[virtuous] fig + millet donuts.

[virtuous] fig + millet donuts.

I looked out the window the other day around 5:30 pm and saw something foreign: the sun. it was still light outside, even after 5 pm. Granted, this is wonderful news, but so much more is expected of you when the days are longer and it starts to warm up, right? You have to dig out from under your mountain of blankets, for one. You probably have to stay up past 9 pm; saying it “feels later” because it’s been dark since midafternoon just doesn’t work as well when it’s not dark. Perhaps most importantly, you need to start thinking about putting on actual pants. Sans stretch. With actual waistband. Whatever shall we do?!?

Maybe the rest of you have kept up your fitness routines, but I haven’t. I only work at full capacity when everything stays on its routine, and the illness cycle running around this house over this past fall and winter really threw me. Something had to give: that something was the gym. And, okaaaayyy, also I sampled quite a few baked goods, so my normally stellar eating habits fell by the wayside. Just this morning, I was cut off by a Doritos truck on my way to Whole Foods. That, my friends, is the universe trying to tell me if I don’t watch out, I could die at the hands of junk food, or at least have my attempts at quality eating be derailed by snacks.

fig + millet donuts.

So I got all ready the other day, ignored my introvert-ish tendency to think everyone stops what they’re doing the minute I walk onto the gym floor to stare at me in abject horror (so self-conscious) and marched my way onto a treadmill. I had made it; I had arrived. Somewhere in the distance, the theme from Rocky was playing. I was going to work out and it was going to feel so good. Would I be able to handle my old cardio routine? Psssh, of course I would; it hadn’t been that long, right?

Right. It was terrible: maybe 6 minutes in and I swear I couldn’t feel my legs anymore, but I pushed through it and did pretty well, considering I have the leg strength right now of a mortally wounded gnat. I’m going back again today, and the day after that, and until the end of time I suppose, until I wrangle myself back into shape. Because at some point, I have to wear shorts without crying.

I don’t know about you, but one of my biggest Achilles heels in terms of food is the nighttime snack. I can eat with the discipline of a certified nutritionist any day of the week…until 8:30 pm, and at that magical moment, I start wanting sweet treats like an addict. I don’t know what happens to me, but I am overcome by need. I’m ashamed to say it, but there have been nights I’ve emptied the freezer looking for something, anything, I have stored away in there from old baking projects. it’s terrible.

My solution? Ideally, it’s to ignore the snacking impulse, but that’s asking quite a lot right now. In the short-term, it’s these donuts. Now I know some of you are saying to yourselves “oh, but Shannon, what about some nice fruit or something?” and to you I say, get real. Because yes, sometimes my sweet little Clementines cut it, or a handful of almonds or something, but that’s not most evenings. So, donuts it is.

fig + millet donuts.

Hear me out: no, donuts aren’t healthy, in a general sense. But look closely: these aren’t really donuts. They’re baked donuts, and they’re not even that, because they’re actually healthy little muffins, baked in a donut pan. Turns out any muffin can be made irresistibly cute by making it in a donut pan, and it fools your senses into thinking you’re actually eating a real live donut.

How healthy are they, you ask? Well, my friends, they’re from the Gwyneth Paltrow crazy-healthy cookbook, so you tell me. There’s no sugar, dairy, or egg in these, and although I do not make them gluten-free, you can easily make them GF by switching out the regular all-purpose flour for your favorite GF variety. I make them a little bit differently than the book does, but I don’t think anything I do to them changes how good they are for you. And for all the things they don’t have, they overflow with big fat figs, some ground flaxseed, a little maple syrup, and crunchy millet. It’s like all the bad stuff leaves and there’s more room for the good stuff.

If you’re having a difficult time mind-tasting a millet-fig muffin, I’ll describe them for you. You may remember millet from when I made the toasted coconut + millet chocolate bark: it’s a fun ingredient that adds a little bit of soft, sprinkle-like crunch to your baked goods, and I love the texture. These donuts have a vaguely malty, pretzel-like flavor, which is delicious when balanced against the sweetness of the dried figs in here; it’s a really great, sweet-salty, unexpected combination, and it’s incredibly satisfying. They completely fulfill my snack needs in the evening, and coming from someone who routinely performs pantry-raids under cover of night looking for chocolate chips? That’s saying something.

