By Cal Orey, The Writing Gourmet
Indeed, breakfast is a time to enjoy healthful and indulgent foods to provide energy and fullness for the rest of the day. It's a leisurely time for me, these days, especially when the weather forecast calls for snow, rain, and thunderstorms in the upcoming days around the sierras as we near June. The way I see it, the chilly air and gray skies will keep some tourists away in town--and give me more time to enjoy some of my fave nesting mountain hobbies: Making a fire, swimming in an indoor pool, watching films while working on my new book, baking, and, cuddling up in the mornings with the boys--Simon, Seth, and Kerouac...
Every morning after I let my canine duo outdoors and feed them, I sneak back to bed with my breakfast: fresh fruit, and often, chocolate in many forms--from nibs in my granola to organic chocolate milk in my cup of Joe. Truly, chocolate is a wonderful way to start out your day with a taste of health and indulgence...
In my book The Healing Powers of Chocolate, Chapter 10, "A Cuppa Coffee and Chocolat" I provide ways coffee is good for you as well as special coffee recipes, from Basic Latte to a Mocha. Teaming both chocolate and java is not only pairing superfoods--it's two treats that'll fill up your tummy, and warm up your heart and soul, time after time like the unforgettable classic film "Breakfast at Tiffanys".
Chocolate Oatmeal Walnut Muffins
* * *
1 cup quick-rolled oats
1 cup buttermilk or sour milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
Powdered sugar (optional)
1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease or line muffin cups (2 1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups.
2. Stir together oats and buttermilk in small bowl; let stand 20 minutes.
3. Stir together oil, brown sugar, egg and vanilla in large bowl. Add oats mixture, stirring well. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Add to oats mixture, blending until moistened. Stir in nuts. Fill muffin 2/3 full with batter.
4. Bake 16 to 18 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Removed from pan to wire rack. Sprinkle muffin tops with powdered sugar, if desired. Serve warm or cool. About 14 muffins.
(Source: HERSHEY'S is a registered trademark. Recipe courtesy of the Hershey Kitchens, and reprinted with permission of The Hershey Company (C) The Hershey Company)
[Excerpt from The Healing Powers of Chocolate by Cal Orey (Kensington, 2010)