"More like a fudgy cupcake than anything wholesome."
I admit it. I was late to the Vitalicious game. Three years ago, a friend of mine who was completely obsessed with Banana Nut VitaTops asked me to go in on a bulk order with her. (A case of six assorted VitaMixes for muffins and brownies is $33.30.) I declined.
I had only ever seen Vitalicious products at "supplement" stores like GNC. I didn't believe they would actually taste good anymore than I believed the berry-flavored SlimQuick powdered drink mix would actually help me drop five pounds.
But last week, as I contemplated yet another yawn-worthy yogurt and granola bar breakfast, I decided to give the Vitalicious brand a second look.
The website was a veritable Disneyland of diet-friendly baked goods: VitaTop flavors ranging from blueberry-bran to chocolate-fig, pomegranate VitaBrownies, and something called a Dreamy Drizzle Chocolate Supreme VitaCake. While there were several kinds of VitaMuffin mixes, including golden corn and banana-nut, I indulged with the Deep Chocolate VitaMix ($6.25)--more like a fudgy cupcake than anything wholesome.
The mix arrived via UPS two days later. According to the box, the VitaMix made 12 muffins, each of which packed five grams of fiber and 15 vitamins and minerals into 100 tiny calories. It sounded too good to be true. Nevertheless, my hopes were high as I stirred in three large egg whites and 11/4 cups of water. After dividing the batter between a dozen muffin cups I topped each with a few chocolate chips (oddly, while part of the recipe, chocolate chips are not included in the box). Then I slid the pan into the oven.
The instructions said to bake the muffins for 23 to 27 minutes,but this seemed like an oddly long time to me. Sure enough, after only 20 minutes my muffins were puffed and firm, and they passed the toothpick test. I set them on a wire rack to cool just as my boyfriend walked inside.
"You baked cupcakes!" he exclaimed. "Muffins." I corrected. "Potato, potahto."
I looked at the VitaMuffins--he was right. They certainly resembled cupcakes. I decided to serve them for dessert.
The VitaMuffins were light, fluffy, and still a bit warm. While the chocolate taste was slightly undermined by the flavor of whole-wheat flour (the first ingredient listed), the sprinkling of chocolate chips on top added an extra fudge wallop that was so creamy, melted, and delicious, I didn't even miss the frosting.
I would certainly make these again, and serve them with coffee for breakfast, or the last few sips of red wine after dinner.
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