If you don’t have a donut pan, please: make them as muffins, but I think some of the Jedi mind-trick here lies in their donut appearance. If you do go the muffin route, you can cut your figs a bit larger and up the baking time by a few minutes. These muffins will hook you, but in a really virtuous and healthy way. I think by now they’re actually my favorite muffin/donut, because of their lovely flavor, but also because they’re supremely light, and I don’t feel all weighed down after I eat one. Or two, whatever. You’ll love them. And if you need further confirmation, ask Faygie, because she made the muffin version on her blog a while back, and she loved them too.

Adapted from the perhaps slightly more virtuous millet fig muffins in It’s All Good: Delicious, Easy Recipes That Will Make You Look Good and Feel Great by Gwyneth Paltrow and Julia Turshen. Still not ashamed to say I love this book, and by now, I’ve probably made more things out of it to eat in daily life than I have most of my other cookbooks.

Millet + Fig Donuts

Makes 18

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour*
  • 1/2 cup raw millet
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup ground flaxseed
  • 2/3 cup grapeseed oil**
  • 2/3 cup good-quality maple syrup (the real stuff, people)
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk (I’ve used both vanilla and regular in these, and both work well)
  • 1 cup chopped dried figs (you can use either mission or calmyrna, or mix it up with both)***

By the way, I don’t know if you noticed, but the order of the liquid ingredients has a practicality to it: by going oil/maple syrup/almond milk, you grease the cup measure with the oil so the maple syrup slides out easily, then finishes with the almond milk. Professional.

*as i mentioned above, these can easily be made gluten-free; indeed, they started out their life that way in the book. Simply switch out your favorite GF flour for my flour, same measurements. If the flour you use doesn’t have xanthan gum already in it, add 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum as well.

**the original recipe calls for olive oil, but for whatever reason, I don’t love the taste as much when I use it, which is why I prefer grapeseed oil. If you’re a stickler for olive oil, use the lightest, most delicately-flavored one you can find, but it still may alter the taste slightly. It does for me, but everyone is different in what they notice.

***remember to chop your figs small enough to fit through a 1-inch hole with ease: it’s how you’re getting your donuts into the pan, and you don’t want any fruit plugging up the hole in the batter bag. Obviously if you’re making muffins, this doesn’t matter.

Preheat the oven to 375˚F and lightly spray a donut pan with cooking oil. Or whatever you oil things with, hippies. Just kidding.

In a large bowl, whisk flour, millet, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and flaxseed together until blended. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, almond milk, and grapeseed oil until combined (maple syrup can be heavy and stick to the bottom, so whisk thoroughly.) Add the maple syrup mixture to the flour mixture and fold it in with a rubber spatula until almost combined. Add the chopped figs and continue to fold until the ingredients are completely combined and the figs are evenly distributed.

Fill a plastic storage bag (think Ziploc) with the batter. Use scissors to cut around a 5/8 inch hole in the bottom corner (so the circumference of the hole will measure a little over 1 inch.) Fill your donut pan cavities evenly with the batter; donuts will puff up, so don’t overfill.

Bake for 10-11 minutes, until donuts are puffed and pale gold, checking at the 8- minute mark for doneness. Do not overbake these; they lose something when they’re too dry, but that’s easily avoided by a watchful eye. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then remove them to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat process with remaining batter.

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43 Comments on "[virtuous] fig + millet donuts."

  1. I use the whole I’m-a-ballet-teacher thing to justify wearing stretchy clothes all year round. Thus, no exercising! I also use the I’m-a-ballet-teacher thing to justify my late night snacking, as for years, I didn’t get home until 10 pm, and had to eat dinner at that time. I’m still trying to figure out if I can use the ballet-teacher thing to justify my salty AND sweet snacking habits (as in, if I eat something salty it MUST be chased by something sweet and vice versa), but I haven’t quite figured that one out.

