Monday, April 15, 2013

Cocoa Oatmeal Muffins and Shopping Excursions

I'm cozied up on the couch with layers of sweaters, cozy socks, fleece blankets and slippers.  It's April, but it feels like October!  What is up with our weather?!  Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining.  Nothing irritates me more than listening to Seattle folks complain about the weather - I mean, really?  If you don't like the rain, move to California, that's what I say.  But last night we had rain pelting the windows, accompanied by majorly high gusts of wind.  Today it's about 45 degrees.  This is a little bit crazy!  But this is also what cute rainboots and weatherproof jackets are for, as well as heated seats in my rockin minivan.  And since I just got home from a little shopping excursion, am peeled out of my wet layers and all thawed and snuggled into my dry, cozy attire, I'm going to enjoy the warmth of my fleece and fireplace just a little bit, even if it is mid-April!

Speaking of shopping...there's not many things I dread more than attempting shopping with my kids.  I say attempt because it's never quite successful.  Someone usually ends up hiding in the underwear racks or wearing fancy fedoras around the store or wiping chocolate grime on a beautiful beige cashmere sweater.  Once Grace came face to face with a fur vest and screamed bloody murder, "Why is that dog hanging on a clothes rack?"  Then there's the trying-on process.  I went to Nordstrom Rack a couple of weeks ago and took my girls in the changing room with me, because what else was I going to do with them?  I steered them to the full length mirror where they proceeded to make funny faces, kisses, etc at themselves. Well, I got about halfway done before their little eyes tired of themselves and instead were glued on me as I changed clothes.  In our house, there really is no privacy, my kids bust into any given room at any given moment, so bare skin is certainly something they're used to seeing.  Maybe it's that we were outside of the house that threw them off.  At any rate, they started yelling at the top of their lungs, "Mommy's naked, Mommy's naked, I see her nowears, I see her nowears (that's Emma-speak for underwear).  Then Emma darted off beneath the changing room door and into the next room where a sweet little lady was also naked down to her nowears.  All the while every other woman in the room was laughing so hard they were crying.  I had no idea we could be so entertaining.  

So, this morning I spent a whole two hours of shopping bliss by myself.  No stress to get home for lunch or naptime, so worries about dressing room debacles, and no missing children in lingerie departments.  I was so happy to come home with my treasures, but when I did I realized I was famished.  We're a little low on edibles at the moment, and I was certainly not in the mood to rush back out for grocery shopping.  So, I settled on these muffins that I made yesterday.  No refined sugar, high in fiber and nutrients from oats, pumpkin, and bananas.  And they are full of chocolate - yes please!

I adapted this from Sugar Free Mom, who I follow on Facebook and Pinterest.  She has some really tasty recipes that are all made without refined sugar.  

Cocoa Oatmeal Muffins

1 ½ teaspoon egg replacer + 2 tablespoons rice milk (equal to one egg)
1 mashed banana
2 cups pumpkin puree
1 ½ cups water
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups gluten free oats
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup sucanat
1 cup chocolate chips

1.    Preheat oven to 350.  Generously grease muffin tin.
2.    Whisk egg replacer with banana, pumpkin, water, and vanilla. 
3.    Add remaining ingredients and stir thoroughly.
4.    Pour mixture into muffin tins and bake for about 30 minutes (20 for mini muffins)

These taste great when served warm, I’m talking melt-in-your-mouth ooey gooey goodness.  My kids ate three each right out of the oven.  Then three later after dinner.  Not a bad dessert when you factor in the sugar content, or should I say factor out?!   And they were minis, by the way.  My girls are birds!

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