Happy New Year everyone!
New Year always feels strange to me and I have always found it difficult to celebrate the way I see everyone else doing. So many people use if for ‘New Year’s Resolutions’, to start again, as a fresh start etc. etc. But honestly I think every day of the year should be a chance to change, to improve, to make things better around you. Like people how say they will start a diet in a week…. No, just start right now!
New Year’s Resolutions are like a bit of fun or a fad that everyone knows they will break. But maybe this year we can try and change something for the good not because it is a new year but because it’s the right thing, without the thoughts in the back of your head telling you every day you’re going to fail. Ignore them, they don’t exist!
Maybe try giving up animal products, even just a few days a week to start with until you get used to cooking differently… Or if you vegetarian try taking it a step further and stop eating the ever ‘addictive’ cheese products. Take a trip to an animal shelter and give someone a home. And not just the cute puppies but the old animals, or the ones with three legs, the ones cowering in the corner because they are so scared and starved of affection.
Do something. There are so so many people who do nothing. Who talk about the problems in the world but think that it’s enough to acknowledge the problems and there is no need to take any action. For example so many sailors we meet know that the world will run out of fish in approximately 40 years, not from speculation but from science. Yet the majority still regularly eat fish, they don’t connect the dots but pretend that it’s someone else’s problem. What we need is for the people who know to ACT‼! Show people who don’t know how easy it is to change and lead by example.
I spent my New Year’s Eve on the streets of Mindelo holding a street dog in my arms while he was shaking and trembling with fear as the flashes, crashes and bangs of fireworks roared overhead at midnight. So many people walked past while I sat on the floor holding that dog… probably thinking I looked like a crazy person. But hopefully some of those people might remember and try to help the terrified animals living on the streets next time there is a fireworks display.
So be positive and hopeful about the New Year, and positively change something or someone for the better. And seen as it’s much easier to be positive when you have muffins, here’s my recipe for Mocha Muffins. I hope you enjoy
- 1 cup plain flour
- ⅓ cup raw cane sugar
- 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ½ cup non dairy milk (soy, almond, oat)
- ¼ cup sunflower/ vegetable oil
- ¼ cup apple sauce
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp coffee extract
- ½ cup chocolate chips (optional)
- Preheat oven to 200°c, or 180°c for fan oven.
- Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and soda, salt and spices.
- In a separate bowl mix the wet ingredients, the milk, oil, apple sauce, vanilla and coffee extracts.
- Pour the wet into the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips now if using.
- Pour mixture into either cupcake cases or a greased muffin tray, about ¾ full, or a little bit more if you want the muffins to spill over the top.
- Bake for 16 minutes, or until a cocktail stick comes out clean. Let cool a minute in the tray before removing and place on a cooling rack.
Makes approximately 6 muffins