    I have doughnut pan(S)! They need breaking in – as I haven’t baked a single doughnut yet. These virtuous treats could be just the justification I need…

    • shannon says:

      you know, i always thought it would be fun to be a personal trainer, same reason: stretchy clothes equal work wear! Plus you sort of get to work out while at your job, which is pretty awesome.

      salty and sweet excuse? BALANCE. and i would think it’s critical for a ballet teacher of your caliber to have excellent balance. it’s like you’re required to chase the salty with the sweet.

      seriously, it took me forever to actually use it for anything, but i have a theory (i’m working on testing it currently) that basically any muffin can be turned into a donut by simply using a donut pan. quick bread, not so much, but definitely muffins. possibly cupcakes, although i’m not sure about it yet. These would make an excellent first batch for you. no dates or raisins, either. :)

  2. Finally, I can eat donuts again!

    I don’t know what happened to the days of putting in my headphones and running til my legs fell off but they are LONG GONE. Now I’m ready to die less than 10 minutes in and each minute is more excruciating than the next.

    Maybe I can make these and hang them in front of my face at the gym and give myself something to run toward.

    • shannon says:

      you can! and that’s an EXCELLENT idea, the whole hanging them in front of your face thing; that would totally work. I picture some sort of hat/fishing pole apparatus for when you’re outside running. oh wait neither one of us really do that lol. :) but we TRY and that’s what matters.

  3. Faygie says:

    When I saw the photo of these on your instagram, I had a feeling it was a version of those muffins. They really are so good! I made them a couple weeks ago, and my kids finally decided that maybe they don’t look so scary after all. They all tasted them and loved them! I made them that time with whole wheat pastry flour, and while they tasted great, they were waaay too crumbly. Next time I’m going to try white whole wheat flour

    And, YES! I am so happy that the days are getting longer! Obviously I can’t complain about our weather this winter (except for the whole drought thing), but I love that it’s bright out when I wake up, and it’s not already getting dark right after the kids come home from school. I just have so much more energy now.

    • shannon says:

      I was wondering if you had seen them and figured it out! They are my total go-to muffin (now donut) for a snack that isn’t so terrible for you. i think at one point i made them half and half ap flour/white whole wheat flour and they were pretty delicious; there’s been so many iterations of them here it’s hard to keep track. I’m surprised your girls didn’t like them right off the bat, considering how awesome their palates are. the Wee One has eyed them warily, and i think i could get her to eat them, minus the figs; the figs she’s unsure of.

      Finally, right? And today we have some upper-60s weather so i feel like for once we’re hanging out in the same climate. :) Being light out in the mornings is especially important to me; so hard to start the day in the pitch black. I’m waiting to see this year how the Wee does once it stays light out later: she started going to bed early as it got dark earlier, and i sort of hope it stays that way (even if it’s light at some point when she hits the pillow). ;)

      • Faygie says:

        I guess figs sound scary to kids or something, so they didn’t want to try them until now. They’re brave ones, my kids ;)

        • shannon says:

          They really are: honestly, i’ve seen the kids at her school eat lunch, and your kids are like, the BRAVEST. I’m continually in awe; i have a good friend who has a daughter equally food-friendly, and i always tell her how lucky she is in that regard. Wee One has her strengths, and they are awesome, but food? NOT one of them, at least not yet.

          • Wendy says:

            Miracles happen, Shannon. My picky eater ate about 10 different items(no including dessert) throughout his years at home. (We even traveled internationally with packets of peanut butter so he wouldn’t starve!) He went off to college and became Mr. Adventurous Eater….out of necessity?…..because his eating no longer made me crazy?…..or simply because he grew up. :) Bottom line, food miracles happen, even if they take 18 years. :)

  4. Deb says:

    I knew that Doritos truck was going to make its’ presence known! My “must have a snack time” is late afternoon. I have to talk myself into starting dinner without a sweet motivation. Just might have to see if these tempting donuts will satisfy my cravings!

    • shannon says:

      It fit perfectly in this post, yes? I had to laugh right out loud when it happened, too, because the perfection of that happening to me at a time when i’m really trying to eat well…i mean, of all things. :) I sometimes have difficulty with late afternoon cravings: it’s why we eat dinner on the early-ish end of things (because i’d snack my way right up too it if we eat too late). Always good to be prepared with healthy snacks, i think.

  5. We are the sorts that will never make it to a gym. Ever. So we bought our own treadmill and exercise bike (plus other gym-like stuff) and crammed in all into a spare bedroom. And actually use it! In fact right after I finish this comment I’m going to use the stationary bike. Even so, winter is tough — we eat more and really need to look for something more virtuous. Like these donuts! They look great. We already bake donuts. but they’re not as healthy as this. I’ve never had figs in a donuts — really like the idea. Plus they’ll be so healthy I can have seconds. ;-) Fun post, good recipe — thanks.

