Big Lots contains a wide variety of food. There always seems to be canned organic soups and beans, as well as organic cereals, dry roasted nuts and seeds, and aseptic cartons of veggie broth. You know, some pretty good basics. I've ran into Amy's brand products, Muir Glen brand products, and even all-natural products from Europe like low-sugar black currant jam (yum, by the way). However, we all know that junk food sells, and Big Lots contains their fair share. I randomly picked up a bag of some chocolatey cereal snack mix, flipped it over, and this was what I found:
The next item I found I almost bought, just because the box is so damn awesome. I get it, they're made from stone-ground wheat, but when you phrase it like this:
They become epic conversation pieces. Haha... Stoner jokes... Anywho, as I'm going through my photos I found that I only took two, so apparently my adventure at Big Lots was a little less adventure and a little more of a... something that isn't quite as big as an adventure. I shall now leave you with a recipe for some super moist and tasty cocoa-banana muffins. Chocolate and banana just belong together, and the little bits of walnuts and chocolate chips make this a decadent muffin.
3/4 c. almond milk + 1/2 Tb. lemon juice
3 Tb. neutral-tasting oil (like good ol' vegetable or canola)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/3 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1/3 c. cocoa powder
3/4 c. brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking soda
Scant 1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/4 c. unsweetened, plain soyogurt
1/4 c. walnuts, chopped
1/8 c. mini vegan chocolate chips (I love Enjoy Life brand)
1. Preheat the oven to 350F and prepare a muffin tin for use. I used liners this time because I found some in my cabinet!
2. In a medium bowl, mash the bananas well, until they're mostly pureed. Add the almond milk and lemon juice, stir, then set aside. No use dirtying up a cup, eh?
3. In a large bowl, combine the unbleached AP flour, the whole wheat pastry flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Mix with a whisk until well-combined.
4. To the bowl with the bananas and almond milk, add the brown sugar, vanilla extract, soyogurt, and oil. Whisk together until combined and then pour the wet ingredients into the dry.
5. Stir the muffin batter until just combined (about 50 strokes), then mix in the chopped walnuts and chocolate chips. If I remember right, this batter is a little thick, so no worries. Fill each muffin cup about 2/3 full and bake and 350F for 20-25 minutes, or until a fork/toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in the tins for a minute or two, and then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling. Or, you could just do what I do and pop them out and let them sit in the tin on their sides. Ye-ah!
This makes 24 regular-sized or 12 large muffins. Also, if you use paper cups and want to eat them hot, they'll stick to the paper. Once they're completely cooled, they won't stick. Now here comes the magic, if you make 24 of these babies, their chocolately, walnutty, banana-y goodness comes out to 104 calories per muffin. As for everything else: 3.4 grams fat, 1.7 grams protein, and not much else! Makes for a tasty snack though!