We had all that we wanted, but it would never be enough. The coveting kind, we were ravaged with disease, and that sickness was one of want. There was a massacre on the streets but no one could see it. Our eyes are hurtful criminals because they wander from a coworker’s glinting diamond and the parade of fawning that inevitably follows, and then you gaze at the lithe girl bouncing at the gym, — her exuberance and youth create a gaping hole where you used to be — and finally you come home to click, click, click, and you see someone’s life lived in sepia — perhaps a blogger of whom you’ve become fond — and you glance at your small postage stamp of a home and back to her verdant garden and suddenly you want to toss your computer out the nearest available window. IT’S NOT FAIR!, we’re wont to shout.
Come year-end, your lofty list of annual resolves delivers a version of your life that vaguely resembles your own. Unbeknownst to you, you’ve abandoned the notion of uncovering the best version of yourself, lain it asunder, to fall into the noise that is everyone else’s life. Truth be told, we all do this. Don’t our eyes rove over the things we want? Don’t we sometimes admire with an undertone of disdain? Haven’t we found ourselves wondering if someone really deserved that fellow, home, body or life? Amidst all of this we’ve created an inverse relationship between someone’s good fortune and our own self worth. We resolve to be thinner! happier! married! more successful at work! Do we utter these platitudes because we envision our annual chrysalis as one where we supplant someone else over ourselves? Her face, her body, her career and my voice?
Today I invite you to momentarily put aside this necessity of want and focus on who you are. And more importantly, the kind of person you want to be so the only life you’re coveting is your own.
But I get that some folks want to go off the sauce, hit the stairclimber and embark on a more virtuous meal plan. [BRIEF PARENTHETICAL: IF YOU EVEN CONSIDER A JUICE CLEANSE — ESSENTIALLY, SOCIALLY-ACCEPTABLE STARVATION, YOU ARE A LUNATIC. PLAIN AND SIMPLE.] So for that I offer you this: a yummy, semi-virtuous muffin. Full of rich flavor, you won’t miss the white flour, butter and sugar, and hoovering six muffins as opposed to a dozen is sort of virtuous, right?
INGREDIENTS: Adapted from London Bakes with modifications.
115g (1 cup) whole wheat flour*
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
50g (1/4 cup) peanut butter chips
50g (1/4 cup) dark chocolate chips
3 tbsp flaked coconut for spreading on top
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large egg
60ml (1/4 cup) molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
75g (4 tablespoons) plain greek yoghurt (you can also use almond milk or dairy-free yoghurt)
*Baker’s Notes: If you’re able to measure out your ingredients on a scale, do it. I was shocked that 1 measured cup of flour was actually too much for the recipe when measured in grams. I had to spoon out nearly a 1/4 cup to get to 115g.
Preheat oven to 180C/350F and line a 6-hole muffin tin with paper cases.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, baking powder. In a small bowl, dust flour over the peanut butter and chocolate chips. Set both bowls aside.
In a separate but also large bowl, mix together the olive oil, egg, molasses, vanilla and yoghurt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix through a couple of times; add the peanut butter and chocolate chips and fold a few times again. As ever with muffins, don’t overmix; it doesn’t matter if there are still streaks of flour.
Spoon into the muffin cases, scatter with coconut flakes and cover with tin foil for half the baking time. Bake for 18-20 minutes and turn the pan halfway through the baking process. After 10 or so minutes remove the foil so you don’t char the coconut flakes.
Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.