    • shannon says:

      you should be immensely proud that you use your home gym equipment! so many people purchase things like that and then “use” it for hanging laundry, collecting dust, etc. :) Sometimes i think it’s harder to use home gym stuff b/c you have to motivate yourself more (versus putting yourself in a car and taking yourself away from your environment). Winter gets rough, i agree, with food: everyone craves the heavier stuff right now, and the colder it gets, the more you feel like eating. The figs in the donuts are nice here: it’s a little bit of sweetness, and i think it helps in them being satisfying.

  6. Way to go gettin’ on back to the gym! I too think everyone stops and stares when I walk in…so I don’t. I’ve had locally produced millet taking up space in my pantry for too long now, so indeed it is time to use it up and make these donuts! Super!!

    • shannon says:

      Thanks, Elizabeth! I can’t say i won’t falter, but we’ve been every other day this week, and plan to go this afternoon. We would have walked outside yesterday, but i was afraid we’d blow away! :) Once i go a few times, i realize it’s the same group of people, and no one really much cares that i’m there, and then I start to feel better: that initial time back is the WORST, though.
      Totally use up that millet in these! gotta love millet for how flexible it is. i keep it in pretty steady rotation here…fun ingredient to play with.

  7. Now I know what to do with the small amount of millet I have hanging around. Except that I don’t have flaxseed — why is everyone suddenly posting great-sounding recipes containing flaxseed? I have flaxseed in my peanut butter. Maybe I’ll have to make peanut and millet muffins…

    • shannon says:

      You know what, Sharyn, it’s funny you say that, b/c i’ve noticed the same: SO many recipes with flaxseeds or ground flaxseeds like this one has. I don’t know how easy it is to cancel it out with a bit more dry ingredient, or maybe even quick oats would work on some level as a substitution, not sure. I must be using my ground flaxseed quite a bit though, because this last batch of donuts marked the end of a big bag of it. Flaxseeds are so hip, though. :)

  8. Ashley says:

    You have such a knack with creating vivid imagery with your words! I can see you at the gym, I can totally empathize dying on the treadmill and vowing to continue/survive, I feel your early evening craving for a snack to get you through (admission: I’m a chip addict. I need crunch as soon as I get home or so help me, I will lose it and get hangry to the max). Plus these sound awesomely delicious. Love figs, love the crunch of millet (have you tried the millet corn muffins from Heidi Swanson’s SuperNatural EveryDay? yum!), love the tasty+healthy combo you’re rocking here. Shorts for everyone!

    • shannon says:

      Thanks, Ashley! I try, although when i was composing that part of this post in my head (at the gym/time of trouble), i was originally going to “live tweet” format it…if you saw the thoughts running through my head *as* i was partially dying on the treadmill, you would REALLY laugh; i’m much funnier when in humiliating pain. :)
      I could see being a crunch addict: i myself like something to “eat” versus say, a protein shake. I can do protein shakes sometimes, but i like something to chew or crunch on or i won’t feel satisfied. And no! i haven’t tried the millet corn muffins, but i need to: millet is like, my favorite fun grain ingredient because it really is nature’s sprinkle. ooooh, you know what? i wonder if you can dye millet…OMG TOTALLY DYEING MILLET NOW. you wait. I called it, no one else better do it. ;)

  9. I’m goint to start a the beginning and work my way down, because there’s so much to say in response to this lovely post. 1.) I’m so happy to see the sun past 5pm, but, you’re right, it means no more excuses. 2.) I’m really going to miss stretch pants. If we’re being honest here, and I think we are, I have worn out my welcome with the sweat pants. I don’t even know if I’ll fit into my jeans. I’m scared. 3.) Like you, all routine ceased at the beginning of December; poof, gone. I went back the other day and was only able to run a 1/2 mile straight through before my legs felt numb. I think you’re right about the universe. I go to the gym and the next day I fall on ice. I think it’s trying to tell me I shouldn’t be working out. 4.) I can totally relate to the late-night snack situation. I can do the healthy thing all day long, then, poof, I get a fierce craving for creme brulee. It’s so weird. 5.) I would gnaw off my right arm if it were stuck under a boulder in order to get to a donut. Dramatic–yes. Worth it–totally. Love these healthier little baked donuts.

