Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Case Study 49: "The Roadrunner"

"There are clubs you can't belong to, 
neighborhoods you can't live in, 
schools you can't get into, 
but the roads are always open." 
- Nike  


I'd be the first to tell you that I wouldn't exactly call myself a "runner." Since the 70s, my parents have been road-racing all over the place, but I think I developed my sea legs before I ever stood gracefully on land.  

True to the stars, this little Scorpio hit the water as soon as I could, perfecting my dive at age 4, and reeling in state championships by 11.  My swimming career sunk at 14, and my height skyrocketed above my peers, so again I chose to float and joined a rowing team. National championships aside, I got to taste waters all over the world in a scull.  But when my rowing career came to a close in college, I had no choice but to drift back ashore. 

The two major things you take with you after a 16 years of elite athletics are an unwillingness to give up and the knowledge of how to feed a body in motion.  "The Roadrunner" is a banana-pecan muffin with a whipped honey cream cheese topping and sprinkled with cinnamon-sugar crumble.  Jam packed with yogurt, oats, ground almonds and wheat flour, they are perfect after a morning run or to fuel you through the day.

There's something lovely and addicting about runner's high, and something even more exciting about how it feels after finishing an actual race.  My father and I ran our first half-marathon together on a glorious early fall morning in 2009.  As we jogged toward the starting line, The Beatles "I Feel Fine" blasted over the loud speaker.  In true Daddo form, he whipped out a few air guitar riffs and we were off to logging a memory I'll never forget.  

As I sign up for my next half-marathon in England and start counting down, I'm glad I finally made peace with the ground after years of aqueous adventuring.  Though I'll probably never run a full marathon or win any medals for my fancy footwork, it's safe to say I'll continue hitting the road.  After all, it's always open.

PS- Road tested and runner approved!  The great thing about making these muffins is that you can pop them into a gallon bag and freeze them, and store your cream cheese topping for about a week in a sealed plastic container.  Breakfast in a pinch, and oh so fancy.

“The Roadrunner”
(Makes approximately 14-16 cupcakes)

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 eggs
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 ½ cup oats
½ cup almond flour
1 tsp salt
6 tsp baking powder
1 cup pecans, chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a standard muffin tin or use cupcake liners.
2.  Mix together ¾ cup of pecans and the dry ingredients (flours, sugar, salt and baking powder). Reserve remaining pecans for the tops of the muffins.
3. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, yogurt, vanilla, honey and melted butter.
4. Mix in the bananas.
5. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with a spatula or spoon. DO NOT OVERBEAT!   The batter will be thick and full of lumps.
6. Fill the muffin tins with the batter, filling each 3/4 full, and bake 20-22 minutes. 
7. Remove from oven and let rest on a cooling rack for 5 minutes before removing from tin.

Honey Cream Cheese Topping

1 package cream cheese
¾ cup honey
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp sugar
2 tbsp oats
2 tbsp pecans

1. Mix the honey and cream cheese together
2. Combine cinnamon, sugar, oats and pecans in a small bowl
3. Top muffins as desired and sprinkle crumble on top.  I prefer to toast my muffin first!

1 comment:

Meredith said...

that icing sounds delish! i'm going to try some when i get home tonight...