mocha almond chocolate toffee raisin cinnamon oatmeal applesauce banana whole wheat cereal muffins

I had about six cereal boxes which were almost empty, down to just crumbs, and I thought to myself it would be a shame to throw this away. Could I make muffins out of it? Then I looked around the kitchen, found some raisins, a couple granola bars, some almonds, and a chocolate bar, and I ended up creating something that my spouse called a mouthful of happiness. As best as I can remember it, here’s what I put together:

2 cups cereal crumbs (mostly shredded wheat, also some raisin bran, both made with whole wheat)

1 cup whole wheat flour baking mix

3 tbsp cinnamon

1 cup instant oatmeal

1/2 cup sugar in the raw

1 cup raisins

1/4 cup sliced almonds

2 1.2 oz Mocha Almond chocolate chip granola bars (Kashi), crumbled up into pieces

1 large 3.5 oz chocolate bar with toffee bits (Green & Black’s) crumbled up into pieces

1 large banana

1/2 cup applesauce

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup almond milk

1/2 cup water

1 large brown egg (from a chicken named Blanche)

Preheat oven to 350F. Blend all ingredients in a big bowl, spoon into muffin pan and bake for 30 minutes. Makes about 12 muffins.

So that’s my recipe for mocha almond chocolate toffee raisin cinnamon oatmeal applesauce banana whole wheat cereal muffins! My best guess for the total fat content is about 7 grams per muffin. I’m proud to say nearly everything in them was organic (or at least all-natural). They’re not quite vegan but the egg came from a free-range hen that belongs to one of our neighbors, so they’re cruelty-free. If you decide you want to try this recipe, don’t worry about getting exactly the same ingredients I used. This was very much an exercise in making use of whatever happens to be on hand. I’m sure it would work just fine with cow’s milk, brown sugar, and vegetable oil, for example, and you could probably substitute chocolate chips too but the dark mocha chocolate flavor really brings it all together. If you don’t have applesauce, you can increase the vegetable oil to 6 tbsp but that would increase the fat to 12 grams per muffin. I think next time I might try pumpkin or yams instead of the banana.

sanctity of life

After hearing me talk about overpopulation, people often ask me if I believe in the sanctity of human life. The answer is no, I believe in the sanctity of life2
Every living creature on this planet, from bacteria to redwood trees, from blue whales to white mice, are all part of a fabulously complex web of Life. Individuals are born and die, entire species diverge or become extinct, but Life goes on. Our agendas seem awfully important to us, but the fact is we are merely one out of millions of species that inhabit the planet. The golden rule of Life is simply this: whatever succeeds continues and multiplies, whatever fails is replaced. This is often labeled “survival of the fittest” but this is misleading, it implies a gigantic game of musical chairs which will end with only one player. In truth, successes not only continue, but they spawn copies and variations on a theme. The trend has always been towards more complexity and more variety.
There have been interruptions along this upward path of complexity and variety. Periodic mass extinctions are shown in the fossil record, the most famous one being 65 millions years ago, at the end of the Cretaceous Period. In less than a million years, nearly half of all the species on Earth went extinct, including the dinosaurs which had inhabited the Earth for 160 million years. Right now, we are in the midst of another mass extinction, caused by human activity. It is estimated that a hundred species are going extinct per day. Global warming has the potential to devastate the ecosystem. Life will go on. The question is, how much (or how little) of Life will be left after the smoke clears?
Being a human, I owe some loyalty to my own kind. If I were faced with a choice of saving from extinction either all the humans or all the spotted owls, I would save the humans. But if the choice were to save all Life on Earth, or save the humans, I would not hesitate to let the humans die.