    • shannon says:

      you know what, Jennie, it’s SO NICE to hear that i’m not the only one who just lost their mind and their routines this past december. Because seriously, you start to feel like the only one, and then i see all these other women around here in their stupid size small yogas and their KIND bars and i’m all “listen, chicks. I’m a food writer: i’m literally paid to have delicious food in my house at all times. IT’S A HARD KNOCK LIFE WHEN YOU GOT COOKIES HAUNTING YOUR DREAMS, PEOPLE.” and is it not a total exercise in humiliation to not be able to just start at the level you were at before at the gym? i swear that’s usually what defeats me every time…the “wait: i can’t even do what i did before now? UGH CAKE!” i’m happy i’m not in this alone. thank you for that. and your cravings exactly describe my own: i’m all fine with eggs and salmon and roast chicken and veggies SO many veggies and then the Wee One goes to bed and i’m spending a half hour rationalizing chocolate chips from the bag. it’s hard. DONUTS.

  10. Emma says:

    I am such a snacker. It brings to mind like the one Rachel Ray episode I ever saw where she was all “I COME FROM A LONG LINE OF GRAZERS!! *GUFFAW* WHY DO I HAVE TO HOARSELY YELL EVERYTHING! *GUFFAW*”

    And usually that’s not much of a problem, but I’ve been so under the weather that the past several weeks have been an exercise wash. A movement wash of any sort, really. And all my building up pushup strength has been lost. Again. But on the sort of plus side at least I’ve now also lost my appetite.

    • shannon says:

      she is SO hoarse, yes? SO HOARSE! like certainly if that’s your voice, i’m cool. but do you have to yell? whyyyyy?

      but you were so ill, though: so that’s completely understandable b/c i’m sure you had zero energy for doing things. Besides, your work is actual exercise from what i can tell, which is more than i can say for most of us/most of our own jobs. I doubt you need to go to a gym, in the way that you sort of do that in general every day. :)

  11. Wendy says:

    Why, oh why, are good exercise habits so hard to create and so easy to drop?!? Its the same with body strength. It takes forever to build up muscle and stamina. Then you miss a week or two and everything you built up goes out the window! For many years I was at the gym EVERY weekday morning. It was simply part of my routine. I HATE exercise but I love the results. Then last summer we got the puppy and my routine went out the window. A new routine that doesn’t include the gym became the norm. A baking blogger can not skip the gym without a serious impact on jeans comfort. (Well, maybe some bloggers with enviable metabolisms, but not this blogger.) I am awed by your motivation. I need some. :)
    These “donuts” look delicious…texture and flavor. I am going to try the gf version for my daughter…and may even play a little with subbing some almond flour to lower the carbs and up the protein.

    • shannon says:

      i knoooooooww, yes? but that’s what everyone always says: good habits are hard to form, bad habits are hard to break. it shouldn’t be like that, but it is. And i like to stay “busy,” but busy for me is doing house projects or cooking, etc…none of which is particularly calorie-burning. :) If i want to truly get back into an exercise routine (because much like you, i hate the exercise but love the results), i have to consciously focus on HOW the exercise benefits me: physically, emotionally, mentally. b/c i truly am a more laid-back, energetic, better person with a regular workout routine; i just am. so if i remember that, it makes going to the gym every afternoon “worth it” knowing that i’m nicer to be around, lol. :) it also clears my head and makes me more organized? so it helps with work, too. i just have to remember that each day around 3:30 pm when i’m all “ehhhh…maybe i should bake that one cake…” about it. And yes: a baking blogger, even if you’re only baking sometimes, can’t skip the gym or some form of daily exercise. because, taste-testing happens. :)
      Let me know how the GF version goes for you: obviously the original is GF, and i’m sure i would like them more if i had a really good GF flour on hand (and i love your idea to sub in some almond flour: that’s always delicious!). One of my projects this year is to find a good pre-mixed GF flour i like for the times i want to work with it, or to find a good recipe blend for it. Hard to pull the trigger on it since we’re not GF here and it’s mostly experimental, but it’s on my “to do list” for the blog and for personal knowledge.

