Katie’s blog in search of one healthy dessert recipe that would trump the three to four (obviously dissatisfying because I have so many) snacks I typically indulge in after my workout, dinner and shower. So routine. So…habit.
I justify healthy binge snacking late at night by my long runs, but know it needs to end here and now if I want to lose 10 more pounds. I was talking to my friend Katie (this one I actually do know—and coincidentally, I often refer to her in the form of chocolate, i.e., Brownie) about it today and came to a simple conclusion. I put it quite nicely, if I do say so myself:
"My problem is habit over hunger. If I write a book, [edit: which I really want to do] I’ll call it, ‘Hunger Over Habit: Conquering Your Late-Night Snacking.’”
You heard it here first. Unfortunately, at this time, I haven’t come up with any effective solutions to the problem. Ah, the pains of writer’s block. But I digress.
I go to the pantry at night for a range of different things, but it all adds up to extra calories that I really don’t need. One thing is fine—meet, tablespoon of JIF.
I literally have to use a tablespoon for portion control because my spoonfuls became too heaping. I also have to deal with my mom yelling at me for constantly losing and misplacing tablespoons. I leave them everywhere. Typically on the living room table by the TV, on my nightstand, in the sink, etc. I joke about wanting an actual tablespoon on my car keys so I can always have one on hand—but then I realized, that would be unsanitary, and I don’t always have my keys on me. But seriously if you find a to-size tablespoon car keychain…
But two (rice cake), three (piece of dark chocolate), four (air popped popcorn). Problem. I eat habitually. I eat because it’s habit, not because I’m hungry. Another problem. Especially at night while it may be yummy, the truth is that it’ll all just sit in my tummy.
And so it all started with a simple Google search today for what I thought would be impossible to find: “Healthy Cookie Dough Recipe.”
In fact, quite the contrary. The winner was the number one hit. No surprise there. Thank you Google for your tried and true reliability. I’d be lost without your search engine-uity.
So tonight, with subdued skepticism about the ingredient list, I decided to dabble with my mom’s trusty Cuisinart food processor. Not to mention, I had a few sources of encouragement: Chocolate Katie’s extensive blog following, #1 Google hit recipe, and her comment thread’s enticingly positive feedback. And my Katie Brownie’s previous experimentation with similar ingredients—and confirmed “yup” to me asking if the recipe was “worth a try.”
Boy was I pleasantly surprised with the results. I believe I’ve now found what may just be…my single, sweet and satisfying late-night snack. All thanks to Google, a great healthy dessert blog, and an incredibly powerful kitchen appliance.
I almost feel like it’s a secret I don’t want to share.
Because if you never knew the base ingredient, you’d never expect it.
But fine. I’ll tell you.
Not because I want to. (I actually want to trick all of my friends into eating something healthier than they think, in an “I can’t believe it’s not butter!” type of way).
But because I have to.
I’m literally, really and truly, morally obligated to share my find with you.
It’s that good.
Oh the anticipation of the line by line, “breaking” text layout. But for real…
Here’s the recipe you’ll find on Katie’s blog. I’ve modified it slightly in an attempt to cut some of the calories and sugars, exploit my Splenda obsession, and tone down the level of sweetness. However, I recommend—as Katie first did!—that you enjoy this dip with graham crackers. I had original (honey) in the pantry and was SET with those. But cinnamon or chocolate graham crackers would also be a wild and crazy flavor fest too. Something I’d definitely like to be a part of. So here goes. Enjoy. I know you will.
Healthy Cookie Dough Dip Recipe: (Krystina’s variation)
Blend all ingredients in a food processor—except the chocolate chips—until smooth. Also, test it periodically (sayonara salmonella!) as you’re mixing it, and adjust the level of sweetness to your liking.
When you’re set with the sweet, fold in the chopped chocolate chips. Refrigerate until ready to eat. Enjoy by the tablespoon, or as a spread on graham crackers. #flawless
Picture above courtesy of Chocolate-Covered Katie’s Blog.