Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Detox January: gingerbread muffins

Gingerbread muffins
Welcome to Detox January.

(Oh come on, it's not that bad, I promise.)

For new readers, let me explain. This is the Ninj's version of detox, not some scary-ass juice cleanse or eat-only-two-crackers-per-day diet plan. We take this on every year as a way of starting the new year off right, after all the excesses of the holidays. And, frankly, because I'd rather eat a muffin top than have one around my waist.

Detox January is not some overly ambitious resolution that you know you won't be able to keep (new gym membership, anyone?); it's more like a short-term, mini resolution that you know you can achieve.

The rules are simple. For the entire month of January,
  • Abstain from all alcohol (but if a recipe calls for a little bit, that's OK) -- we'll be drinking things like virgin marys rather than gimlets for cocktail hour
  • Eat a bit healthier every day (I don't expect you to get crazy here -- we just try to eat more veggies than cookies and keep our recipes more Cooking Light than Julia Child) 
  • Exercise more than you did in December 

And that's it. Simple, right?

To prove to you that it is not a nightmare and to encourage you to join us, I like to include a Detox January-approved, yummy recipe in the first post to illustrate that you can still eat well, with flavor, while playing along at home.

This year, you get gingerbread muffins. If you like ginger, you should be psyched to try these muffins. Even better, they are easy and fast: you simply mix wet ingredients with dry and bake. You can have muffins ready to eat in less than half an hour.

Given that the muffins are made with applesauce rather than butter (very detoxy!), they are a bit denser than a regular cake muffin, but the flavor is excellent and even just one muffin is filling (we had them for breakfast with a berry smoothie). And you will not feel as if you're eating a cakelet for breakfast.

Additionally, although you can see that I made full-sized muffins, I think these would be better as bite-sized mini-muffins.

You can also find a lot of other Detox January recipe ideas throughout the archives. 

Do you have any favorite healthy recipes that you would include as part of the routine? The Ninj wants to know.

Happy Detox January!

Gingerbread Muffins (adapted from Southern In Law)

2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup skim milk
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients (through the ginger) and blend with a whisk. In a smaller, separate bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients, blending well. Add the wet mixture to the dry and mix thoroughly. Spoon the batter into a prepared 12-cup muffin tin and bake for about 15 minutes (less for mini-muffins) or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.


  1. Well, since we actually drank lots of mimosas yesterday, I'm not off to the most auspicious start... :P But the rest of it sounds pretty doable! Slightly healthier food, here I come!

    1. Awesome! You will feel better for joining us, I promise.

  2. Thanks for sharing this yummy-sounding recipe! I'm not much of a baker but I'm definitely going to try this. And I totally agree with your "detox" rules! About a year ago I started doing pretty much what you suggest and so far have lost 80 pounds by eating healthier, watching my portions, keeping track of what I eat, and, what I feel is most important, getting regular exercise.

    1. Wow, Lisa, that's impressive! You're an inspiration to all of us. Hope you come back and visit regularly.