  12. Monica says:

    Growing up, my mom used to make a fig soup that I loved but for some reason, I always figured I didn’t like figs otherwise. I’m older and smarter now, thank goodness. I can also relate to your evening eating habit. I eat very well until I get that hunger spike late afternoon. I can still hang on but after dinner, it’s dessert/snack time. It’s not always (just) sweet for me – I will munch on a medley of salty, crunchy, sweet things. It is unavoidable and I think I subconsciously save room for it. I cannot give that up. : ) You should be very proud of yourself for making a healthy option like these donuts. I can’t even use the gym to rationalize my evening feeding frenzies because I don’t go to the gym.

    • shannon says:

      fig SOUP? RECIPE?!?!?! because, seriously…that sounds wonderful.
      isn’t it funny how our attitudes and tastebuds change over the years? I can’t tell you how many things i “didn’t like” when i was younger that i LOVE now, or how many things i thought were so awesome when i was younger that have really lost their appeal (Hostess fruit pie, anyone?).
      it’s so good to hear you say that about the “saving room for it” thing: i feel like i do that too! i don’t want to, but it’s like i know the craving will hit. It’s a difficult habit to break, for a lot of reasons. I’ve been doing better at either NOT snacking as much, or setting aside a set quantity of something (like chocolate chips, 20 of them, specifically) to eat and that’s it. it’s hard, but i’m trying. oddly enough, when i go to the gym, i don’t want to snack as much? go figure with that one. ugh. :) eating habits/comfort food is a funny thing to tackle.

  13. Brianne says:

    What is this…in shape of which you speak? I have started a (usually) daily stretching routine because I cannot fit going to the gym into my day. It’s not cardio or anything, but it really helps me feel better after sitting at my desk all day! These donuts are great. I love the idea of baking muffins in those pans! Now when the guy says “You can’t have a donut pan, honey. They only bake one thing.,” I can say “No, fool! They can bake TWO things!” So thanks for backing me up, friend :)

    • shannon says:

      zee in shape, brianne: we must be in zee shape!! :) stretching is great; i try to sneak some of that in first thing in the morning too, especially if i know i’ll be doing this (writing, catching up, the internets) until lunch. Starting the day without that is like not showering for me: it’s like you don’t wake up all the way or something, you know?
      everyone needs a donut pan: because, obviously. fun muffin shapes. AND because your existing muffin recipes can be used for said donut pan, then…you’re actually saving money because you don’t have to buy any new cookbooks, right? LOGIC.

  14. elizabeth says:

    I have no desire to get her cookbook and therefore contribute to her financial coffers, but I have to say that I’ve found some pretty straightforward recipes via GOOP that weren’t awful. And this looks pretty darn good and if I baked anywhere close to as often as you did, I would include these in the rotation, no doubt. The figs alone are as intriguing as anything.

    Regarding workouts, I’m of the firm belief that the best workout is the one you keep doing, so would you consider trying something new instead of treadmill-ing it? I know the holidays can throw so many things off from a scheduling perspective, but sometimes having the constant of a workout you’re invested in helps on the sanity front. (I speak of what I know firsthand.) Some fitness experimentation to find what you really enjoy might be in order.

    • shannon says:

      I completely understand that, elizabeth: how about if there ARE good recipes in the book, i’ll always post them, and that way no money changes hands. :) and yes, GOOP has some nice recipes there, too, esp salads and some pastas, i’ve noticed. The figs in these are pretty fun, as is the millet. Perhaps i’m easily entertained, but millet always amuses me in its raw form.

      wholeheartedly agree! and i’m no exception to that rule: if i like it, i’m way more apt to do it. And i’ve been doing just what you suggested: i’ve been trying out some different cardio machines (and getting outside for it on the rare day its warm enough to take the Wee One) , and i’ve made it a goal to do a new one each day, 5 days a week. Mixing it up has really helped. Also, on days i just don’t feel like cardio, or i’m counting the minutes? i hit the weights and do whatever i want, which feels good too b/c then i’m not clockwatching so much. I’ve looked into taking a few classes in the months to come, so i think that will help too. And i do feel much more organized and “routine-ish” when a daily workout is part of my day? so yes, that constant really is a good thing for me. I’m halfway there in terms of establishing a gym routine again, i think: it’s been two pretty solid weeks of going? and for me it takes about 4 to really get into a pattern. so i’m feeling good about it! thank you for the advice, because it’s surely helped.

  15. I’ve come to the conclusion that the only reason I exercise is so that I can eat more. A one-hour session of Zumba = a big fat poutine without me turning into a big fat tub o’ lard… for serious. That poutine totally gets me through the last 15 mins of class when it’s all I can do not to collapse into a panting heap of misery.
    That’s why I’m all over these healthy little fauxnuts of yours. I mean, the only thing better than a big fat doughnut is one that doesn’t require an hour of yoga to balance out, right? :)
    (Also, it’s the excuse I need to buy a doughnut pan. Because it’s for a really good cause.)

    • shannon says:

      Ha! I do catch myself doing that as well: like if i can stay an extra half hour and really push it on the treadmill, that means DINNER OUT YAY! it’s a total balancing act in that way, for sure.
      Truly: so nice to have a “treat” that doesn’t undo an entire day of good eating, right? and i think it’s clear how much we have in common with 8 year olds in the way that eating donut shaped muffins is SO MUCH MORE FUN than eating muffin shaped muffins, but i see nothing wrong with that. TO HEALTH AND NECESSARY PANS!

  16. Cut off by the Dorrito truck? You are too funny, Shannon! Must admit that I don’t even use almond milk. I’d have to make a special trip just to have these ingredients in my house. As far as the exercise thing-well, I like it. When I do it. Need to do it more….And we all know how that goes. At the moment we are trying to redesign our basement so that we can fit exercise equipment down there. I would not want to subject someone to myself in leggings of any kind! Guess I better start on these donuts-at least they are health related!

    • shannon says:

      I wasn’t even kidding about that Dorito truck, Abbe: true story. I think this: everyone makes food the way they make it, and if it works, yay! these donuts started life as a GF donut, and they’re obviously not that anymore, so i’m guessing a little regular milk versus almond would be just fine, were you to want to make them. as for exercise, to each their own: i don’t think i know one person in my circle of friends that approaches exercise the same way: some don’t approach it at all, some never see a gym but still are plenty in shape, and so on. think that’s what makes it so hard: there’s no real “formula” for the best way to go about it, i guess? but putting fitness equipment in the basement is surely a good way to go to be “leggings-ready” lol. :)

  17. First of all, I am right there with you. SO right there with you. Prior to Christmas, I was in really good shape — working out regularly, lots of energy, feeling good — and after Christmas? Not so much. I did some squats earlier this week and was unable to move for three days. I have been itching to get back into a routine of moving my body and eating right (something I normally get on board with around mid-January, but have been struggling with immensely this year), and I cannot tell you how encouraging it is to hear I’m not alone.

    (Also, when you mentioned wearing actual pants without a stretchy waist band, I seriously took a moment and looked at myself right now, sitting in my computer chair, wearing my husband’s oversized sweater and sweat pants. I am so not ready for this, haha!)

    Secondly, donuts. Muffins. Do-muffin-nuts. I love them already. I also love that you said the words “mind-tasting”, because I was totally trying to mind-taste them. Actually, I’m mind-masticating them right now. Mmm, they’re so imaginary-tasty! Okay, I need to go get me some millet and dried figs. And a gym membership. :P

    • shannon says:

      it’s seriously so good to hear that i’m not the only one out there doing this (in stretchy pants). :) for real: i think you start to get in your head about it too much and all the sudden everyone around you is tan and ready to whip their skinny jeans off and be all bikini-ready, and here you are like a blob in yoga pants, and ughhhhhh….i start to unravel from there. :) and then i just want to eat comfort food, and the cycle just keeps on. so when you say you’re right there with me, i feel better. truly.
      get that gym membership. make these donuts. let’s do this! we seem to be experiencing twin lives right now, so i bet we have time to get ourselves out of our little winter rut, yes? YES.!

  18. I’m so glad you described what millet tastes and feels like. I’ve never had it, but you make me want to try it. I love dried figs. A few weekends ago, at a great brunch place in Chicago, I ordered an omelet that had dried figs, pancetta, and goat cheese in it. It was delicious!

    We just ordered fitbits. They arrived three days ago. They are still in the Amazon box.

    • shannon says:

      millet – and this is the best way i know how to describe it – is like nature’s sprinkles. I find them to be hilarious, because who knew you could eat a grain all raw like that? i didn’t. and who comes up with an omelet like that?!? i can see pancetta and goat cheese in there, but figs? YUM! i bet that was crazy fantastic.

      FITBITS! I’ve been talking to Natalie (wee eats) about those and she got one and NOW I WANT ONE SO BAD I’M YELLING ABOUT IT! if you’ve unearthed them, you’ll have to give me an update on how you like them.

  19. I hear you on the everyone’s looking at me at the gym thing. And I hear you on the fruit for dessert thing. Do people really see that as dessert? Not me. Fruit is fruit. Dessert is better. Love the doughnuts! Especially with the crunchy millet.

    Now I just have to find time to make them. And the calorie allowance to eat them. I have regained the five pounds I lost before Christmas. I hate those five pounds. I have been losing them and finding them for months. And they aren’t alone. If we are honest, I need to lose a bunch more than those first five. Frustrations galore.

    The balance as a food writer is hard to find. I need to make many more things than I actually do, but I am afraid to have them around the house. I guess I need to send them to work with the hubby and make all of his co-workers deal with the extra calories! :)

    • shannon says:

      sometimes, fruit can be dessert. i.e. if there’s nothing else sweet in the house. OR in the heat of the summer when the fruit is at its peak and it’s sweltering out..but see now that i’m thinking about that, what i’m thinking of is fruit OVER meringues. or UNDER some pastry cream or something. does that still count? no? :)
      oh, THOSE five pounds? Yes…i am familiar with those. those are the WORST five pounds, in my opinion. I’m the same: i have like, three-tiered weight loss goals most of the time: the 5 lbs i MUST LOSE TODAY NOW RIGHT NOW, the 10-15 i’d like to lose long-term to get back to where i am happiest, and then maybe the 20 lb “if i’m really super good and motivated” goal. so embarrassing to admit and yet. it exists.
      same: it’s like i need a neighbor who has tons of kids or parties every day and i could be all “here look! food!” and get the food out of here. i never like to waste, but i don’t like to eat it all myself, either. Mr. Table is unreliable taking things in to his work, and sometimes it’s more than what we need, but less than what a workplace would need? ugh. THE DIFFICULTIES OF WORKING IN FOOD. :)

  20. The gym is always the first thing to go for me…although it’s been gone so long now that I don’t know what my excuse is anymore. Good for you for getting back there!! My way to avoid late-night snacking as of late is to go to bed :) Although, in all honesty, I haven’t had the urge in the last few years (really since I met Nate). I think there’s definitely something underlying to figure out that causes you to search out something yummy…perhaps you’re procrastinating doing something you don’t want to do or are feeling uneasy about something? I realize I def do it when I’m feeling anxious (or bored) so it’s good to pinpoint the reason. Sometimes, it’s just cuz sweet things taste good, I realize. I still have yet to use the donut pan I got for Christmas…but I’m loving your healthy donuts. As soon as I’m in my new kitchen I will make them!!!

    • shannon says:

      *gug* i know, right? MAN do i want to be that girl who is so super dedicated to her fitness she’s all “gym at any cost! I will sacrifice!” but i am SOOOOO not that girl. If i can make it a routine in the first 3 weeks, then i’m good, but those are my hardest weeks, when you’re not seeing any results yet and you feel like a baby cow most days. The Wee has been pretty motivational, because evidently the gym nursery is super fun and they have a playground they can go outside on, so even if i don’t want to go, she does.
      i’ve noticed since i moved in with/married Mr. Table that i mostly do NOT late night snack, but when i give in to it? then it becomes a pattern. and it’s total emotion, so definitely an underlying cause, for sure. Sometimes it feels like a “reward system” in a way? like “hey, i made it through the day, there was some crappy moments, but i did it” and then…chocolate chips. so i need to sort of acknowledge it and cut it out. i’ve been doing really good; sometimes the combo of eating good during the day and going to the gym breaks that snack habit for me, which is nice.
      these donuts are so good! too good, sometimes, but they freeze super well, so you can hide them from yourself. i can’t wait to see your new kitchen when it’s done! kitchen envy…i will have it.

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